My first real job after graduating from college was working as an actress. I spent about five years performing in plays, shooting commercials, and acting in probably the worst episode ever made of America’s Most Wanted. I learned the ins and outs of union affiliation, auditioned for all kinds of roles, and developed a very thick skin. I gave up acting for a number of reasons (such as lack of talent and weariness of rejection), but I never stopped reading plays, attending productions, and discovering new playwrights. I strongly believe that there’s a lot novelists can learn from theater, in particular, what makes great dialogue.
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