Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Mammalian Stuff aka the Theater company

Next week we begin rehearsals for Clay Continent. I am excited. There have been some changes back and forth about who's in the show in which role (ironic for a show about phuk'd up identity). But, I will be back in the rehearsal room next week, in a show I'm producing...it has been a while. And even though, there are somethings that you never forget like in bike riding...I'm still nervous, still anxious? Am I out of practice as a producer? What mistakes will I make,etc,etc...

The only course though is to sally forth and forgive oneself when accidents happen. Still, I am very happy to be back in the thick of it, very happy to be directing my own work once again after a 3 year hiatus.

Nostalgia for Heterosexual intercourse. Does the evolution of the race include monogamists?

Ape and Essence
Dr Futurity

I have begun reacquainting myself with all the science fiction that I used to read as a child, especially works that are included in the genre of dystopian literature. The first two books I've completed are Dr. Futurity by Philip K Dick and Ape and Essence by Aldous Huxley.

PKD's relevance to the Sci Fi genre is well documented. Whereas, his validity as a writer of science fiction is unchallenged, perhaps he, like so many science fiction writers, hasn't yet secured a spot in the pantheon within the Western Canon. Dr. Futurity is a prime example of a compelling, entertaining work of science fiction that most English majors wouldn't dare to leave on their bookshelf.

Mr. Huxley's position in the western canon is more secure, even if science fiction is not as welcome as other genres. Huxley's Brave New World along with Orwell's 1984 were quintessential reads in most grade and middle school. Even among those who haven't read the works, most are familiar with the stories or at the very least recognize the notion of "Big Brother" or being a "Alpha" versus a "Beta". Fewer readers are familiar with Ape and Essence, an extremely interesting and entertaining piece of speculative fiction that I encourage anyone to pick up post haste, especially those of us who fancy ourselves scriptwriters or screenwriters.

Like many dystopian novels, both of these novels involve society and technology impinging upon on the individual. Something that took me off guard though was that both books focus on the procreation of the species and how that need affects negatively those who are interested in plain old vanilla heterosexual sex.

In Dr Futurity, there is a embryo farm that is set up that releases an embryo for development upon the death of an individual within the society, thereby keeping the population balanced. Any other form of impregnation is illegal and supposedly impossible due the fact that all male children are sterilized in their infancy. Sex is still engaged in as a recreational activity, but if fertilization is a possibility than sex is illegal. Only an underground tribe still carries on physical fertilization, and need desperately to save the life of one the only fertile males in their group.

In Ape and Essence, we see a post apocalyptic future where the society is one of devil-worship and that sex as recreation or procreation is only allowed during a certain time of the year in orgy rituals where males and females partner as many times as possible with as many partners as possible in order to procreate and glorify Belial. Sex at any other time is punishable, and monogamists are viewed as perverts called "Hauts" that are often put to death or exile. All the female inhabitants wear robed with the letters "NO" stitched over their erogenous zones.

Both stories involve notions of purity and that having much to do with why the societies impose upon their population's sexuality as they do.

In Dr. Futurity, usually once someone is injured, they will elect euthanasia so as to allow a new embryo to be released, believing that since they are injured, ill, or damaged that the new embryonic life will be less of drain on their society than they will (I guess that solves the need for universal healthcare...wink...damaged patriot...take yourself out of the equation).

In Ape and Essence, the post apocalyptic radiation has so mutated the gene pool, that the society uses the demonic ritualized reproduction to keep surveillance on and thereby euthanize babies that are too deformed. The infants are killed on the eve of the next year;s ritual and their mothers are ostracized from further reproduction. Ritualized seasonal sex makes it much easier for those in authority to control and monitor the pregnancies.

