Specifically, I wrote it for a group of six local high school girls who needed an all-female, 15-minute play to present at high school speech contests in the "Ensemble Acting" category.
It was a hoot to write, I had a blast. I gave it to them, they liked it. I've seen them rehearse it once. Although they told me it wasn't even close to the best they'd ever performed it, I was still very pleased with what I saw. It's a good play. They're good actors.
Last weekend they performed it at district speech contests and received the highest rating. They texted me immediately when they got the results. I was so happy for them and so proud of them. And proud of my play, too. I'm considering a rewrite, considering sending it to publishers. Or maybe I'll just let it be. Something that will always just belong to me and to them, no one else. Whatever, I'll decide later.
This weekend they will perform it at the state level. I am keeping my fingers crossed that they do their very best, and I am hopeful they will once again receive the highest rating and achieve elite status.
Today, sitting outside my apartment door, there was a gift bag with a pretty bow. I assumed it was something for my wife -- she is a teacher and a school theatre director and is involved mightily in church and other civic organizations. Plus she has many friends. More than I do. She's a nicer person than I am. So she sometimes receives little "thank-you" gifts and other such things from people.
Much to my surprise, it was for me. Inside were a sack of potatoes, some guacamole dip, and a couple bottles of Diet Coke. Don't ask -- they are all items that have something to do with the play "Sleeper Cell." Fun inside jokes, so to speak.
The whole thing made me laugh. A good, good laugh. The kind of laugh that reminds you how you used to laugh when you were a teenage kid, hanging out with your buddies. You know that laugh, right?
All the girls signed the card -- both with their own names and as the characters -- and there was a little note thanking me for writing the play and for letting them perform it.
Some things are better than royalties.
Nothing against royalties -- I like royalties very much.
But some things are better.