I wrote a story for The Story Collider Magazine! It was a conscious choice for us, the producers and editors, to not write our own stories there very often (the same way we rarely tell our own stories on the stage), but the #IAmScience issue was crying out for each of ours to be there.
I’ve performed this story on stage in a few places, and it’s a little disconcerting to see it written down. My approach to script writing is to write something that is never, ever supposed to be read — even by me, I throw it away after writing and then write it again as an outline. I think it worked in the end, but the process of translating it to the page is a reminder of how different essays and stage stories are, and how much I rely on timing and expressions to carry a point.
That said, the line that worked best as a joke on stage, “I don’t know what most people do when they get depressed, but I read Carl Sagan essays.” was also the line that people were quoting on Twitter and in e-mails to me. (Although, on stage it’s, “I don’t know what *you* do…”)
Mostly, I’m delighted about the illustrations by Zachary Garrett. They were developed for a staged reading at Drawn Out Storytelling, and are absolutely brilliant. Hopefully they’ll have a recording of that performance up soon, to really illustrate the difference between stage and essay.