Not like a girl. God knows. Please. But I startle very easily, and when someone or something startles me I jump and make a sound. And that sound, I suppose, is my version of a scream.
I don’t like to scream, but I feel better afterward. So, in a dark way, I do think screams are necessary. Healthy? Maybe. Yeah, of course they’re healthy. And that’s my excuse for wanting to make other people scream.
It’s an act of charity, to improve their health and make them feel better.
If they’re not expecting it, I feel guilty later. About two seconds later. But if they are expecting it, then it’s okay. I suppose it’s my way of playing god (small g). God (big G) makes us scream all the time. But I don’t want to be seen playing God (big G), and so I like to play god (small g) behind curtains.
Which is why I’m a playwright.
Which is one of the reasons I wrote my adaptation of The Exorcist.
At the end of the first preview, when I was standing backstage waiting to greet the actors after they took their bows, I could hear the audience screaming. With joy. Shouting. Whistling.
We gave them their share of necessary screaming.
We improved their health. We made them feel better.
We performed an act of charity.