I’m now in the process of taking what I put of Rabbit Island from my blue spiral notebook into something nice, neat and with twelve point font. Having recently visited my parents, I’ve decided if it is something they wouldn’t like immediately I must be on the right track. So far I’ve moved nine scenes into Word and have only had a few moments of doubt. I can’t get ahead of myself here. I’ve decided to judge this after this leg of the work is done on a few categories: musicality in the language, character depth, pushing the edge with humor and if the story feels right. Not a very precise science I’m working with here.
It really is a slow process. The fortunate thing is that I haven’t given up. That’s most of the battle. I think reading so many bad plays over the last couple of years and teaching playwriting has given me a good idea of where I want to go with this.
On the other hand, I feel like I don’t know what I am doing. Either I can open up to that or I can seize up and write what’s comfortable. I wonder if I will be stripping away at it soon or if I’ll need to beef it up. Probably both. Several times. Saw Annie Hall late last night. The story of that film isn’t very strong but you follow the characters. It works but it wears out its welcome probably a lot faster than it should.
This piece isn’t based on anything else. At least, not intentionally. God, what if I’m ripping something off and don’t know it. I don’t think I am. The main character is a mime from Canada. He had a monologue in my third solo show and people kept saying he should have his own play. I’ve included that monologue but maybe that’s cheating. Or is it? I don’t have him miming anything in the play so far but that might change. I think it’s better to have it be in the background. Often characters have occupations but they never are seen doing them. He’s also struggling as a mime would in New York.
There are a few monologues in this. I’m not doing too many fancy language tricks in this. That’s a big downtown thing. I want it to be clever but not too clever. (I’m sure this is boring as shit to read about here but whatever.) Like the way people I know talk. The rules are a little different. It’s like a tennis game where you hit the ball back and forth but you are the one swinging on both sides of the net. Eventually, the ball goes out of bounds and you have to start back up again. I think I need to go through and make life messier for these characters.
I’d like to have this chunk done by Tuesday night. I go on Wednesday to see the final proofs of American Badass for publication. I saw a pdf of them recently. That was exciting. Kind of weird. What was difficult was looking it over for spelling and grammar and not changing the content.
Since I won’t be doing any solo work this year, I’ll be able to focus more on writing 3 full length plays and doing more acting work. I miss acting. If I’m not working on something, I feel like I’m a fugitive running from the law.