The Play's the Thing

I don't know what the hell I've been doing with my time, but I seem to be too busy to post. I had my first grad play writing class on Saturday and almost didn't go...Did I really want to commit to 15 weeks of getting up early on the weekend? But then I realized that that was being colossally lazy and I went in. I'm glad I did because the teacher arrived about five minutes late and the first thing he said when he walked into the class was "Well, I'm filled with hatred." I liked him immediately. He's a big man who tells good stories and is captivating in the way only some theatre people are; listening to him talk is like listening to a good episode of This American Life. He had stories about Madonna and Sean Penn (Sean Penn had a role in Earthworms, a play the teacher wrote) about going to Yale Drama School at the time Meryl Streep and Sigorney Weaver were also there, but it wasn't like he was name-dropping. The class is small, about 8 of us and only two of us gals. The other woman writes and performs her work and one of the guys owns a theatre company (I think he might have said that it's a puppet theatre company but I am trying to block that out). Another guy with a seriously annoying laugh has had many of his plays produced, about 50 by his count and our teacher has had his work play on Broadway. Oh, and there's a cute (possibly straight?) guy in the class too who reminds me of this guy I liked in high school who played in a Christian rock band. Unfortunately, I think he's also about the same age; he looks like the ink is not yet dry on his high school diploma.

It's the first time in awhile that I've felt intimidated by other writers. Our homework for next Sat. is to write a scene based on something we know. Not a confessional, but a few pages that are true our experience of life in some way, though it can be fictionalized. Lisa Marie and I went for coffee on Sunday and I tried to write this thing about an awkward 11 year old giving a presentation on Lillian Gish, but it wasn't really coming together. So yesterday I started something else about a man and a woman meeting up at a hotel restaurant. The opening is a little weak, but I like a few of the lines further on. I think it's evident early on that it's not a date, but the first meeting up of a half-brother and a half-sister. Right now, it's called "Nice Meeting You Again for the First Time." A few lines from it:

Woman: How old are you?

Man: Twenty-one.

Woman: You’re legal, that’s good. I don’t mean…Like, obviously, I don’t mean that I would be attracted to you, but like if I saw you in a bar or something, I wouldn’t think you were terrible looking.

Man: Thanks. Um…(Takes out another photo). Here’s him at home. That’s our backyard.

Woman: Oh, a yard gnome. That’s nice.

Man: Here’s my mom.

Woman: She looks like a nice person. She has nice teeth.

Man: Yeah.

Woman: I do know other adjectives besides “nice.” I don’t know why I keep saying “nice.”

Man: And this is our dog, Cracker.

Woman: A German Shepherd! How nice! How old is he?

Man: He’s…he died about ten years ago.

Woman: Oh, that’s terrible! What happened to him?

Man: He got hit by a truck. We got another dog though.

Woman: That’s good.

Man: But that one got shot by the neighbor for getting into the chickens. Farm dogs don’t live that long.

Woman: I didn’t know that. That’s interesting. In a bad way, I mean, but it’s still interesting to hear.

(Long pause).

I'll have to read it all out loud when I finish but I'm just relieved to have something on the page, especially since I'm going to New York for a few days before all this and will need to have it mostly done before then. The best thing too is that our teacher said that he can't possibly get into class by 9 a.m. He asked us if it would be okay for us to meet from 10 to 1 instead. Of course, we were all like, ABSOLUTELY!
Here I am with Owen. Because he is so busy, every picture of him is blurry. I uploaded more photos from my trip to my Flicka/Flicker page or whatever it's called, if you're interested.


Anonymous said…
haha! That play made me laugh. You GOT it, baby doll!

who's Joe?
Ol' Sick Jodie
Aimee said…
Joe's my former co-worker who moved to New York. there's an early post all dedicated to him.