I found it sort of fascinating that the crisis in both these stories had to do with the illegality of the heterosexual reproductive act. In my own, possibly misguided way, I always thought of dystopian literature as predominantly...liberal. But here are two works by two major championed authors of the previous century that could be arguably be calls for the conservative. Anybody out there familiar with this works, or have ideas or thoughts to share...?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Lesson - Why Don't You Dance

This is a new thing I'm trying with the blog. I want to acquire more knowledge or at the very least hard felt opinion on various artistic expression since that seems to be what I will be continue to devote an extensive amount of my living wakening life to. To that end, I am cataloging my thoughts, observations, what not about pieces I read, hear, or see that stir thought in me about what I do, about how I conduct myself in the various artistic pursuits I attempt.

Lesson - Raymond Carver's Why Don't You Dance

In this short story Carver introduces an absurd situation, a man has set up and entire bedroom furniture set on his front lawn with extension cords to power the set up. The absurdity of the situation is introduced and never fully explained, the focus of the story is how two young people react to this situation.

The lesson here is that absurd situations don't always have to be justified by the author. In some instances it is enough to introduce the absurdity and allow the audience to witness the characters' reaction to it.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ok, I'll bite...but with a question?

Why do we do it then?

There has been some chatter out there about artists and money and funding and what not. How I feel about these issues usually depends upon how much I currently have in my bank account (from a dayjob thank you), which side of the bed I get up from, and how I perceive the people currently mentioning that they don't get enough money for what they do as artists.

I have no answers, but at the same time I sort of retch a bit psychically every time I hear someone speak about how things have to change but don't have any concrete answers as to why or how...other than I "deserve" it.

What we do as artists is hard...all artists...theater artists are the ones I think of most because well...isn't it obvious. So why....why do "they" put so little weight on what we do?

I'm not talking about artists who stand up for their value and then either get something closer to their value or stop "working" as artists...I'm talking about the non-theater maker.

Why do they continue to perceive what theater artists do as play(s) even if they can see how much blood, sweat, and tears goes into it?

How have "they" formed their perceptions. Why is it that when you go to job interview for a 40 hour a week desk jockey, you are told to downplay the theatre thing?

How is it that theatre is "work" rather a addictive hobby avocation that only a select few are able to turn into anything resembling money making?

A friend of mine was coming to be part of a production (this is fairly recent) his "work" told him that after nearly a decade of his 9-5 job, he was going to be on the road 50-75% of the time starting almost immediately.

When he mentioned that he was given no notice, and that he had committed to a non work project (aka a show), his boss looked at him like he was retarded. The idea that someone would suggest that one's hobby should take any priority over "work" was ludicrous, and to be blunt obviously and not worth talking about.

I propose that the majority of those who work "day jobs" look at theatre even LORT stuff as a glorified hobby, an extra-curricular addiction.

I don't, but I think "they" do. If you agree with me about "them"...can you tell me why?

I do want responses, but please no mention of the "netflix"

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

FavoriteThing(s)ThisWeek

I am in love with the novel Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis


Here is an interview. Here is a chapter.
Here's the cover


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Write Club Hopper Nighthawk

So, here is the short play I wrote for Hopper Project using Nighthawks...any comments welcomed...



Ed the Man
Jo the Woman
Tom, a slightly drunk Stranger
A Waiter

(She is sitting by herself. A Stranger enters from the side and sits at the counter diagonal from her. He is looking at her. Checking her out. She is looking straight ahead passively attempting to avoid a conversation. He looks long and hard, long enough she finally gives him a quick neutral nod. He starts in)

S - Late

W - Hmmm?

S - It sure is late.

(She smiles politely. He takes out a cigarette, he can't find his lighter. Makes a show of searching through all his pockets, hoping she'll offer him a match. We see he has a little drunk on, not slurring his speech quite yet, but a sip of cough sryup might be all it would take and he could slide into slop.)

S- You wouldn't have a light?

(She shakes her head no)

S -Do you smoke?

W – (A bit stern) No.

(Stranger looks at the Waiter, waiter shrugs)

S - I never seen you here before.

(She lets out a deep sigh. Outside we see her one time beau ED walking along the far side of the street watching. He crosses the street and stabds at JO’s back behind the glass, looking at them watching, waiting...he is aware of them, they are not aware of him. He watches the gentleman watching her.)

S - You been here before?

