I realized that I had to be honest about where I was, where I was coming from, and what I was trying to do.
I`ve been trying to figure out for at least the last 10 years how to force myself into something more risky.
So I decided to start writing plays, and went to Yale.
It`s true, I don`t like the real world.
Because at Yale, each year I was writing a play in a different style. Not that they demanded that, but I was searching as any young artist would be.
My play is the ultimate expression of my feeling of the twilight of Western civilization.
From the seventh through the twelfth grades, I probably designed and did a lot of the building for twenty or thirty productions.
What really happened was one day I decided to write a new kind of play.
I was enchanted by the escape into that meticulous world that seemed real yet not... well, it seemed not real, but very detailed and meticulous, bizarre.
You know, actually, I went to Yale because I wanted to stay out of the army.
One does not devote one`s life in art to shock an audience.
As I told you, from the time I was fifteen, I thought the theater was too much involved with actors trying to make the audience love them, being over emotional.
Quite the opposite. I might fall on my face, but I feel born again.
Now we speak in telegram form, we write little e-mails, and we have everything at our fingertips, so we don`t train ourselves to keep anything inside.
From that time through the time I was a New Dramatist, when I was something like twenty-two, I saw absolutely everything in New York. Absolutely everything.
I wrote an outline. I wrote a rough draft. And then I rewrote and rewrote and rewrote. And that`s the way you were supposed to write plays.
There is no work of art that has ever been made that is absolutely truthful about life.
I acted in junior high in the junior high school group, and then when I got into senior high I was, you know, the main actor of the senior high school.
Which implies that the real issue in art is the audience`s response. Now I claim that when I make things, I don`t care about the audience`s response, I`m making them for myself. But I`m making them for myself as audience, because I want to wake myself up.
Now, when I started my theater, the modus operandi was having the actors stare right into the audience.
Because even at the age of fifteen, I used to go see all the Broadway shows and feel that they were sentimental, that they were pandering to the audience and trying to manipulate the audience. I had no use for practically any of the shows that were hits.
I used to go to theater a lot with my grandmother. She had a subscription to the Theater Guild; I used to go with her every Saturday afternoon.
If I wasn`t in the theater, I would be a hermit.
All the dialogue on tape, and we`d play the tape in performance. Then I thought it`d be interesting if the actor`s repeated what they heard on the tape, but at a slower speed, so we`d get a web of language.
I`m there to make a kind of theatrical music that is desperately missing in my life. And if other people don`t like it, I`m very unhappy, but I can`t do anything about that.