Wednesday, December 1, 2010

for Roger: Vera interviews her creator

One of the perks I offered for contributing to my play shower was a blog post on a topic of the donor's choice.  A creative request came in from Roger in Switzerland, a "big brother" to my play and the sponsor of the character of Vera.  He wanted to interview me in the voice of Vera, and supplied me with the following questions:

Where do I come from? Have I been inspired by a real person that you know, do I represent a personality trait of yourself or am I just a figment of your imagination?

You are a figment of my imagination.  You bear my grandmother's name, but you are nothing like her.  You are the complete opposite of Frank -- your bubbly, nosey, super-talkative perkiness was inspired by needing a foil for Frank's taciturn, stubborn curmudgeonliness.

Have worked out backgrounds for all your characters? And if yes, what does mine look like?

Backgrounds emerged for my characters as I needed them.  I have not fleshed out an entire life story for you from childhood, but I do know that you married young, had only one child (though you wanted more) and lost him in WWII as a very young man.  You yourself were not from a large family either, so you now find yourself alone since your husband died a few years ago.  But you don't let all that loss stop you from reaching out to other people.

Have I been part of your play from the beginning or did you add my character later to liven up the narrative bring a fun and color to it?

You were there from the very first scene I wrote, long before I even knew I was going to turn this into a full-length play.  I wrote the scene with you and Frank in the nursing home, watching Lawrence Welk and bickering over the remote, as an exercise for my playwriting class.  You've come a long way, baby. 
Why would a young thing like you write about getting old? Mind you, I know I bear it well, but I would anything to be your age again. That was so much more fun.

You must have been a riot when you were footloose and fancy free!  I can just see you, dancing up a storm in your flapper dress, sneaking drinks and smokes, egging on your friends and the boys for just one more dance.  But as to your question, honestly, I don't know why it is that I seem to tap into truths about what it feels like to age -- my mother asked me the same question, "how do you know how it feels to be you trapped inside an old worn out body?"  I guess my empathy stretches far enough for me to be able to imagine that.  I was also very close with my grandmother and my great aunt Rue before they passed, and perhaps I gleaned something from them.  

Your boyfriend looks very handsome, do you think he would take me for a ride on his motorbike when we have our next free afternoon at the retirement home?

You bet!  Nothing would please him more.  He is great with passengers (in fact, he might be too cautious for your tastes!)  He'll make you wear a helmet though, he's very strict about that.

I have loved working with you. So when you start working on your next play, you might consider writing a sequel or prequel focusing on my character. I think that would be just fabulous;)

I will keep that in mind.  You are an awful lot of fun.  Thank you for coming into my life.
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