After each performance, audience members raved about what I had written and what they had just witnessed. One remark which always stayed with me came from Nina Metz whose review of my play appeared in the Chicago Tribune Tempo Section. She wrote that the show was rough around the edges, but had plenty of potential. She had some additional comments about my, Madelon's, and Ivan's individual performances. Once again, I was a bit surprised. Ultimately, she was correct, but I also wondered in what ways could I improve the piece since I believed it was already a wonderful play. As award winning journalist, author, actor, Jenniffer Weigel said once, "Israel has the ability to blind me with tears from ripping my heart out with a heart wrenching moment then make my sides hurt from laughing so much to the point I'm crying all in the same scene."
It has been several years since that initial run of performances. Madelon and I have performed slightly different versions at schools and conferences. I have gone to organizations and performed a one man version as well. All the while I was finding ways to tell certain stories I was not ready to include in that first run. As the years pass, I have become more comfortable with wanting to share other aspects of my being. I have also found other ways to tell stories as a writer. A month ago, I sat down and rewrote my autobiographical piece. I feel that it is now more moving than before. In some cases, a slight shift in a scene made a world of difference. In other cases, a complete rewriting of the scene or of the characters was my best option. I sent it off to a very trusted friend, director, actor for her feedback and I anxiously await her feedback. I hope that this latest draft captivates her as previous drafts have and together she and I can move forward to bring my world back to life for audiences. Each time I have sent this or other scripts to friends I get nervous in anticipation for their feedback. I know I will always get replies which point out the positives and negatives on which I can build or choose to change. It does not matter how many times I send out my scripts, the anxiety remains just as intense.