Just a quick note today, an addendum if you will.
I posted previously about getting ideas from your kids. Well, from anywhere. But kids come up with some... interesting things.
This being summer, and me being an at-home mama, I've been dealing with the kids being home. It really hasn't been a big deal (7 more weeks, just 7 more weeks). I've found it's reallllly helpful to give them projects. Me being me, at least half of these are writing projects.
Okay, so this is partly selfish (partly). I have little to no time to write while they're home, so... desperation leads to some imaginative solutions. But it's all good. I mean, they have fun. Right, kids? You're having fun? Damn right you are.
So far, they've done two book reports, sonnets, haikus, a parody song, and an opera. That's right; an opera. What 9 and 7 year olds don't love to write those?
Next up is a play. Right in my wheelhouse! However, the challenge here lies in my being able to BACK OFF (but for gentle "encouragement"- okay, bribery) and let them do it themselves.
Should be pretty interesting when all's said and done. The opera was about Santa Claus and the Good Little Chicken. Of course. And as for the play... well. Their assignment today was simply to brainstorm ideas for what the play could be about. Here's the list they came up with:
"Unicorns, Monopoly, Halloween, Crackers, Books, Pencils, Movies, Zombies, Santa Claus, Zombie Mario, Zombie Santa, Zombie Fridge, Giants, Flying Books, Robot Unicorns, Ninja Unicorns, Ninja Kitties, Giant Elephants, Ninja Ketchup".
Clearly, what we have here is a classic in the making. Will most definitely have to follow up with another post for this one.
We're moving along!
In my last entry on the subject of workshops, I mentioned how hard it is to wait on other people. Well, the other day I stopped waiting! For a brief time! Now I get to wait again!
The plays (2) I submitted have been distributed to the board of the theatre. They will review them before the next meeting. In the meantime, they requested a more formalized proposal from me. Then, after the next meeting, which is scheduled for the second week in July, they will let me know how things will proceed.
This is awesome. It's not a, "YES! Let's do this thing!" sort of response, but I'm not asking for that. I just want some details on when I can expect to hear something else. That way I'm not on tenterhooks, wondering what the hold-up can possibly be.
As to the formalized proposal, which I worked up and sent, that was a bit tricky. It was requested that I send the following details:
-extent of involvement from the theatre (organizing, participation, etc)
-what type of guidelines/rules I request
-what I am planning to achieve.
Erm. Well. What I am planning to achieve was pretty easy. I mean- I want to get my play workshopped. Pretty obvious, right? I mean, is that really necessary to put down? To extend that goal: I suppose I might want to get feedback on my play so I can revise and make it better, to have a workshop performance so I can see how it works onstage, eventually get it on the docket for an actual performance, then submit it for publishing and get it accepted, have it performed all over the place, make millions of dollars as playwrights do, and TAKE OVER THE WORLD.
But I'll settle for feedback first. Gotta start somewhere, right?
Extent of involvement from the theatre. Again, well. How much involvement does the theatre care to do? I'm not a mind reader. I'm not even involved with the theater as much as I'd like to be, how do I know how much they'd like to be involved with me? What I'd really like is for them to organize the whole thing so I can sit back and not have to worry about it, but I somehow doubt that's gonna fly. So I went ahead and said I'd take point on pretty much everything so they wouldn't have to do too much. After all, it's my play, my dream, etc. Guess I should probably do at least some of the work toward that, huh?
Guidelines/rules: No drinking. No drugs. No getting naked.
Seriously, I did put that in the proposal. Although I apologized for the last; after all, everyone has a different way of working. But also seriously, what other guidelines was I supposed to put?? Other than the above, I'm quite stumped.
So now I again sit back and wait to hear. But at least this time I've got a time frame. That's seriously fantastic, now I can just sit back and chill.
And stare at the calendar. Come on, second week in July... come on...
*Disclaimer: the Albright is what I consider my home theatre, and I personally know several people in the cast.
Sunday afternoon, I went to see Mauritius at the Albright Theatre in Batavia, IL. And my first question is: where was everybody? Seriously, there were like ten people in the audience! Get your butts out to sit in these seats, people!
Actually, that's my only question. Okay, on with the show. Review.
This was a decently long show, and there were only five people in the cast. That sort of thing always impresses me right off the bat. Maybe I'm easily impressed, I don't know.
The play, written by Teresa Rebeck, is about two sisters whose mother has recently passed. Among her things is a book of stamps, which may or may not be valuable. Both sisters have different ideas for what should be done with them. They tussle both verbally and physically, go behind each other's backs, and finally come to a resolution, but not before the situation has snowballed juuuuuust a little.