W - Yeah

S - Is that true? I would have seen you then. I'd know you. I'm here all the time. I'm a regular. (to the waiter) Aint that right? (Waiter nods) So when was it you were supposed to have been here?

W - I'm not usually here this late

S - Now that...that makes sense. Nobody is ever here this late it seems. But, you...probably have lunch here all the time I bet. Is that right? A lunchtime regular? (beat) You probably have got the lunch menu memorized I'll bet. Well, they serve stuff completely different this late you know. They have a much smaller menu this late. Meager. (to the Waiter) Hey buddy? You give her a menu?

W - I'm not hungry

S - Come on now, it's on me.

W - No thank you.

S - At least let a gentleman, buy you a cup of coffee.

(She points to a nickel on the counter.)

S - Nah, nah, nah...put your mickel always. (stops himself) Put your nickel away....that's what I meant to say.

W - Really, no thank you.

(Stranger shrugs not angry but a little dejected.)

S - Well then...well then...I...I....ahhh...you know...it aint a wedding ring...it's just a cup of joe.

(She is about to apologize, but stops herself. She thinks that an apology would probably be taken as an invitation by this guy. And she is probably right. Her Man outside has seen enough and disappears upstage center. Waiter offers to fill her coffee mug. She lets him.)

S - You meeting someone

(She nods)

S - They late?

(She shrugs)

S -Yeah, they're late.

(He waits for a response. She just looks down into her mug.)

S - You know how I know? (beat) I said you know how I know?

W - No

S - I know because you dont look like you're happy

(She shakes her head.)

S - Me, I'm a happy guy. But, I dont think you look too happy.

W - I don't want to talk about it.

S - Sad...sad...sad girl...sad girlie

W – That’s not your business.

S - I got a heart, Alright? I see someone unhappy. I mean, I got a heart.

W - Please...

S - As big as a...

W - Just please stop

S - As big as a bulldozer or a... Bigger than a three ring circus. (He pounds his chest.)

(She looks to the Waiter. He apologizes with his body langauge and goes back to polishing the countertop)

S - Deeper than the deep blue sea. That's me.

W - I'd rather you didn't concern yourself

S - Concern myself

W - I'd rather you didn't

S - Concern myself with you? Alright...alright...look I apologize. I don't want to offend you ok? (beat) Ok?!!!

W - OK

S - Becuase, that aint my way ok?

W - Ok

(pause)

S - I'm not the kind of guy who likes to bother strange women. That aint my modus operandy.

(pause.)

S - But you know, you are a beautiful woman. It is a real waste, you being so down. You got the world on string and you don't even know it I bet.

W - (She has had enough) Look, when my guy gets here. It'd sure make me "happy" if he didnt walk in and see you making eyes at me. Alright?

S - Well excuse me to high hell sister. Don't worry. I don;t make eyes at strange women.

(A moment passes. Her Man comes in through the back door. They all stop and turn to him. He looks at her. Once the Stranger finishes looking he turns back to his cup, Man walks in looking hard at gentleman until he passes behind her and sits next to Her)

S - Be careful buddy. She's waiting for someone

M - (To her) Who is this?

W - I don't know.

M - Well, maybe we could? (he points, indicates leaving)

W - Where are we going to go? (She indicates her wristwatch)

Waiter - (to Man) Coffee?

(Man nods. Gives the Stranger another glance.)

W - Just ignore him.

S - What?

M - What?

S - What? She is waiting for someone...

M - She's waiting for me.

(Stranger lifts his mug to toast)

S - Bully for you. May you make much happiness (He leans and winks at Woman)

Waiter - Tom, why don't you leave em be?

S - "Tom, why don't you leave em be?"

Waiter - Tom?! (Puts his hands on his hips like he means it.)

S - Alright! Alright! (to Man) Buddy, ignore me alright? I'm a little (gestures drunk) I don't mean nothing. (Leans to look at W) Lady, I don’t mean nothing.

Waiter - You're not making it any better

S - Look, I'm buttoning it up. (He pretends to button his lip and gestures for more coffee.)

