Greetings and salutations, blog readers.
Today we are discussing something so very near and dear to my heart.
Reading is Fundamental.
I have heard this phrase my whole life, but it wasn’t until I was in college for production theatre that it really became a statement I had no problem tossing out…
Until this point, I had always thought it was rude, and I had definitely been told it was.
In college, with this professor, I realized, hey, yeah, it is rude…but not as rude as not reading.
Looking back to the first time I heard this professor use it… it was a rehearsal, for some show I was stage managing while wishing, desperately, this guy would ever deem me worthy of being ON the stage not BEHIND the stage.
This curly haired, kinda grumpy, VERY intelligent, professor and I never really seemed to see eye to eye, largely because we were too similar in all the wrong ways, and I was too stressed and too young to fully appreciate it, and he was also, likely, too busy to care about the needs of some out of town chick he didn’t really like that much.
Anyways, I did, and still do, value this professor and director, despite any issues we may have so when he said this phrase, because people just COULD NOT GET OFF FUCKING BOOK, I died with laughter, and Michael gained five points in my proverbial score-book.
Because these were actors who had the scripts in their hands for weeks, and somehow weren’t off book.
Unacceptable to most people, doubly so to the director…or the stage manager who has all the damn parts memorized and would kill to be an extra in the background. I mean, c’mon, you get to be on stage and bring a story to life, you have had the script for weeks, and you cant be bothered to get the line correct? Even CLOSE?
You may be thinking “Abbi! Be less mean! People can FORGET words.”
Yup. But this particular person had the script in their fucking hands. How can you be that lost, with the script IN your hands.
“I can’t help you. I can’t direct you, if you don’t read. Reading is Fundamental.”
These moments continued to happen, not only in rehearsals, but in classes.
You can’t fail an easy pop quiz on a chapter, if you read the chapter. This professor made quizzes BEYOND easy, as long as you read, skimmed really, you were good. Key phrases and chapter title alone would get you a C, most days.
Inevitably, someone wouldn’t read, would fail, and he would pass the papers back while explaining that “reading was fundamental.”
Because what good is he gonna do if you don’t read the source material? Can we discuss a play if you haven’t read it? Can he direct your lines, if you haven’t learned them?
As a writer, I believe this too. I can’t tell you how many times I have received DM’s from people who want to “ask me” about things I wrote on the blog…who didn’t even read the blog they are trying to ask me about.
“But how do you do __” like I didn’t make the last half of my blog all about how to do this thing. With step by step instructions, often times with pictures.
It’s disrespectful, in my mind, to waste everyone’s time. You don’t read the book and yet you want to contribute to a conversation on the book? Shut the FUCK up and read.
You think you deserve to prance on stage in some cute costume, when you can’t be bothered to learn the lines that need to be delivered on stage? FUCK YOU go read your script and learn your character.
I can’t stand people who don’t read and dare pop off nonsense. I just think it is trashy, tacky, and frankly absurdly fucking disgusting to enter into conversations about written material, and never read said material.
People who read headlines, but don’t bother to read the article, are just as bad, reading a headline and then popping off, running their mouths and making CHOICES without the information needed to do so.
I can’t stand these people. You can be too lazy to read. You can chose to not read, hell, maybe our broken system left you unable to read…That’s fine. But don’t fucking pipe up and speak on things you haven’t bothered to learn about.
Shut the fuck up and go read something.
I know I normally tend to sugar coat my harsher points but not on this one. Hell, on the blog i try to limit my “F bombs” to under five a post. But not with this topic.
Fucking grow up, and read.
Reading is absolutely fundamental, and if you can’t be bothered to read, I can’t be bothered with you.
Stop being so willfully ignorant, stop looking stupid, stop making every effort to be as dumb as possible, and make a damn effort to be better. If you can’t read, I do feel bad for you, and I will gladly do whatever I can to help…for example…I no longer write at a level that is “unattainable” or difficult to read. I may write a bunch, more words than most, and long winded to boot, but I try to keep my writing at a level that most junior high students could understand…although I do talk about weed and curse like a fucking sailor, so…iuno if 7th graders SHOULD read my stuff, but I know they COULD. Even with the more complicated parts of my fantasy and lore, I keep the reading level at a lower level. If Young Adult books have taught us anything it’s that incredibly complicated ideas can be presented in a plain enough way to be palatable by most readers. I am into that.
You don’t have to read my writing, either, that isn’t the point of this blog. No, I am merely saying you don’t get to ask me questions and pretend you read my material, when it is obvious you didn’t.
Either READ and BE a reader, or don’t, but stop pretending you are a reader when you are merely a read talker…someone who likes to lie and say they read, so they can talk even more.
If you aren’t reading, your words are probably stupid anyways, so stop wasting the time of those of us who are committed to reading, committed to directing, writing, teaching, whatever…stay out of our way.
What can you do, while you are busy staying out of our way?
I would suggest reading.
Reading is fundamental.
Thanks for reading.