Tag Archives: Goals

Practicing, Patience

12 May

Working on the one-person show was a slog through waist-high mud today. I was enervated and uninspired. But the goals I set got done: the third draft (or tenth, depending on how you look at it) was printed, and  a complete walk-thru recorded, even though it felt like I sleepwalked through the last third. Success never felt so blah.

But it’s a good reminder that not every day is ripe with discovery and excitement. My goal is to explore storytelling and also to explore my process. This takes time. And patience. I’ve been doing this kind of thing long enough to know you have days, weeks even, where you swim against the tide until you stop, exhausted, only to realize the waters shallow enough for you to walk the rest of the way there easily.

So here’s to today.  Sh*t day that it was, I’m still one step closer.

It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Best of Times: Two Bits of Good News

11 May

THAT MOST CURIOUS ANIMAL, MAN

I started taking a storytelling class with Michael Katz, a local teller, last week.  I sensed from the start that I was in the right place. Michael is warm, gracious, and knows his craft, everything you’d want in a teacher. During the first class,  he talked about about his process, how he found his way to telling,  and told us the story of “How the Sea Became Salty”, a polycultural tale that he gave a Japanese slant. This class was atypical: the rest of the time will be devoted to workshopping stories.

I read all of “Ready-to-Tell Tales”, an excellent resource for the beginning storyteller.  From it, I selected “Strength”, a story from the Limba people in Sierra Leone. Briefly, it’s the story of the animals (including man) having a contest to see who is the strongest. It has the potential for lots of energy and physical comedy, but has a strong and serious sting at the end. Just what I like: a tale where the laughter lends the story power.  I’d debated whether I should work on my one-person show or a traditional folktale, and settled on the latter because I wanted to work on a piece very different from my show, and get experience in traditional storytelling.

I told it for the first time this last class. If I’m honest, I almost chickened-out. Fortunately, Michael asked if I wanted to do it and I quickly said yes. It went very, very well. People were positive about the story and my telling of it.  The two things I took away from it (aside from the group’s feedback) was the joy I found in connecting do directly with the audience, and the power of serving the story, focusing on channeling it rather than worrying if I was doing a good job.

ALL ROADS: MY SOLO SHOW, SUCCESS!

I just found out today that the short version of my solo piece about 9-11 was accepted into Monday Night Marsh at the Marsh Theater! In the 2 months I’ve been pursuing performance work, I’ve quickly found that all roads lead back to the Marsh. I am elated.

More specifically, all roads lead back to David Ford, with whom I’ll be taking a class next month. My goal was to perform there by September, which I guaranteed by signing up for the class.  But now I’ll be performing in mid-July, roughly two months before I thought I’d be. And, combined with the class, I’ll get to perform the show 4 times on their stage. I anticipate the show making leaps and bounds in this time.

This rounds on me, boys. Progress!

The Diaries of King Arthur: Part 2

24 Mar

This is part 2 in a series. If you missed out, start here.

INTRO: I’ve been wanting to write a comedic screenplay about King Arthur having a breakdown for a couple years now. I’ve started the Diaries as way of finding that story and the screenplay’s comedic voice.

WARNING: The following may be EXPLICIT at times. Also, I know nothing about King Arthur.

***The Diaries – Cont’d

7 of March, YooL, 605 AD

Hello.

Because of the entry of yester-yesterday my wife granted me access to our bed…for a peck on the cheek. She quoth this: That while Tristan’s joke was not appropriate, I was in the right direction mostly headed. She told me should I speak of my men and my day that she would reswear her fealty to me, and I would be able to sail the seas of her womanhood faster than a ship of Saxony.

Lord, I have never known such balls of pitch. Continue reading

The Diaries of King Arthur – A Comedy

21 Mar

I’ve been wanting to write a comedic screenplay about King Arthur having a breakdown for a couple years now. I’ve had many small ideas, but I need a story. I’ve started the Diaries as way of finding that story and the screenplay’s comedic voice.

WARNING: The following may be EXPLICIT at times. Also, I know nothing about King Arthur. Right now, that’s the way I like it.

Without further ado, venture forth braeve readyr…

Continue reading

Five Reminders That Help Keep Me Focused & Stare Down Doubt

4 Mar

I work hard, but not always smart. My mind does not move in particularly linear ways and I’ve had to learn how to ask the right questions to keep working effectively, or even just to keep working. Combine this lateral thinking with a systemic way of learning and a pefectionist’s eye for detail and you get someone who can waste a lot of time on unrelated or nonessential parts of a project.

Having clear, concise goals goes along way to keeping me focused. But that’s not enough: in order to keep myself on task, I have to deal with those voices that question what I’m doing.  This is especially important if I my goal is an exploratory one, where I have a general direction but not a crystal clear picture of where I’m headed.

A lot of these demons have come up recently, and I was forced to address them. I did this by creating a list of reminders for myself. They are answers and rebuttals to the most common arguments those neurotic little critters in my head throw at me to knock me off track.

The following five reminders give me a weapon with which to fight back, whether I need a swatter to knock out the flies of doubt, or a canon to blast the flying bullshit monkeys out of the sky. Continue reading