(pause. Waiter puts coffee in front of the Man. Man leans in a for a moment to take in the aroma.)

W – I see you’re back on the wagon

M – What?

W - The coffee wagon

M – Yeah

W – How many cups have you had today

M – Two

W – Two cups? Including this one?

M – Two pots

W – Ed? They told you that wasn’t any good for your heart

M – You can bust a heart that’s already broken

(She stares at him for a beat, decides that what he said is too corn ball, and plays a little air violin for him. He smiles for a second, and then remembers that he isn’t supposed to be smiling. He closes up and focuses on his coffee. He reaches over and starts pour sugar into his coffee, a lot of sugar. She watches him in an off put manner. He pours in cream up to the rim. He then tastes it carefully drinks down a half inch and pours in more cream. He then pushes the sugar toward her.)

W - I don’t use sugar

M - Oh

W - You know that

M – You right, I knew that.

W - If you know that I don’t use it, why even offer it to me?

M - Are we really going to have an argument about the sugar?!

W - I don’t want to argue at all

M – Me neither

(pause.)

M - Where are you staying

W - At a friend’s

M – Who with?

W - Mary

M - I should have figured

W - What does that mean

M - Nothing. I didn’t mean it the way it came out.

(she touches his arm and gives him a quick eye. She is concerned the waiter could eavesdrop. The Waiter refills her water. He lean goes back to cleaning the far countertop)

M -I miss you (beat, he waits) I miss you (beat, more wait) Can you hear me?

W - I hear you

M – Don’t you miss me?

W – (beat) I think…

(He stiffens, she notices)

W - Let me finish

M - Alright

W - I think so, sometimes.

M - Sometimes (he has a small unsatisfied chuckle in the back of throat. Pause, he tries to make peace with it) Tell me about … sometimes

W - When I see a couple, on the street or the train when I go work.

M - UhHmm

W - When I see them holding hands

(He puts his hand on the counter for her. He wiggles his fingers for her. She hesitates but then she touches her hand to his. He smiles.)

W - What about you?

M -I miss it all the time

W - No, no that's not good enough. You got be more specific

(pause.)

M – You know how when we started out, how I couldn’t stand the cuddling?

W - Ha

(He stares straight ahead frustrated)

W - I'm sorry.

M - Nah

W - I shouldn't have done that. Go ahead.

M - Now that I cant have it...

W - You want it?

(He shrugs)

W – (a little baby talk teasing voice) You want to cuddle?

M - Don't laugh

W - I'm not laughing

M - You are

W - No, this is smiling.

M - I want to...hold you. Alright

W - It is the same thing.

(pause.)

W - How do we manage this? We try and try but…

M – What?

W - We keep coming back to this place, I can’t figure it

M - I started a journal

W – (Surprised) You did?

M - My dad told me that if you have a problem you cant work out, that sometimes writing stuff down helps.

W - What did you write?

M - I thought...I thought that you…

W - What?

M - Preferred the company of others

W - To you?

(He nods)

W - Wait...you thought I was seeing other men?

M – Not that

W - Then what?

M - I thought you were not interested in spending time with me anymore

W - What gave you that idea?

M - You didn't used to need anyone else?

W - I am only with you, I've only ever been with you.

M - I feel like I have to choose between what I do, and who we fraternize with?

W - But Ed? You don't fraternize with anybody?

M - You can't dictate my friendships.

W - You can't dictate mine either

M - But if those friendships come before me?

W - You hate my friends that much?!

M - Not all of them

W - Ok then which one can't you stand? (He looks at her) Mary? That's it. It's Mary, isn't it. I've been friends with her since grade school. You hate her than much?

M - I don't hate her.

W - Yes you do

M - No

W – Who then?

M - Her husband. Him, I hate.

W - Well I don't know what to do about that.

M – Can’t you and she be friends without dragging me into it?

W – What are suppose to share?

