Monday, June 27, 2011

Fun or Serious? Or Serious Fun?

Yesterday was the first day I've had in a long time with no commitments.  No social engagements.  No rehearsals.  No auditions.  No meetings and no errands to run.

And the weather was cool and cloudy, a nice break from our heat and humidity.

A perfect day to be anti-social by staying indoors and writing.

Which is what I did.  I had every intention to start writing that serious play about the feuding sisters, but kept toying with this radio play instead.  I spent a couple of hours hammering out a not-quite-thought-out plot of a western with sci-fi elements and by the end of it, I felt satisfied in that "I just had a good writing workout" way, but then looked over the script and thought, hmmmn, not all that great.  It was a fun diversion, but somehow not fulfilling.

So I have my writing group tonight and I think, bring the fun radio script or bring in the first scene I wrote awhile back for my serious drama about feuding sisters?

I've noticed in me a difference of investment in terms of thought and energy.  There are plays that are fun whims and plays that actually take a lot of time and energy.  Not that fun whims can't be good plays and highly successful.  My play LOVE & DEATH IN THE TIME OF CRAYOLA literally only took me a day or so to write and was quite fun and that play has been done over a dozen times across the country. 

I guess what 'm talking about is the meaty kind of dramas that Odets, O'Neill and Miller would write.  Plays that tackled complex characters in situations that mirrored the times. 

Those kinds of plays aren't usually written casually on a lazy Sunday afternoon.  They are forged over time.

There's a great line in the Hugh Grant movie "Music & Lyrics" where he tells Drew Barrymore that as a pop musician, he writes dessert while someone like Bob Dylan writes dinner.

Sometimes I get tired of writing dessert.  Dinner takes a lot more preparation, but its also a lot more fulfilling. 

(By the way, that photo is my wife's paella, a very fulfilling dinner!)

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