Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Script Progress

Monday was a lovely slow day. We walked in the morning. I was freezing cold when we started, but by the time I got back to the car, I’d been warmed by the effort of the walk. I came home, built up the fire and read much of the rest of the day. Late in the afternoon, we went for our second walk and then I came home to do more reading and to make dinner.

In the evening, I worked on the script. I went through the whole thing, just reading it, not aloud, and I felt the evening’s work was wonderfully worthwhile. I think it’s much, much tighter and, for me, more interesting to perform because I have different rhythms in it. And the flow is better.

I truly did not expect to be selected for the festival. No false modesty. It is more story-telling, than theatre. There’s no drama. It’s elder rap. But I felt brave about applying. So, I thought a lot about how I could make it more theatrical if I got in.

That led to a first major revision a few weeks ago. Last night, was another significant revision, and I am really pleased with the result. And now I’m kind of excited about performing it. But fuck, I hope that I can memorize it all. It’s currently 1,300 words, and I still haven’t finished the second revision. Yikes. I’ll go through it on screen again, once more, and then go through it twice saying it aloud. Then, I reckon, it’ll be ready to submit to Holdar and Tony.

I’m actually proud of this script.

I had a few experiences in my professional life as a writer for hire when I wrote something of which I became very proud. It was always after doing many, many re-writes of the assignment—so many, and such dedicated work, that it was barely recognizable as my writing. This script may become one of those things for me.

I’ve decided to perhaps work up to a performance here at my house. I’m could to ask Regina to help me, getting our friends to make things to feed a small audience. I want to try to do the script in front of a small group of people whom I don’t know. That’s what the festival will be like. “Rehearsing” in front of friends isn’t the same thing for testing my capacity for fluency at the festival. And I’ll arrange for Regina to time it. Then I’ll be able to tell the festival directors.

It’s getting a little bit scary. But John, and maybe Bunny, and Bryce and Stacy have expressed potential interest in attending. This is very good news! I need to have people there to be with after, because after my bit, I’m not anonymous anymore and I want protection. People want to be nice, but too much focus on me and I am going to seize. 

One of the worst experiences of my life was at a surprise party my friends threw for me. My blessed friends staged a surprise party for me in our home, Steve’s and mine, and together they bought me a return ticket to France. Well into the party, someone stopped everything, and it was time to make the presentation of the gift. I had no idea what was coming.

I was seated on a chair facing all our friend who were all giddy with excitement about my reaction to opening the envelope with the ticket in it. They looked like a firing squad to me. Other times they looked like wolves. I was in a state of extreme internal pain. I was rubbing the back of my head because I thought it would explode. Steve filmed it. Everyone could see my pain. They got no bang for their buck.

On stage, you see, I feel safe. I’m alone and the audience is well behaved, sitting silently in the dark. They don’t talk and they don’t approach me. On the floor, where there are no rules, I feel utterly extremely vulnerable and anxious. Strangers want to say nice things to me but it is just too much for me to tolerate. I want a security detail to go to directly as soon as I am “off duty” from the festival.

Snow! Fuck! Last night there was a light snowfall. We’ve just a few centimeters this morning, but rain is expected to return tomorrow, and I’m glad. 

Today will be fun. I’m walking with Stacy this morning, and this afternoon I have a clinic meeting and then I’m going to The Surf for dinner with 5 gay friends and 2 more gay guys who’ve just moved to the island. My gay cabal has grown now, from 4, to 8. 

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