Thursday, August 2, 2012

My play, his play, her play, whose play?

Turns out that it is hard to both write my own play and perform someone else's play at the same time.  Huh.

Acting, as you may or may not know, actually takes a lot of work.  Even for these readings I've been doing at Primary Stages, where I haven't had to memorize the script, there is still a lot of background work to be done, figuring out what makes your character tick and why they say the things they say. This takes hours.  Many hours.  Plus rehearsing actually saying the lines, of course.

So I've found myself having to dedicate time I would have spent writing my play to preparing these plays that somebody else wrote.  It's a great problem to have, and I'm learning a lot about writing while I'm at it.  I'm still trying to figure out how it is Horton Foote managed to write a play consisting entirely of many-pages-long story-telling monologues into a compelling piece of theater.  The Carpetbagger's Children - which I performed last week - breaks a bunch of major "rules" of playwriting, and yet it works.  Beautifully.  And Daisy Foote's play Bhutan feels so natural, the way the characters speak --  they all feel like real people (extremely unhappy people, but real people).   I admire this and really want the characters in my play to feel the same.  (not the unhappy part, the real part).

In the balance, it has been good for me to do these things.  I'm really enjoying acting, and the response I am getting would indicate I'm not bad at it.  But I also need to focus on getting this play done.  So I just turned away from looking at more casting notices to writing this blog post, and I need to continue to do that until I finish this play.  Remind me of that, ok?
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