Monday, October 19, 2009

What the What?!

Seriously, I'm still a bit surprised that my script and show won this time around. Not that I didn't think they were deserving, but because the last two times I've participated in the festival the results were not even remotely close to this! So I was mentally prepped to just chalk it up to another chance to write and then.... Well, to quote Hannibal from the A-Team - "I love it when a plan comes together!"

Much like Oliver wrote in his blog, when I reflected on my past scripts in prep for participating this time I looked at what I did as a writer that may have resulted in a jumbled final product. I also thought about what worked in other people's scripts.

I decided that my goal was to write with broad strokes, giving the actors/director room to play. I also wanted to be minimal with dialogue as I felt like maybe memorizing lines I wrote in the past may have been a tripping point for some of the actors...maybe?

So after getting my theme, "Anniversary", actors (2 men, 2 women), line and other instructions I headed off and just let the thoughts marinate as I started texting Christine with my first random thoughts (Anniversary in a Chain Restaurant?) and then read a book about a former Cornhusker turned drug addict on the ride home. When I got home and turned on my computer I realized I had started watching 30 Rock and thought well, I HAVE to finish it. So I watched that and then decided I needed to see Grey's Anatomy from 2 weeks ago - so while Papa Grey was in need of a liver I started googling random info about "Anniversaries" - like what gift went w/ how many years - and scribbling out script ideas feeling like I'd probably been putting off the actual "writing" part long enough! ;)

Cut to 4am when my plan to write minimal dialogue didn't seem to be working and I thought maybe I should take a nap. Oliver texted me to see if I was still awake. "Yes". The phone rang. He asked how it was going. I expressed frustration with my dialogue. He thought he had probably offended Christine with his updates. Just another night of writing for WWSS!

Of course, at 4am things probably look a lot bleaker than they really are and after taking a nap and attacking the script again, I felt a little better by the time I called it "done" at 6am. I set my alarm for 730am - enough time to look it over again, adjust if necessary, print, shower (I wasn't sure if I'd be staying in the city after I turned in my script so I thought I'd better make myself presentable!) and allow plenty of time for potentially crazy subway issues...

After a quick stop @ Cosi for breakfast. (I couldn't wait to go to Vnyl - I was hungry!) It was time to gather with the other writers and and discuss how much, if any, sleep everyone got!

The director draw came and I was matched up w/ first time director (but not a first time participant in WWSS), Graeme Humphrey. I had him read the script. I pointed out writing a handstand in based on an actor's resume but said that was negotiable, I also mentioned "Charles" needing a weird/distinctive voice. Graeme asked how I felt if my script was altered. I told him it was okay within reason. We both agreed that if any major changes were being discussed he'd give me a call.

I never got a call... I guess that's good?! I hoped for the best.

When I saw Graeme before the show I asked how it went- specifically with the weird voice. Graeme said - "He's deaf."

In my lack of sleep stupor I was confused for a beat. "The actor?"

"No - the character."


I still wasn't quite sure what to expect but was thankful that my show was third so I didn't wait long to find out!

The show was performed and I was extremely happy with the results! Although, members of the cast acknowledged they had a great script to work with they definitely contributed to fleshing the play out. (Example - "eyeing" was changed to "eye-banging/humping".) It further proved to me how important every single element of a play production is whether it is produced in 21 hrs or over the course of way more hours than that!

Although it seemed people enjoyed "The Anniversary Special" I wasn't totally sold that we were going to win it - even though others thought so. When we did - Wheeeee! :) It was definitely a collaborative effort and I applaud the cast (Chris Cusano, Ben Klier, Kristen Kay Miller and Jenny Zerke) and Graeme for making the most of my script!

That being said, I know I haven't been to all of the WWSS shows but out of the ones I have been to, I think this has been the most solid show yet!

Congrats to all and now it's time for a nap.

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