Saturday, January 27, 2007

Totally Cool

First off, at playwright's lab, the facilitator asked me if I'd bring in anything in a few weeks, and Sarah (fun and TALENTED) said, "How about another funny little thing? Or your Mormons again?" My saga of exchange students in an SLC laundromat was read way back in October.

Two: because the stage manager of a local theater that considered my Mormon laundromat play for an unstaged reading was visiting Lab for the first time, and I got to ask him for comments (another Lab member sent me e-mail saying if my play'd been accepted, I'd know by now), and he took a breath, screwed up his face, and said, "The thing I couldn't get my head around... was the set. I couldn't imagine all those laundry machines."

The set? That's it?? I already knew that part was problematic and told him so. "This was an early work, and ever since I've written for primarily black-box settings. So, what should I do about this one?"

"Add a director's or producer's note of, 'it's a laundromat.'"

He also didn't understand why it had to take place in a laundromat and I gave him my on-the-spot rationalizations of "I needed an unlikely setting within an unlikely city with two unlikely teenagers; I needed a place where the characters would enter metaphorically dirty and come out clean."

I didn't feel the need to beat him over the head with the overarching baptismal symbolism.

Anyway, once lab was *finally* over I talked to him again and made him laugh about how self-involved I was and then said, "aren't we all," and I asked him to reconsider my Mormon laundromat based upon his suggestions. And I think he might have nodded.

So we'll see about that one.

Another aspect might be that they're looking for three-acts, "a full night of theater," and I haven't written that long yet. I've thought about adding a bonus post-laundromat dinner-party act for the same characters plus the parents. Maybe. (Then I could split it in to a Pilot and First Episode and sell 'em to HBO or that cable channel that runs the new DeGrassi series. Hmmmm...)

I'm thinking more about my "I could only write it as a screenplay" idea and think I have it worked out for the stage, at least for the set (I've learned my lesson! I've learned it!). And three acts would be good, because I see this as a particularly beginning-middle-end piece that'll need some room to breathe.

*And*, also Totally Cool (see title), last night for Anne's birthday I wrote a poem, something I've not done for years, which is funny because Anne and I met at Carolyn Kizer's graduate *poetry* workshop -- Anne was a lock for it; I didn't make the cut. I think I culled all the extra words out of this one. Happy birthday Anne!

**AND***, coolest of all cool, this week we received Rhythmball inquiries from Canada, Prague, and Australia!!! Let's go global, people! :)

Poem: 1/26/2007

Our coldest night of
three Massachusetts Januaries:
We eat b-b-q chuck and corn on the cob
till the butter grows muddy.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Rhythmball for Rehab

My friend Katherine just had major surgery on her leg and is in a cast the size of Italy. She asked if I thought Rhythmball might be beneficial to her recovery, and my answer is a resounding "yes!" Katherine's a real go-getter, hike till dark then hike some more sort of gal, and I can't imagine her being still. The good news is, while she's still in her cast, she can play Rhythmball while seated. I'd recommend she buy a few extra balls to ease the retrieval process, though. Rhythmball is a great aerobic exercise for people confined to chairs, because it gets your arms moving. Super for circulation -- do you ever see fat orchestra conductors? Of course not! Because flapping your arms is super exercise! But Rhythmball is more fun, plus it has the added "will I keep it on the racket" surprise factor.

So Katherine, yes! Please try Rhythmball and let us know how it helps your recovery!

And scratch Miss Gigi, your darling poodle, who I'm certain is VERY happy to have her mother stuck in one place for large periods of time.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Our Two Cats are Hopeless

We have a mouse. Two cats, and a MOUSE. In the same kitchen where they eat their food. 'nuff said.

P.S. Cats pictured do not belong to us

black cats, unhelpful