Thursday, January 21, 2010

365 - Phase Two

Okay. Two days out from completing the last scene.

On Tuesday, I did laundry and watched Bullitt starring Steve McQueen on instant Netflix. Great cop movie from the late sixties that looks like it was a great influence on many great cop films from the seventies - French Connection and Dirty Harry, for example. It's a smart movie, deliberately paced, with one of the best car chases ever filmed. What I liked best about the chase is that it clock in around ten minutes and there's no dialogue or music. No thumpy soundtrack, no witty quips. Just intense driving. And I went to Goose Island to celebrate completing the project with friends. Special thanks to Robot vs Dinosaur who gave me a trophy and declared me "Undisputed Sketch King." That was nice. So, I'm a king, now.

On Wednesday, I had one of those days I dreaded during the 365 project. I had to be at Columbia College by 9am, was there to late afternoon, had to run errands for the Nighthawk Sandwich open and stay through the reception to clean up. There would have been no time during the day to write which means I would have written a scene at 11 o'clock at night, exhausted. Not fun. It was a relief not to have that pressure.

What is next? Well, now the work begins on putting the work up in June at the Strawdog Theater. For me, that means slotting 26 directors to head up 26 shows and doing rewrites. For the rewrites, I will be going through every scene, one at a time, in order, with the intention of making them better.

The only thing that felt odd was when I came up with a good line last night at the reception that could be developed into a scene. Of course, I could still do that, but I seriously thought, "Maybe I could twitter it." And this morning while doing dishes I came up with an idea for a scene. Those scenes will get written. Just not today or tomorrow.

It's hard to say how the project has affected me. I look forward to nurturing ideas and working on a larger project. I will say that my confidence to deliver a stageable scene in a short amount of time is pretty darn high. The most enjoyable part of the project is seeing my work produced - Mrs. Gruber's Ding Dong School, 365 at Sketchfest, The (edward) Hopper Project, Nighthawk Sandwich, Run, Palindrome, Nur, Columbia College's 24 Play Festival. By my flawed math skills, that's 20 different scenes. That's not including the high school in Florida that performed a handful of them or the few that showed up as YouTube videos. A record for me, for sure. It's especially satisfying to see actors having fun with what I wrought and building on it in such brilliant and nuanced ways.

So, stay tuned...

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