Just a heads up – I wrote a quick blog post on the Monkeyman website about the revision process for our latest incarnation of The Simian Showcase, where I’m playwright on one piece and director on another. Take a look!
“Are we ready? Are we set? Atomic batteries to power, turbines to –”
Marty and I just finished a discussion on the Monkeyman Productions blog about our company’s tendency to include pop culture references in our shows. Since a lot of the blame for that has to be laid at my fingertips, I thought I’d touch on it for a moment here as well. While they can – and hopefully often do – add another layer to the show, and the relationship between the characters both making an allusion and appreciating it, it’s also easy to take them too far.
Okay, I really need to get back to actual playwriting soon (it’s been weeks since finishing Uncharted Zones), but I just finished up a month of submission ‘binging’ – sending out as many subs to contests and theatres as I could, and I thought this would be a good time to share a few disorganized notes on the art of submission. Some of this you may know, a lot of it may seem like common sense, but thanks to Monkeyman I’ve got a little bit of experience from both sides now, and I know these things can’t be said often enough. Besides, it gives me an excuse to type ‘submission’ a bunch of times in a post my mother could actually read. 😉
Off to my favourite city in the world tonight, Toronto, for a weekend with friends and my Monkeyman cohorts and to try to sell copies of The Phoenix Saga at Star Trek Day Toronto! If you’re anywhere in the area, you should stop by – it’s geekiness of the absolute best kind, and you can put down your money and walk away with a signed copy of sci-fi theatrical hilariousness. Highly recommended.
In other news, a friend linked to this article about playwriting, and while it’s kind of a no-brainer, it’s also nicely heartwarming. I love my collaborators.
Until next time, Excelsior!
Good for me! As of last Friday, I am officially finished with the script for Uncharted Zones. That was the deadline we set for ourselves, and we met it. As is to be expected, I met it by going crazy for the better part of a week and sneaking everything in just under the wire – but it’s finished, and that’s what matters.
And it reminded me of something I wanted to write about in here: how do you decide when a play (or novel, etc.) is done? This time, I had no choice – but most of the time, it’s something you have to decide for yourself. How do you know?
Quick update here – it’s been a bit of a crazy time; hopefully I can get back to more informative posts next week. But I had a bit of an announcement to make …
If you’re coming to the website to read my posts (or you know me on Facebook, Twitter, etc.) you’re certainly already aware that I’ve put out a book of my two short Star Trek parody plays – The Final Flight of the Phoenix and Phoenix II: The Mongolar Maneuver. There’s a link on the main page if you want to order it from Lulu.com. But I’m also going to be selling it directly, if you’re interested in that sort of thing, and I have a launch-ish event to announce for doing that!
Your first chance to get your hands on The Phoenix Saga in person, from the author (Lil’ Ol’ Me) – including, of course, your chance to get it signed to your favourite friend, relative, or Shatner impersonator – will be on Sunday, October 2nd at Star Trek Day TO(ronto)! I’m going to be selling copies from the Nerd Mafia table (many thanks to them for letting me in) during the daytime programming from 12pm-7pm (and will probably still have some with me during the Ten Forward Party that night). So if you come out to what’s going to be an awesomely geeky event, you can also drop a few bucks (fifteen, to be exact) on me and get a copy of the book direct from my hands to yours!
Hope to see you there, Trekkies and Trekkers!
Star Trek Day TO
Toronto Underground Cinema
186 Spadina Ave Unit 1A, Toronto
Sunday, October 2nd
Tickets available through the website or at the door
I’ve just been listening to recordings from the Uncharted Zones rehearsal on Monday night, which was the first full readthrough of the show as it will be (well, with hopefully a few more polishes here and there from my end). Well, actually, I haven’t listened to the bulk of it yet. I sort of cheated and skipped through listening to the narration by itself (the play consists of four stories given shape by a narrator), as it was the first time those bits had been read out loud at all. So now I’ve got it in my head to talk about narration.
Not as in “where do you get them,” though I may blog about that some time (and I’m leaving this open-ended so I can add to it in later ‘parts’). But something a bit simpler for today, and it’s a bit of an addendum to my entry on technology – “where do you store them?” It’s important that you keep track of all the half-formed ideas and orphaned darlings to include them in future masterpieces, so how do you keep track of every one?
I started out writing long before the birth (or at least the popular use of) the internet, and before most people could afford PCs in their homes (I didn’t even get a word processor until my second year of university, though I wrote in computer labs quite a bit by that time), so my earliest process still involved scribbling ideas down in notebooks. And until the past, oh, five years or so, that’s still where I stored my ideas. Sure, I’ve had a computer of my own to write on since 1992, but that was for actual drafts and final copies – I wouldn’t clutter up my files with the sort of thing I jotted down on my trusty college-ruled! (College ruled notebooks, kids – don’t settle for anything less.)
This is going to have to be a short entry, as I’m behind on revisions for Uncharted Zones and I don’t want the director sending hired goons to my door. (“I prefer the personal touch you only get with hired goons.”) But I wanted to write a bit about the technology I’m using as a playwright, or in some cases misusing – I’m really a technophile with certain stubborn luddite tendencies, and it often takes someone else showing me a better way to really make an improvement in my methods. So if you’ve got any suggestions, please feel free to make them.