M – With who? I want you all for me. I want all of you. If you’re the best thing in my life why would I want to share you

W – No, not share with other people. What are we going to share with each other from here on out? We got to share something. Right now we both want to be with each other. At this moment it feels like it could work because we’re lonely we are sharing that sense of loneliness. But what happens in a few days when we finally wash that loneliness away? Are we back to square one? Fighting, Dirty looks, Slamming doors in each others face.

M – You can’t share with me anymore?

W – I don’t know. I try and it feels like you don’t like I’m sharing

M – I can’t stand hanging out with Mary’s obnoxious husband everytime you two want to catch up, and that’s the point of no return? If we pass that point there is no possible sharing? If I don’t let you force those hypocrites on me, then I’m not willing to share? We use to share. What happened to sharing things that really mattered. We use to stay up all night. You’d pose, I’d paint. We’d talk. We’d make up stories, we’d joke, we’d listen to radio

M – What ever

W – I’m getting too old too tired

M – Don’t say that

W – I am

M – No you’re not

W – Yes I am, and so are you. Look at you.

M – I’m not old. I’m fine

W – You’re exhausted. You’re old. I’ve never seen a man more set in his ways. Look (She puts her finger to his forehead) Wrinkles, stress lines, crows feet

M – I know. Alright? More like crows boots (He points to her face) Well look…that’s something we share.

(She smacks his hand away.)

M – I want you. I want you all to myself. Doesn’t that mean anything? I don’t need anything else…I just want you. Isn’t that enough? Can’t you tell me you want me too?

W – I want you…but I want the world as well.

(beat)

M – I’ll be nice. I’ll try. (pause) Will you come back? Come back with me tonight.

(pause. Quiet…no waiter…no stranger…where did they go?)

W – Alright

M – Will you stay till morning. It’s not enough unless I can hold you till then
W – (hesitate looking at her fingernails) I’ll try

M – That’s it?

W – I’ll try that is all I can say for now?

(pause)

W – Is that enough?

(blackout)


*********************************************

Monday, January 21, 2008

Posters?

Posters?

I am preparing my first production in 3 years. And the thing that I'm least sure of moving forward is how to publicize.

So Posters? How much do they cost. People see them, but have you ever seen a poster for a show you did not already know about and say I got to see that? If yes, why... If yes, how often? The reason I ask is because I wonder if the cost of printing and getting people to put them up...is it worth it? Do people look at posters for theatre and say...I'm going to see that show?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Mythology

Mythology

I always loved mythology. I remember in the third grade, I was looking for books on dinosaurs, specifically picture books. I was drawn to monsters the way many young boys are. How did I pick up that first book of mythology? I think there must have been some creature on its cover. Perseus fighting Medusa. Heracles versus the Hydra. I can't remember the name of the book or the cover image, but I remember flipping through the pages. Each major Greek god had a full page profile accompanied by and description of their domain of power, origin, major event or adventure in the course of their tenure.

There was also mystery too when i was young. There were these long ago beings called the titans. I know that the Grecian gods defeated them, but the whys and hows of it weren't elucidated. It was all very vague, and I could loss entire nights pitting hero against god against titan in my mind. I really began stretching my imagination then.

I found the d'aulerie books on Greek and Norse Mythology. There was a dictionary of world mythology too which I got real lost in.

So why all this talk about mythology? I guess I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to be writing about next, as in what is going to be the next big story.

So, I'm thinking about mythology. What are some of your favorite myths or mythic imagery?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hopper Hopper Hopper

So, yesterday I spoke about some of my personal struggles with continuing to generate content for the Hopper Project. I believe in this project and am a firm supporter of it from it's inception straight through to closing night. But, as we continued our monthly/bimonthly writer's meetings...I voiced at the last one that I though I had written probably the best piece I would for the project. I inquired about others' methods for ideas, etc. But, I did have a confessional moment where I said out loud, I don't know what else I have that is as good as a certain piece I had already presented. Drama Queen Moment? Maybe. That wasn't my goal. i wanted to continue to write things that were meaningful, and I just wasn't certain what direction to take. But, then yesterday as I started combing through the images again I got an idea. There was the one great white whale that not of us had thus far mentioned, Nighthawks at the Diner. It was questionable whether or not Jen even wanted to include this piece in the project (a sort of damned if you do, damned if you don't element to it). Plenty of people of have discussed the work of Leonardo Da Vinci without discussing Mona Lisa, but come on what is the first thing most people thing of when they think LeoDaVinci?

