Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Stage, Page, and ... uh, Screen.

June 18, 2010. I am enjoying being back on stage immensely. It has been way, way too long. (Not counting the play we did in NYC last October. Or the Nichols and May scene Rachel and I did two weeks ago at the Cabernet Cabaret. But still.) This play is a comedy, The Complete History of America (abridged), and it is extremely fast-paced, delirious, and athletic. And it’s really freaking funny. The cast is wonderful, the director a joy, and the rehearsals are, um, sweaty and six-hour. (Gym, I am coming back to you one day. Though it looks like it may be August.) Acting was such a huge part of my life for so long, I’m a little angry at myself for stepping away. Granted, if I had to choose between writing for the stage and treading on it I would certainly write, but thankfully nobody’s making me choose.

Speaking of writing, I am now deep into a revision of my newest full-length play, Wake-Walking. I feel more comfortable with it every day. These are characters I have lived very close to since the beginning of the year, and the process of watching them develop and change – sometimes even switch places – has been edifying. My structural focus this draft has been on clarifying what is happening, how it is happening, and why it is happening, trying my best to clean up and/or eliminate the momentum-killing spots I found so charming in the earlier draft. My essential focus for this draft – in the sense of essence, not necessity – has been to make the show as entertaining and meaningful for the audience as possible. In the upcoming Fly-By-Night Theatre production, I know who is playing “Marianne.” I know who is playing “Tom.” I know their strengths and styles, and I also know I can simply let go of that information and let the characters be. And … the play is so much better now. To write is to revise, and you better love it.

The screening for our team’s 48-Hour film, “The Hickory Switch,” was last night. I was unable to attend because time no longer belongs to me. I hear, however, that it went over really well. So my fingers remain crossed, as they have been for a week now. Here’s a shot someone surreptitiously took of me entering the 48-Hour kickoff:

I look like a bookish gunslinger, or perhaps the recently deceased. So it goes.

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