When all is said and Done

November 8th, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

So the staged reading has come and gone…

If you’d encountered me one 1/2 hour prior to the reading I’d have been a different person than when the reading began. The self that wrote the most recent post: sniveling and wringing and threatening to vomit was in attendance. I touted the opinion of Clyde Simon (who feels that readings should not be done with music stands), and yet, at the 1/2 hour mark wished for nothing more than a few music stands to stop the clumsy acting that was to be.

I feared because in the run up to the performance Clyde re-visited the first part of the script–a part that was last visited 10 days earlier. So, as I watched the actors stumble through this portion of my script I became increasingly aware that in xx amount of time the house would be filled with people watching the stumbling and incoherence I was seeing in front of me. In short, I doubted. It is fitting, for my name is Thomas. And, Thomas is the one who had to feel the wounds of Christ in order to believe. I felt the wounds and I panicked.

For some reason, however, at the moments leading up to the start, I calmed. I met with Mike Geither, who would moderate the post-reading conversation; and I saw Chris Johnston who was the ‘curator’ for Little Box, and somehow, between them, they calmed me: reassured me. I don’t know if it was that they had been there before and ‘felt’ my pain, or if it was that they instinctively trusted (more than I did) the writing that had gotten me there and knew that it would carry through.

Regardless, I knew as things started that I HAD to watch and that I HAD to participate–whatever the storm, I had to pass through it and come out the other side. I was not immune, I had to endure.

The first part of the play went very well. Far better than I could have imagined. This was the part that they rehearsed not an hour before and which led me to near panic. It went fast. It was well executed. It was firing on all pistons. It was funny. The whole in attendance laughed and moved with the piece. I was excited and confident. Then came the second half. The half that took 4.5 hours to get through last Sunday night. As I watched (and listened) I understood why it took 4.5 hours. It was redundant. It was didactic. Preachy. Long. Self-important. Tiresome. And so on and so on and so on. Actually, it wasn’t as bad as that–at least, in listening to others. But I was over-anxious and over-sensitized and overly aware of the flaws and demands that I was placing on people. But it was long. Remember how I mentioned in my most recent post that it was long? It was still long. Very long. My wife stated it bluntly; as did my mother who hedged. But more importantly, I knew. I knew it was long.

But, if the worst thing I can say is that I moderately bored a few people then…I’m down with that. And that, I think, is the case. The worst of it is that I made some people look at their watches–not all, just my in-laws. Okay, cheap shot. And some others too. And I’ll take that. After it was all said and done I was approached by actors I knew from the “community” and other playwrights and they said that it was solid. There was good writing there. And while a few told me that it was almost there and I just needed to focus on the play that I wanted to come out of it; I understood that there was much more good than there was bad; and that the whole point had been realized: this is a staged reading, and its purpose is to make you aware of what is right and identify what needs adjusting.

After that? Who knows, it may just be ready.

  1. Pete Hascher
    November 8th, 2007 at 18:59 | #1

    Great play! The dialogue was incredible. At some point I want to discuss what your thoughts were regarding certain parts of the play.

  1. June 25th, 2008 at 10:20 | #1

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