Day 10: Sharing from the Kitchen…

Last year, I submitted to be a part of Fu-Gen’s 9th Playwriting Kitchen — a writer’s workshop in an Asian-Canadian theatre company — to which, surprisingly, I was offered a spot. Every month, for one Sunday session, 8 participants get to learn about and practice the art of the playwright with the help of an amazing dramaturge, Andrew Cheng, and the equally amazing theatre-creator/administrator/playwright/awesome person, Jenna Rodgers. Together, we explore the ins and outs, and ups and downs of playwriting, from how to generate material, to how to ask for and submit feedback, to how to edit, and so forth.

Now, I’ve always thought that writing was one of the weaker points of my craft as a theatre-deviser, which is why I applied to be a part of this in the first place. And I think I’m really starting to find some sense of ease and less intimidation when it comes to staring at a blank page.

Last session, we were given 15 minutes to write something, anything — in script form — with our only starting words being “I’m shocked”. This is what I came up with and will end with for today:

PEARSON
I’m shocked.

LEN
Yeah.

PEARSON
Did you–

LEN
Yeah. I did. I saw it all.

PEARSON
How can one person just walk into a bank–

LEN
Yeah, I know. I’m asking myself the same thing.

PEARSON
No warning, no yelling, no real demands.

LEN
And those pants.

PEARSON
Yeah– wait, no. Pants?

LEN
Yeah, who wears lime green pants?

PEARSON
Are you serious right now? A dude just walks into a bank and kind of robs it, but doesn’t, and you’re thinking of his pants?

LEN
Yeah, well, they were bright you know? I mean, come on, he didn’t really do anything except scare and confuse the crap out of everybody. So, you know…those pants.

PEARSON
Right. Those pants.

LEN
Yeah.

(Awkward silence)

LEN
I mean, at least we’re okay, right?

PEARSON
Yeah, there’s that. I’m okay. Are you okay?

LEN
Yeah, I’m great.

PEARSON
Great?

LEN
Yeah. Well, no, I mean I’m fine.

PEARSON
Okay. Because you know you had a gun to your face because he wanted your socks.

LEN
Well, you know, they had holes in them anyway, so it’s not like a big loss.

PEARSON
(Beat) Len, what is wrong with you? You could’ve gotten killed! And you’re great, it’s no big deal that your missing socks, and all you can think about are bright green pants on a guy who held a gun to your face?

LEN
What do you want me to say, Pearson? I’m shocked too, okay? Maybe I’m even in shock? Who knows?

PEARSON
Dude, you wouldn’t be speaking right now if you were in–

LEN
I don’t care! I don’t care what you have to say about that right now! For once, can you just accept the fact that, even in unusual, life-threatening situations, I can’t help but stay fixated on strange things no one else would probably notice? It’s just how I am! Have you ever stopped to consider that maybe the reason I have to react to situations like this in the way that I do is because I’m trying to balance out your constant need to worry and over protect?

PEARSON
Over protect?

LEN
Yeah! Look at you, Pearson. You’re just ready to judge me for not reacting the way you think I should, and you’re not even really listening to me right now, you’re just getting ready to correct the next thing I state wrong or at least wrong in your view.

PEARSON
Well, actually–

LEN
SHUT UP. I swear to the universe that if you say anything right now to correct me while I’m in this state, I will point a gun at your face and demand you give me your socks AND your wallet, all right?

PEARSON
Fine, fine. (Beat) You wanna get some ice cream?

LEN
What? (Beat) Yeah, it’s too hot.

15 minutes. I’d say that’s not that bad for 15 minutes.

Ok, I lied, we’ll end with this:

20120113-234813.jpg

-Mickey

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