I'd like to single out a great performance- but I can't. Everyone was wonderful, really and truly! Shelly Rolf and Tiffany Jasinski as the sisters deliver, and make believable siblings. Richard Holloman as a less-than-trustworthy ally to one of the sisters, is energetic and sly(ish). Jeff Pripuisch as a sort of mobster philatelist (yes, really) brings intensity. And Jon Witt as a stamp expert is at turns hesitant and shrewd (and his line delivery I thought a particular treat). Every character is hiding something at some point or another, and every actor did a great job of showing this when necessary.
Only thing I had an issue with- and this is just me- was the length of some of the speeches. It always impresses me no end when someone can memorize so much, and then deliver a long speech expertly, and this was by no means lacking. But after someone talks for so long- I zone out. Can't help it. Then I blink and come back and realize I did it, and then I feel horribly guilty. Perhaps I should see the play again to see what I missed!
Anyway, the direction was well done; the sets were sparse but effective. In fact, I would see this again if I had the money and time, but I honestly don't. So other people, yes, all you out there: go. It's worth it.
Caveat: there's a bit of language. Just a bit. ...Ok, a lot. Wish I'd known that before bringing my 86 year old Grandma, but I could have checked ahead of time, so again, my bad.
Besides, Grandma loved it anyway. Even with that nap she took during the first act.
A Playwright's Diary: Waiting to Workshop
Any writer is going to deal with the unbearable excruciation that is "waiting for other people" at some point or another. Fortunately, writers being largely solitary folk, this doesn't happen too much. But when it does...hoo boy.
I submitted two plays to my home theatre for consideration for workshop. It takes a lot of courage to do that in the first place. Of course, I've gone through the process before, with the same theatre. Great people, extremely supportive. Even so. These are my brain children I'm offering up, and doing so makes all the little needlers of insecurity rise up. What they don't like my plays? What if they think they're crap? What if they print out 5,000 copies, purely for the pleasure of holding a bonfire, no, a Bacchanal of exultation, as they stomp on the ashes that were once my dreams?
I mean, you know. It could happen.
However likely or unlikely any of the above scenarios, the fact remains that I submitted these plays at the beginning of March. It is currently mid-June. Now, I'm a patient person. I'm understanding. Things happen. I know for a fact that a few things have gone down at the theatre recently that have taken precedence. So.
But I don't know everything. 3 1/2 months seems just a bit of a long time to wait to hear. I hate to bug; God, I hate to bug. There's a reason why I'm not in sales. So it took some doing for me to enquire recently; upon which I was told it would be handed out to the board members and that's where we're at. Okay, great; and again, but. Could I, just maybe, perhaps, get a clue as to when I might possibly hear something next?
Is this too much to ask? I just, I'm itching to do some workshopping again, it was so much fun last time. That and with a newish baby, I haven't gotten to be involved in theatre stuff for a while, so this is a way I can keep up with that. It's easy to be patient, and so hard to keep being patient.
Writing helps. I've been able to not think about this by concentrating on new projects. But...
...I've already written two more plays. How many more am I going to write in the meantime? It could reach the point of ridiculousness.
So those are the thoughts running through my head. When things do finally start going, I'll post, and that with this will make a nice little playwright's diary on the process.
Hopefully that will be soon. Ish.
For all the big load of good it does.
I knew this would happen. Knew it, knew it, knew it. How many times have I started a blog and haven't kept up with it as well as I'd like? Huh? How many?
...Three. And one of those times I came back and reworked it into something I did keep up with ..So, okay, it doesn't sound like that many. But it sure feels like a lot.
Well, at least with this blog I wasn't too worried about keeping up with it too fastidiously* anyway. At least, that's what I keep telling myself. And then I feel like a jerk when that is, in fact, exactly what I do. Which I knew all along.
Well; it's summer. So I'd best let it go. Nine weeks until the kids are back in school, and until then there's not a whole lot of opportunity to write, which is what I'm most interested in blogging about. I enjoy doing the mom thing too, don't get me wrong; after all,I knew what I was getting into (well, after the first couple I kind of caught on).
And we are keeping busy. Everyone has things to do. I make up fabulous schedules for home school, different subjects on each day. Example as follows:
Word of the Day
Music: piano lessons, Late Romantic Era overview, opera assignment
Religion/Philosophy: Buddhism overview
Yes, that did say opera assignment. Kids and I are going to write our own opera. Got to get the writing in there somehow!
So as you can see, it's my job to overextend myself and dump a crapload of knowledge on them, and it's their job to resist tooth and nail.
*"Fastidiously" is a high-falutin' word for "anal", kids. What's "anal" mean? Go ask your parents.
Oh, my gosh. What a gorgeous day.
Just had to share. Now I'm going to hang up the post and go enjoy it.
On a day like today, all things are possible. On a day like today, you can be anything, you can DO anything.
But if you don't, that's cool too. Life is amazing and wonderful. Sometimes it's worth taking a minute to look around and appreciate it all. Or a few minutes. Or an afternoon.
So if you want me, I'll be lying out on the grass watching the clouds go by.
Writer, dancer, actress, mother, me.