Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Notes on Last Frontier: Day Four

Twilight in Valdez
The weather has become absurd.

Today picked up from where yesterday left off, with clear skies, sunny and eighty degrees. Lunch was enjoyed outdoors. So, too, was morning yoga, though this day I decided on a run instead, because I had a rehearsal beginning just as the session was scheduled to end.

Yes, I am also an actor here at the conference, tomorrow I will be performing in Deer Haunting: A Far Side Cartoon by Andréa J. Onstad right before the reading of my play. What this means is I will have something to occupy my attention tomorrow morning and won’t have time to freak out.

Also, we rehearsed Deer Haunting this morning, right before The Way I Danced With You. This was also fortuitous as I could be a participant, and learn from others how best to proceed during my (one) rehearsal. There isn’t time to micromanage your actors, or to do a lot of deep directing, and besides that’s frowned upon. Dawson says trust your actors, and that was good enough for me.

And besides, Tyler Browning and Chloe Cotton are simply ideal and I feel extremely fortunate they were chosen to read this work, I just fell in love with both of them. As it turned out we had plenty of time not only to read the entire piece, but to stop here and there to make the adjustments I felt were most necessary to make, and even sit around and talk about it for fifteen minutes or so after.

I even took the opportunity to strike an entire page (an entire page) of dialogue that for the life of me I could not justify keeping. Our stage direction reader, Keriann, pointed out that that was the one place I lost her and I was so glad, because it lost me, too. It felt wonderful to feel entirely justified just jettisoning an entire page like that.

What this all means, of course, is that tomorrow’s reading will be all about the words. This is the first time the piece has been heard in its three-scene version for a critical audience. What they have to say will be instrumental as to how I choose to proceed with this work, or even if I proceed with it.

And I’m acting in another piece.

And on Thursday afternoon someone is workshopping the monologue I wrote, I will attend that rehearsal.

And I have to write a ten-minute play for the Thursday night Fringe, and I have to have it turned in by midnight tomorrow, which really means I need to turn it in by eight o’clock tomorrow because there’s a show and a party tomorrow night. So I have less than twenty hours to write a ten-minute play relating to the phrase: What hath science wrought?

So I am delightfully busy.

Another very busy day, in which I attended a seminar on sound design, and even scurried back to the dorm (ten minutes’ walk) to take a fifteen minute nap before returning to the conference center (another ten minutes) for the reading of a Waylaid by Michael Ross Albert followed by dinner at Oldtown Burgers.

The Teriyaki Burger at Oldtown Burgers was by itself worth my flight from Chicago to Anchorage.

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