Wednesday, September 15, 2010

NYCPlaywrights - big turn out

We had a big turn-out at last nights NYCPlaywrights meeting, the first one after our summer hiatus. The turn-out was mainly due to my posting an ad on Playbill.com. I don't know how I managed to find seats for all 50+ people but I did. And for the first time I didn't run the post-reading feedback sessions, I let Bruce Barton do it and he did great. Also Renee Cole, our very own Lady Gaga impersonator, baked a batch of brownies herself for the group.

And most important to me, the first 20 pages of my first draft of the second act of JULIA & BUDDY went very well - of course much of the credit goes to Daniel Genalo and Claire Warden who were brilliant. Daniel's "impersonation" of Schopenhauer for this bit was especially hysterical: "I haff been a bad bad boy, Mistress Ilsa, I haff za desire uff pain." His version was much funnier than what I heard in my head while writing. Ah, the magic of acting.

I was very pleased that the audience thought my "video clip" scene from "The Cassandra Directive" was funny, and I got a much bigger laugh than I expected from Julia's wisecrack:
BUDDY
What did you think of my cowboy outfit? You want to do some role play? I’ll be the cowboy and you can be the Indian...

JULIA
And then what – you give me smallpox and steal my land?

Laughs are important to a romantic comedy of course. I will have to do even more, but at least I have a few already. I'm relieved that the hard part of this play is over - getting the whole thing down on paper. Now the editing begins. I think for once I may have underwritten the first draft - usually I overwrite and then edit the hell out of most of it. That's actually better - it's easier to take stuff out than to put stuff in. That's my motto as a technical writer too.

The "Cassandra Directive" has taken on a life of its own. What started out as a brief parody of a lame-ass low-budget sci-fi rip-off movie not only appears as a video clip in JULIA AND BUDDY, I've started writing another play, about two women, roommates who are acting in a lame-ass low-budget sci-fi rip-off movie called... "The Cassandra Directive." The great thing about this is that the play is practically writing itself - I have the entire basic plot worked out in my head and it's like taking dictation. They should all be this easy.

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