So, I'm writing for 14/48 this weekend.
I got home last night with the theme (Ancient Wisdom), my character assignment (2 men, 2 women), and stuff to make a ham sandwich feeling pretty confident. It's my fourth time. I know that it eventually comes and you just have to trust it.
My confidence left me after 90 minutes of flailing. My brain wasn't working well. I had a false start - I headed down the wrong path as far as to start writing some dialogue for a couple named Monica and Brian - only to realize that Monica and Brian had blown out like a match on a windy day. (Monica? and Brian? Even the names sound stupid now!)
(Speaking of a match on a windy day - this is the first year I've done this since I quit smoking. I miss ciggies during this process! Cigarette smoke is a is a great way of dreaming up a world. I'm having to use black licorice. Not quite the same thing.)
I finally got traction at 11:30pm when I remembered about an article I'd read on non-monogamous relationships - committed groups of adults that live together in sexual relationships. I remember at the time I read it thinking it was idealistic and potentially funny. Makng a "marriage" work between two people is really hard - between three? Or four? Are you out of your frigging mind??? Who believes in something like that?
So I re-read the article, did four character sketches, thought about a woman I met who lived in a commune and worked in the kitchen (how traditional for a non-traditionalist, I thought) - and off I went.
Wendell, Julie, Carly, Zack, and an unseen character, Lila and her dog Schnazzy, appeared and spoke to me. Somtimes I pushed too hard and had to retrace my steps to the last time I'd actually seen them alive on the paper - and then I'd start again. At 2:00am, I wanted to just send what I had and go to bed. At 3:00am I finished. My piece is called "Polyfidelity" and ends with a conventional marriage proposal.
How is the script? I've found that when I hate my scripts the most, they're the best. This one is possibly too short - that's a good thing. But, I think it's funny and that's a bad thing. We'll just have to see. Sometimes what ends up on stage surprises the hell out of me.
And 3 hours of sleep? I'll tell you what - this woman needs her sleep. Especially in order to do all this again tonight. I have that too-little-sleep sweaty/shaky thing going on. Basically, this is not good.
Becky Hellyer - 14/48 writer