You've certainly heard the news by now. The Sovereign Statement, by Bilal Dardai, has been nominated for a 2014 Jeff Award honoring New Work. In other words, some people* on a committee believe that Bilal's work was one of the five best new plays in Chicago between April 2013 and April 2014. Those people are correct.
But this blog is not entitled "Bilal Will Be Famous Soon." Bilal is already kind of famous. He has 1,218 friends on facebook.^ This blog is about me. Me me me me me.
So let's talk about what exactly Bilal did to get nominated for this award.**
First of all, he chose to become a writer, or at least answered his calling. Then, he wrote a bunch of scripts. A bunch of scripts. Then he re-wrote a bunch of scripts. A bunch of scripts. Then, he wrote this script, The Sovereign Statement. Then, he re-wrote this script. Then, he re-wrote this script. He re-wrote this script until he felt he had the right English words in the right English order as to convey the images, thoughts, and questions he wanted his audience to consider.
In the end, the play we performed had 24,894 meticulously-chosen words. And guess what? 341 are my name. And no. My name is not "is" or "the." I'm talking about my last name--Manship--which appears 332 times in the soon-to-be-famous script, alongside 1 use of my first name and 8 uses of a nickname that I'm not at liberty to share on this blog.
That means that my name alone is 1.36% of The Sovereign Statement. Which means that I am 1.36% of a Jeff-nominated script. Which means that I am 1.36% Jeff-nominated.
In case anyone's counting.
Now, am I enough of a pompous asshole to presume that my name's presence had anything to do with the impending continued wild success of Bilal's script? Of course not.^^ I'm just mightily thankful that as Bilal was adding and subtracting words from this little beauty, he never*** edited me out of the thing.
Accordingly, I'd like to give a brief 1.36% nomination-acceptance speech. It goes like this:
"I'd l . .. "
* Mainly in their 70's from what I can tell
^ He does not, however, have any "like"-rs.
** Hint: It has to do with me.
^^ In the first draft I received, with which Bilal was presumably less satisfied than later drafts, my name appeared only 311 times.
*** Never say never.