Friday, February 01, 2008

what's going on

So for a long time now I've been trying to write this one man show. I wrote about 40 minutes of it from the perspective of a dog and I heard it out loud a couple times and liked it a lot. But I kept trying to figure out what would go before it or after it. I wrote a ten minute thing that I thought would go before it that Travis and Kip worked on for me and we did at Little Theater but I realized it wasn't the right thing. Now, I think I've finally figured it out. I'm working on a second related one person show that will go after it. I'm trying to get it done before the 20th when I am presenting at Ars Nova. Here is a small section from what I wrote yesterday: THOMAS Oh, the story. I was going to tell you the story. OK, so I came up with this when I was a kid. When my mom and dad were yelling, I used to go hide out in the dog’s pen and read comic books and the dog would put his head in my lap. Well, anyway, that’s when I came up with the Escapist. He’s a superhero, you see, who helps people escape. Like if you’re in a loveless marriage or a dead end job or in a lot of debt, he comes a long and helps you get out of these situations. Or if you’re like kidnapped, he’ll help you escape from that too. Here, let me illustrate. (THOMAS removes his clothing in one swift motion and underneath, he has a superhero costume with a big E on the chest.) I had this made. (The lights change. THOMAS becomes vigilant.) What’s that? Do I hear someone who needs the help of the Escapist? (THOMAS pretends to swoop down—perhaps he flies--and help someone.) I am the Escapist. How can I help you escape? And then the person says something like “I can’t get a good job without going to college but how can I afford college without a good job?” And the Escapist is like, “I can help.” And they work on the college application together and then they fill out loan applications. But then the person is in like a lot of debt from school and so they’re trapped again. So the escapist comes along again and says, “How can I help?” And so they rob a bank together because sometimes the Escapist does something like that. And then the Escapist flies off to help someone else. What’s that? Do I hear someone in need of some help? (The phone rings. The lights return to normal.) Oh. I better put my clothes back on. This is not considered proper attire for the office. (He snaps all the snaps, puts all his clothes back on, while answering the phone.)

7 comments:

mbh said...

Very funny... the only thing that seemed out of whack was the second half of the first paragraph because you repeat it (and funnier) after he shows his costume... What if you cut from where he says "Like if you're in a loveless"... to the end of the paragraph.

When he gives the example of filling out paper work and then robbing the bank, that says so much more than what I propose cutting...

Anyway... that's just me...

But it's good writing even if you ignore me.

LOL

Cheers,

Michael

Adam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adam said...

hmm. Maybe. Although in this case, it's actually funnier i think with the build up to the specific. I know the repitition implies it won't be funny the second time, but it actually makes it funnier even though you expect it. i can't explain why exactly but I'm pretty sure that's true.

Tina Rowley said...

I LOVE THE ESCAPIST.

Adam said...

thanks, Tina!

mbh said...

ALWAYS go with your gut instinct Adam... if it works, keep it... reminds me of a line from "My Favorite Year."

"In my business, if it's funny, you don't cut it."


Cheers,

Michael

Adam said...

Thanks, Michael. It's funny when I'm writing I don't realize I'm writing something funny but when I look at it to see why something is there I'm able to say it's there because it's funny. I think a lot of people reading it wouldn't get it was funny but then when you hear it out loud with an audience, it becomes clear, or I hope it does.

Looking at it now, I see the comedy rule of 3. 1 Like if you're in a loveless... 2 college 3 rob bank.

All of which i s written without thinking about comedy rules or even as I said being aware of writing comedy.

And again, I think it works, not positive but i'll be able to tell when I hear it out loud.