So, I tried to put words in the mouth of those four characters. A Woman and a man seated next to each other, A stranger (my term for the other male customer), and a waiter. Who knows what will happen ultimately. Or better yet When knows (aka time will tell). I think the final ideas are starting to formulate. But, for me personally best of all, I'm excited again about the possibilities of what I might create as a writer on this project.

Anyways, I'll post my script up here later. Maybe tonight or tomorrow. I would like some comment when I do, from every one but specifically anyone involved with the project that might read my blog from time to time.

Write a novel in 2 months

This was on boing boing, here is the original link

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What are your triggers?

What is the trigger? Last night at our Hopper meeting, I mentioned how looking at the studies of some of Hopper's paintings inspired me to re-examine the paintings themselves, that by seeing an image slightly different and then getting to compare the levels of progression or even just the media and color or lack of color used, how these differences helped me to shake loose what was denotative in my interpretation of the final work (I of course didn't phrase my thought half as eloquent last night).

After attempting to state this idea, in the hopes that it might possibly get others to talk about "surprises" that might have occurred to them over the course of writing these Hopper pieces, I immediately felt...apprehension.

I thought I might have discovered a potential engine(s) for ideas. I wanted to discover if there were other ways to observe the paintings aside from the methods I felt we had as a commonality approached.

Jen's initial response was to clarify that she didn't want us to deviate from the paintings that were presented to us as potential subject matter, that using the study or a sketch was acceptable so long as we could reference back to an actual painting among those chosen. She mentioned how if you want to write a play about Hopper's boat paintings, that is not the project we have undertaken. Granted, I agree...but even if the narrative objects we populate our short plays with might not be the subject of those pieces...I wonder still how those objects we are not using yet perhaps still aware of...work on us and possibly trigger out subconscious and then signify the paintings and objects we are literally embracing..i.e. is that sad looking girl barely hitting the piano keys dreaming about a sail boat.

Anyway, I had a very hard time I think articulating my idea which led to hemming and hawing on my part because every one's body language...It seemed that no one was picking up what I was dropping. I was trying to elucidate what I thought might be a interest way to experiment with "ways of seeing" a painting, but when I scanned the faces of the other writers I saw a lot of lost looks and furrowed brows. Suddenly, it was as if I were at a therapy session. And, the only reason I tried to push forward was not to "feel" better about myself, it was that I really think that there is something to be gained by sharing ideas about the nuts and bolts of making art or triggers or engines of creation...and that I was hit with a bit of personal profundity in my discovery. To the credit of my fellow cohorts who are extremely supportive, the awkward wrestling with this notion went on a little longer than it should have probably.

The general consensus I felt last night that the engine for creation for others was to look at the painting, observe its objects and inhabitants and from there derive a narrative. Simplicity. A sound approach to be sure. But are there other possible approaches that could enrich the possibilities of what we can accomplish using the materials available to us?

For example, the nudity (we sure talked up the nudity last night). There are figures of nude women looking out windows in many of the paintings. Now perhaps I can ask myself questions about the images that pertain to what I am immediately seeing...

For instance...Why this women, this room, what lies outside the frame, why those objects (that book, that cloth, etc.), why the light, why the tree or the tenement building in the background, why this angle?, what is in the liminal space of the work that perhaps I am not seeing?

Are there other ways to trigger creativity related to this, that we aren't utilizing? For instance how this nude relates to other nudes in the history of art, if I compare Hopper's women to Ruben's women, or Venus De Milo, or Pin Ups from that time period, etc. how each of them makes me feel, and then use that to imbue, to signify, etc what I'm seeing in the Hopper piece, and make a narrative that utilizes that in conjunction with objects in the Hopper painting...

