The Happies, the pilot presentation I'm starring in, had a pot-luck meet and greet Friday night. I met the writers, a few other crew members, the girl my character is based on (super hip. I want her to dress me!) and we all sat around and did a reading of the entire full pilot. There were chills, there were thrills, there were plenty of laughs, and at the end, the writers asked everyone what we thought.
A writer's script is his baby. It is well thought out, it is labored over, and to have someone say, "hey! we welcome critiques!" is an invitation by the writer to hear comments from everyone else and then argue that everyone is a stupidhead and no one understands their creative genius which they defend and defend and everyone in the room is dreading having to work on the project.
This was not the case! I threw out a couple questions, a few suggestions, and the writers were very warm and receptive. I had to go home as I still needed to finish packing for my weekend camping trip, but I could not stop thinking about the project.
After going to bed around 1:30, I woke up at 5:45 unable to sleep. After an hour at failing to convince myself that sleep really is a good and wonderful and needed thing, I got up.
I wrote for an hour, with specific examples and questions and suggestions regarding the characters and plot points in the script. I had 8 very Looooong points, bookending them with how excited I am about this project.
The writer replies not too much later, extremely excited about my feedback. He said he had been worried about me, as he couldn't read my reactions in person to the script (when I think really hard, I screw up my face in what has been misread many times as boredom or disapproval). He agreed with a few points, was excited to incorporate a few suggestions I had, and explained to me other things he had going for the season and direction of the series.
This group of people really wants to make it the best possible product it can be, and they see my feedback as a way to help them get it there. I was the one who suggested that the meet and greet be a pot-luck where everyone brought food to feed one another. We ate food made by others, and enjoyed watching others eat the food we made. We were feeding and giving feedback. An unintentional but beautiful metaphor, don't you think?
I was already excited, and now I truly feel valued as a collaborative member of this very special creative group.