So I am attempting to dive full force into a few different things right now. The first is my new play, WAKE. I figure that if I write about it here, seeing a bit in black and white will push me to do more work. Here’s what I know so far, there are two main characters are Bridget (no last name right now) and Henry Cavanaugh. Bridget is a rather nomadic woman, since getting her GED at 17 she has been drifting around and living in various parts of the country. Henry Cavanaugh lives in the U.P. (shut it Beth, it is set in Michigan, deal with it) and works on a boat/ship most of the time. He is current estranged from his wife and living in a fishing cabin on a frozen lake. The play starts with Bridget dragging Henry into the cabin. He fell through the ice and she’s pulled him out. They are both soaking wet. Then the rest of the play (my goal is to have it unfold in real time) is the two of them in this cabin. There’s some haunting Irish folklore and the entrance of two other characters (Bridget’s mother and Henry’s wife) that appear as visions or apparitions as part of the stories they tell.
I’m playing around with time jumps, time freezes, monologues (well, read letters) and a few other more unusual structural elements. Oh yeah and because it’s my writing- there’s a big ol’ twist.
Now here’s the truly frightening part (as if writing it isn’t daunting enough) I want to have it done to do readings in the late spring or early summer for a possible (wait for it) Fall production. The real terrifying factor is that a production involves money, which does always seem to complicate everything. I know that there are avenues such as FringeNYC (and I loved my experience there with Look After You) but this play is going to need a stable set and I think it would be served by a run of 3-6 weeks. So I am once again setting my sights much higher than I should if I was a rational, cautious person. It’s strange because I feel that I am pragmatic in my sense of the world, I find a way to get things done and I land on my feet. But when it comes to my career and the concept of future machinations, I am fantastical. I dream big. Huge. And when that gigantic wish comes to fruition, then I always feel a combination of “well, of course it would happen” and “what in the world is going on?!” It’s never boring.
So if you want to know more about the play (or know anyone who feels like helping to fund a show (it never hurts to ask, right?!) then drop me a line.
I had planned to enclose a bit of new dialogue but I’ve chickened out. It’s not ready to be read caveat-free (without me sitting next to you to explain way too much before and after you read it). Instead I am inserting what is one of my favorite parts of my play Look After You. I’ve now had it quoted back to me twice when I’ve been wishy-washy about something. Nice to have your own words haunt you. It’s the character of Paul (delightfully originated by my friend Lowell Byers) talking to Jake who is suffering from a rather crippling case of indecision. I was told that if I found myself to be too covetous of a line, I should probably cut it, but this exchange simply rolled onto the page and then the guys were absolutely heartbreaking in the scene. I never had a change a word. I think, by that point in my rewrites, the characters were talking and I was merely lucky enough to have a pen (well, really a laptop but you get my point).
I’ve been thinking about your book.
You know why you’re stuck? Because you’re looking for an answer that doesn’t exist. You’re looking for the explanation for why some people live and some people die. And you’re not going to find it, not like that.
I never told you, but I didn’t finish college. I didn’t graduate.
I was taking all the standard courses, floating along, and it was fine. But then you have that meeting, the one with your advisor where you’re supposed to determine what you want to be, your major. I couldn’t do it. I kept rescheduling it and rescheduling it. I couldn’t look at every option in the world and narrow it down to only one. So after I took all the classes I could take as a nothing major, I left school. And, even if I tell myself that one day I’ll go back and then I’ll be an architect or a social worker, I won’t. Because even though I didn’t consciously make a choice, I made one. So pick, pick an ending for your book, pick a life- with or without her. Just make a choice or the world will make it for you. And most of the time, the world is wrong.
I’m more of a “show someone how you feel all year long” kind of gal but I hope this Sunday brings you some extra love,
THINGS I’M DIGGING THIS WEEK: my handmade scarf (see the picture below from yesterday’s pseudo-snowpocalypse, it was made by my mother but people keep asking me about it on the street).
DREAM ROLE (I’m auditioning for it next week, so it seems fitting): Solange in Genet’s The Maids