Saturday, 14 January 2012

The Three Rs: Reading, Writing, Re-casting


Half-way through January already and what have I been up to? Well, apart from dealing with an eye infection that’s left me feeling a little down/annoyed, I have been enjoying a slow, relaxing entry into 2012. My day job is just warming up for the year and I’ve had very few commitments, outside of working on my own projects – as well as actually finding time to read (!), which is helpful since I got a few books for Christmas.

Reading note: I’ve been dividing my time between  The Academy Awards: The Complete Unofficial History, which is fun for a movie buff but even more for an old-school Hollywood lover; Look, I Made a Hat, Stephen Sondheim’s second volume discussing lyrics of all his shows (and ephemera); and Stephen King’s 11/22/63 – the first King novel I’ve read since his Dark Tower series finished in 2004!

Theatre season seems to be starting up again this week, so I’ll have less time for reading (see you next Christmas, books!) but am determined to not get too snowed under this year. As thrilling as it is to have three shows on in such quick succession, it’s comforting to know my writing on each is basically done; I’m still expecting to do some trims for my Short & Sweet Sydney show, for example.

And speaking of Short & Sweet Sydney, in some dramatic last minute news, the original actor has been forced to withdraw due to illness – stepping aside early enough for her to be re-cast. You know what the tricky thing about writing monologues is? If the one actor pulls out, it’s a tough ask to recast – and there’s less incentive to because it’s not like there are other actors in the cast who have already worked their arses off.

Luckily, my director has already found a suitable replacement. Introducing, Erin McMullen. 

Erin McMullen stars in Like a House on Fire
at Short & Sweet Sydney Top 100, 2012
I’m excited to see what can happen in less-than-two weeks.

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Writing has slowed due to previously mentioned eye infection – hard to focus on anything except the television! Ah, so like a writer finding excuses for procrastinating. But I did get a lot of writing done between Christmas and New Year.

I’m re-writing a play of mine from a couple of years ago, The Twelfth of Never. I have a director interested in discussing it; he loves the first act and has issues with act two. And there I agree with him – act two has always needed work. I just never found a way to make it quite work. I had a lot of things to say but it never felt dramatic enough; I had the characters say all I wanted them to say, but it didn’t seem to serve their stories. Not exactly. I think I finally found the solution, which has tightened up the second half – and turned the show from a two-act into a single act 75-80 minute show.

I’ve got the first draft of another full-length play, which is an adaptation of a short story I wrote years and years ago. The short story is titled A Subtle Rescue but I think the play will be called something else. I’m not sure what it will be called, but I like the process of adapting my own prose to the stage. The story was intensely visual to begin with and some of the mechanics of telling the story had to be changed, since we’re no longer in the characters heads. Well, technically we are still in their heads – since the story is about a couple invading each other’s memories to investigate where their relationship went wrong. I think it will look amazing on stage, but I think this first draft needs to be fleshed out a little because it suffers a little in the translation; the audience is at the moment being fed the story without really getting to know the characters.

I’m also in the very early stages of planning a cabaret piece or two, which is a new medium for me. I dunno, I write one song (well, two) for On Time and now I think I can write a cabaret show. Hahahahaha! Regardless, that’s going to be my challenge this year. I’m even thinking about directing one of the pieces, which will be another challenge. But I’m certain I can meet them both and will – head on.

I’m feeling much better now; focused on the year ahead. Things are falling into place and now that my eye has cleared up, I’m in a much better place to look down the road.

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Tickets on sale now:


Painting with Words and Fire (February 15 to February 25)


BOOK NOW! AVOID MY DISAPPOINTMENT!

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