The dreaded rewrite

There is one thing I really dislike in theory. Cutting up my words and making things shorter than I had originally intended them to be. It gives me anxiety. And this is especially true with playwriting for me. However, when I sit in an auditorium and hear my words reflected back at me – I can hear and feel what needs to be changed immediately. I can sense the repetitiveness, and catch those words that are struggling to come out of an actors’ lips. They are unnatural when they stutter. Actors have a wonderful way of showing you through their actions a lot of the things you want to convey with “SAYING” or the written word, except the “DO IT” with their bodies. And sometimes, that subtle subtext is all you need. Thus, the dreaded rewrite has turned into something exquisitely gratifying for me. Especially when I get the chance to hear actors repeat my own words to me.

Here’s the thing folks, rewrites are essential. It is the reason why novels are published, movies are made, and open mics exist. Test your material, go to a live audience, read the story to a friend, and pick the sh*t out of it. Don’t hold onto things that will keep you down. What are the unnecessary items? Figure it out and cut-cut-cut them darlings. In the end, your voice will still be in there. Your message will pop. Maybe not in the originally way you intended it to…but it will be there.

So if you’re out there struggling with cutting down your work, just remember this: no two people write the same way. Even if you’re asked to change things up or “condensed” the work — it will still be you. Trust the process, listen to your writing out loud, and let it go. Because once it’s shared, and once it’s out there for the world to see — be it on a stage, on a movie screen, or even on a blog … once it’s out there, it’s no longer yours. It belongs to the collective ‘we the people.’ And you’ll have no control over what others may think of your writing, or you, for that matter. You can just hope that the message comes through.

So here’s an exercise for you:

  1. write something precious
  2. edit it to your liking
  3. give it to 3 people to read
  4. consider their opinions and notes
  5. cut cut cut to clarify and clean
  6. read it out loud to one more person
  7. cut cut cut again
  8. submit!

Here’s a cool place you can submit to: KPCC is looking for stories –

http://www.scpr.org/network/questions/YourStory

 

Tootles!

MAGIC MIKE experience

This is not a film review, per se, this is more like the experience I had in the theatre plus a reflection on an actor I like.

A couple of nights ago, I entered a movie theatre alone because my friends (as always) were late. I sat down, looking like an absolute creeper bent on watching a movie full of a$$. And who am I kidding? That was part of the reason why I was there. Anyways, so I’m sitting there trying to be normal looking, but failing at it—when I realize I was not the only loner. There were about ten other people there. The majority were women, one couple, and there were about three sitting alone trying (also) to blend in by scrolling on their cell phones or getting on the internet. These were heavy cloaked women. One of them was even reading a book. Goodness me…

Ladies, is it that shameful to watch a sexy movie on our own?    Well, I guess it could be if people know you around the neighborhood. Honestly though, we need to stop being so uptight. Anyways, I digress…

The lights were bright enough for slides, but not dark enough for movie previews.When they faded a surge of other people started coming in. Couples, women, college girls, men—geez the only thing that was missing were babies and pets!      Either people wanted to show up late, or they didn’t want to be recognized.  I was sitting in one of the smallest theaters, in one of the smallest towns in a city.  I suppose people knew each other, and they probably wanted to be discreet.

Then my friends arrived, and the MAGIC began. There was shaking, there was slapping, there was flashing, there were girls being tossed in the air, drug addicted strippers, gangsters, a funny comedian playing a jerk off, sex, betrayal, friendship and finally true love. Well, at least in a Hollywood kind of true love sense.  Reader, I was so pleasantly surprised to realize that the film was NOT ALL A$$. “Magic Mike” had heart, Tatum was the stripper with a heart of gold. Should you see this film? If you:

1.) Like male nudity or have taken life drawing classes, go!

2.) Like a good tease, go!

3.) Like innovative cinematography and complex symbolisms (yeah, not joking here) — GO!

It’s really fun. I’m sure you’ll get a laugh. There are some political messages too, which gave us audience members a good chuckle.

Aside from that, I was happy to support one of my favorite actors, Joe Manganiello. Have you seen him around? I’m sure you have. He’s played roles like Alcide in TRUE BLOOD and Tobey MacGuire’s bully, Flash, in the Spiderman flicks.   He’s really great. I started appreciating him in True Blood, and it’s got nothing to do with the fact that he looks like an ex-flame I used to have in Peru. Non whatsoever, hehe.

On a side note, if you haven’t seen TRUE BLOOD, you must. Their writers are good about leaving the best parts unsaid. They are the masters of cliffhangers…well, at least in the past seasons. This season’s been kind of slow, but I hear Manganiello is getting a good chunk of the new episodes, and that’s fine with me…just fine with me.