Or how fragmenting Hopper's imagery might inspire something. For instance, if one blacks out the facial expressions of his characters, does that change your way of seeing that might be useful when writing. By removing color, rotating the image, removing an object, etc. etc. Or focusing on the facial expressions...how does this woman's expression in "Western Motel" compare to the expression of Mona Lisa?

So why all this pondering, second guessing, finger tapping? Well, I confessed to the group last night that I thought that the very best I had in me in regards to Hopper Project had already been written. I doubted whether or not I'd be able to write anything else. And, when you feel like "well regardless of what others think, I feel that piece nails everything I have to say about what these paintings mean to me.", it can be a discouraging feeling especially when the writing portion of the project is still in full swing and with be for another 2 months. So, I wondered out loud about some of my triggers hoping that others might have similar thoughts to share.

Do you dear reader have certain sorts of tricks, triggers, etc that kindle creative that turn the engine that generate words on a page?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Write Club exercise

(Foreground we see Mother seated and being asked questions by an Officer. The in background we see snapshots sometimes aligning but sometimes not quite in line with the narrative recounting of the Mother.)

M -I ran in and he was real sorry.

(Snapshot of a young man seated with his leg propped up on the arm of the couch.)

Right off the bat, before I was able to get a word in edgewise he was jumping up and down and asking why my cell phone was working and apologizing all up and down about it. I asked him what happened, he said that she was jumping around and had gotten herself up on the counter and was about to break her neck jumping off, but he grabbed her, and that when he did he must of hurt her arm cause she couldn’t move it and she was screaming.

(Snapshot. He yells and throws a beer can at the wall.)

That’s why he put her in the car so that we’d be ready to go. He said it was also cause it was too hard on his heart to hear her screaming and since he couldn’t do nothing to stop it, he thought it best to put her in the car,

(Snapshot of the little girl lying on the backseat of car, crying.)

so he could collect his thoughts and then figure out what best to do about her.

O -But she was locked in the car by herself?

M - Yeah, It was February day so there weren’t any heat stroke to worry about.

(Snapshot of car and the cold snow shoveled and plowed up and the icy grey cloud covered sky.)

O - It just seems like a heartless thing to do, to hurt a child and then lock the child away until the birth mother arrived.

M - Well, I thought that too.

(Snapshot of young man and Mother, He is leaning in and touching her a little too suggestively. He is trying to get her to comfort him.)

It was a hard thing to fret over and over, but I convinced myself that it was going to alright. You would have too if you had seen him after she got the cast put on. He knew my mind. He knew I was angry and I was doubting whether he and I could make it after that little broken arm, but he was so sorry.

(He is on his knees, but a looking at Mother somewhat sternly.)

He was on his knees crying and begging me to forgive him and begging me to know he didn’t do nothing for real, didn’t do it with hate in his heart.

O – So he apologized?

M – Yeah. And, not just to me. I told him he could apologize to me and I could forgive him, but I wasn’t the one he hurt. I thought if I made him apologize to her, then he and she might start on the path to being a family. If he could show her a tender part, if he could show her his heart, she might show him hers back and then we’d all embrace and there would be a healing. A deep deep healing. That what I was hoping for. He was hesitating. I don’t know why, he had already just about drained himself dry of tears on account of my forgiveness,

(Snapshot. We see his back, arms folded. Mother touching his shoulder.)

He got this look. I told him it would be alright. I thought maybe he thought she wouldn’t forgive him. So, he went to her a touched her shoulder before we left the emergency room for the car. He got down on one knee like a man about to propose.

(Snapshot. His hand holding a candy bar)

He did it so right so wonderfully, I was suddenly so proud of him, and I knew it was the start of new beginning for him and my little girl. But, when I looked at her there was nothing looking back.

(Snapshot of the little girl’s face.)

She just gave him nothing, not even ice to melt, it was like a doll was looking back, no soul to give him.

(Snapshot of Mother pointing a little girl)

And, I…I…got….so cross with her….(starting to break down a little) I said myself, that she was hardening her little heart, and I wasn’t going to have it. I told her that too.

(Snapshot of the little girl, her face and her arm in cast.)

