It’s a beautiful autumn day in southwest Germany – the kind that makes you want to get out and walk among the trees alongside a babbling brook, which, as it happens, is exactly what the Pack (me, the wife, and our Chocolate Lab, Sam) did.
I have a show on Sunday, for which I have three days of rehearsal to learn where I’m supposed to be and when and to not spiral into the vortex of that nightmare where you’re onstage staring down an audience who is staring you down and you have absolutely no idea what you’re supposed to be doing. Luckily, I’ll be there with about 50 of my newest friends who have all done this before, so I’ll just follow somebody.
This is the kind of comedy that makes up our life. Along with that is the huge pumpkin that my wife’s colleague pulled from his garden and gave to her as an opening night gift, hilarious theatre parties, lactosefrei milch, pork products everywhere, 50 cent bottles of beer, and walking for an hour with the Pack alongside a babbling brook with the leaves falling all around us
New life has been breathed into two of my one act operas – reviewing, revising, rewriting, writing new sections, and, most importantly, getting help with the words.
I used to write words alot. In the singer/songwriter, playing-to-an-empty-coffeehouse years, I was putting as much effort into turns of phrase and rhyming schemes as I was fancy chord progressions and singing my ass off. Somewhere along the line (I know exactly when it happened – when I went back to college for the music degree and became a snob of unfounded proportions) I put pop music on the shelf, and, along with it, writing lyrics about girls and how difficult my life was, wrapped like a pig in a blanket of self-depricating black humor and wordplay. I still have these recordings in my “archive” just waiting for a doctoral student to delve into.
So now, my word chops suck. I’ve been looking for a few good words to extend a scene, change a feeling, express a mood better, or make a character seem like she is really, actually, you know, SUPPOSED to be in the show.
Much of this is dramaturgy – making sure the story works – so thats where I’m headed first.