In honor of National Coming Out Day….I am Officially Coming Out. And not in the traditional sense of the phrase. For today, I am Coming Out…..as a Playwright. The other Coming Out for me happened many, many moons ago. And it did not happen all at once. It was somewhat drawn out in the process. In stages, if you will, during my last year and a half, or so, of college. At first I thought I was bisexual. That thought lasted for a whole hot minute. And for those friends who know me rather well, I will wait for your laughter to subside so I can begin to share about the next stage of my process. (Long Pause.) Ok. It wasn’t until my Junior Year on a trip to New Orleans during Mardi Gras did I realize that yes, indeed, I was gay. It was also around the same time I first saw a man in leather chaps. And while that sight just off Bourbon Street took my breath away- along with it went any and all doubts- I did, in fact, like guys. At that point, even though I could admit to it to myself, I still couldn’t say it. “I date guys” was my standard and approved response. Truth be told- I did more than just date them. Truth be told. But it was all I could muster. It took a little while before I could finally and comfortably say, “I’m gay.” But that day finally came. First to friends, then family.
Ironically, I have found, the same process has applied with me and playwriting. For many years (All through that other coming out process) I identified myself first and foremost as an actor who also wrote. This eventually gave way to me stating I was a “theatre artist.” This, I thought, allowed me to be more ambiguous and not be limited as to who I was or what I did. Sound familiar? I am nothing if but consistent. It wasn’t until recently that I have felt confident enough in myself and my art and my writing to take that even bigger plunge and announce to the world, that I, Rob Rosiello, am indeed an out loud and proud playwright. It is who I am. It is what I do. More importantly, it is what I love. I don’t make a living at it. Not yet. But nothing happens overnight.
I have learned over time to strive for progress, not perfection. A progression, if you will. And in keeping with the spirit of the day, I will go one step further… Not only am I Coming Out as a Playwright…I am Coming Out as a NYC Playwright. A NY based writer of plays. And just as I once clung to the title “Theatre Artist” in the hopes that I would not be limited or confined to just one area of theatre, the same thing applies for me as a NY Playwright. I live in NYC. It is where I work, it is where I write, where I draw my inspiration and where I dream. But not exclusively. I was born in Philly, have lived in Jersey, LA, Philly and Cape Cod. I have also has my plays produced (or at least workshopped) in those cities as well. My two most recent projects, DEAR DEBORAH and HAY DAYS have taken me outside Phiily and Los Angeles, respectively. And with those projects I have been granted the amazing gift of working with some amazingly talented artists and artistic teams. Not afraid to venture outside the confines of NY for my artistic pursuit and finally not afraid to say I am proud to call myself a NY based playwright. And while many would argue the point, I do not spend the majority of my days lounging about in a leather kilt on the beaches of Cape Cod trying to write. Don’t I wish! But like the picture on this blog shows- all of that is part of who I am… The Philly born via Cape Cod gay NY Playwright. There is a whole wide world out there for me to explore. It may sound like I am cheating on NY with the rest of the country. I like to think that I draw from everything and everyone everywhere for inspiration and strength. The only confines that are set- Are the ones I have made. I work very hard every day to try and break through those confines… To be a better person… To be a better artist… To be a better playwright. So again, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Coming Out Day- From a very out loud and proud NYC Playwright.