I actually made her accept his apology. He had broken her little arm, god knows how, this was my own blood and I choose that man over her right there in that emergency room.

M - He only once every after that said anything that put fear in me.

O – When was this?

M – It was the following week. I had come home from church. He didn’t want to go. He said it was going to be too hard to sit there with my daughter and have all those judging eyes on him. He said he didn’t want to put up with no hypocrites and he wasn’t going to have no one looking down on him. I didn’t want to push him. I knew…Well I thought I knew that he was hurting inside and I told him to say home and watch the game. I’d take her to church and then my sister was going to watch my girl.

When I got back her had been drinking, and I mean drinking. He was sitting with the guitar in his lap and he had only 2 strings left on the guitar. He looked up at me and asked where my girl was. I told him. He put the guitar down and we went to bed. After we made love, that’s when he said it.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Library & Synchroncity (Devilvet finds a Western)

Sometimes awesomeness (dude) just falls in your lap while you're cruising the canyons of books looking for a new infatuation.

A couple of years ago, Sergio Leone and then Sam Peckinpah invaded my brain. I have not yet recovered from the excellent high they put me on. Not since falling in love with 50s noir, had I been so smitten as I was by these two auteurs. Suddenly I wanted to make a western... A western for the stage.

Rudolph Wurlitzer's Drop Edge of Yonder. The first ten pages of this book totally trapped me. I could read those first 2 chapters over and over again. They have a mythic sheen that fills me with envy. I want to write like this. These sorts of stories are the kind I want to tell! I wasn;t even looking for this book, but it made its way off the new book shelf and into my hands. I did a little research and found that Wurlitzer also had a serious hand in the screenplay for Peckinpah's Pat Garret and Billy the Kid, which is in my humble opinion

Friday, January 04, 2008

FavoriteThing(s)ThisWeek

I want this book!




http://howdesign.com/monsterspotter/

This Year (a plan to be jettisoned at a future date)

During the first few months of the new year, I will probably be posting a bit differently that I usually do. There will probably be a little less frequency. I need to start beefing up the Mammals Theatre Company's website, chicagomammals.com. Whenever relevant, I will mirror posts and changes to that site here at my home blog.

I will be posting about my experiences as a new network playwright at Chicago Dramatist.

I will post about ideas and images regarding Clay Continent. In the next week or so there will be a pdf version of the most recent working script available here as well as at the Mammals website. Also, lots of photos and tidbits from rehearsal.

This year, unless something really gets my artistic cockles inflamed, I plan to only write about theory on this blog when it relates to the actual work being done by my company, my associates, my friends...I don't plan to get to involved in big theoretical debates about the nature or validity of art and artist that aren't a part of my direct community of collaborators (of course, I didn't plan on it before either).

I plan to be more disciplined about writing everyday, and I hope that will be reflected on this blog (i.e. more prose fiction pieces, poems, text, scripts, etc.) That also includes returning to continue and complete the Seven Snakes prose posts.

I hope to read more and watch TV less. So, there maybe more posts about whatever I am reading on the bus, etc.

I will continue to do the Favorite Thing(s) of The Week (FTTW) posts, and I hope to actually do them more frequently.

So, there it is.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Clay Continent - We need your help!

The Mammals are a non equity theater company looking for an asst director for the upcoming production of Clay Continent. The assistant director will need to participate in both rehearsals and performance dates.

Rehearsal dates are as follows

Tuesdays starting Feb 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th thru March 4th, and 11th

March 17,18,19,24,25,26

Tech week is March 31st, April 1st, @nd

Performance dates are Friday and Saturday nights in April

We have an exciting group of actors involved in the project, and we are looking for intelligent, thoughtful, collaborators...people who can comprehend and respect the artistic direction of the project while contributing their own ideas and opinions during the rehearsal process. Knowledge of sound and/or lighting equipment is a plus. There will be a small stipend given at the end of the production.

If you are interested please email me at fisherbob at hotmail dot com.

If you know of anyone looking to participate in an exciting production with some wonderful people, please forward this onto them.