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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Stuck on "act one..."

I'm staring off at the wood grain of my desk, with droopy eyelids, even my cats are sleepier than I am.

I'm stuck in the twilight zone of "act two," for lack of better terminology. I find the classic act structure rather confining, but it's an easy way to refer to sections of a script. I've had the first part of the three sisters-porn star dad idea pretty much ready to go for a while now. I just don't know where to take it. I'm attempting some exercises I learned while consuming as many playwriting classes as I could take while in college with the amazing Suzan Zeder: make up as many possible endings as you can, and make them as wild as you can make them. Or even better: write the area like you were another playwright. I find this one really frees up some choices. I did one at the time as Irene Maria Fornes and I did not recognize myself in what came out. Try it, you writers out there, if you have not already. It's really a great liberating exercise.

Making choices when writing is a mini death. Some things survive, others must be buried. But choosing what is executed and what remains alive is very stressful. The "what ifs" are almost constant. A director's power is in the decisions they make, I would say about 98% of the time (the other 2% is luck or lack there-of.) When one is writing what they will end up directing, there is the added pressure of making sure you are choosing the right thing. But how do you know? When you are behind the nimble keypad, while the rest of the world is asleep, and you are the only one pushing yourself forward, ignoring your internal clock, where do you go? At the end of the day (or night), what tidy little inn will you find yourself in, tucked away, trying to sleep, while the muse complains constantly about the poor executed creative nymphs she has dumped on your plate? One's stomach is only so big.

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