One Day: Coda

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I’m still processing the experience of participating in One Day Ten; the performances on Saturday night were interesting for their diversity and the variations in voice, style, genre. As I’d hoped, Catch Me was lifted to another level in performance; my script became something else again, not quite unexpected perhaps but different and better for it.

I may one day actually throw myself out of a plane with a parachute on my back, and after counting to ten I might pull the ripcord; I will hope, no doubt, that when I do the chute will open and all will be well. So the other night I climbed to some altitude and threw myself out of the plane and, thankfully, the parachute seems to have opened. It was exhilarating. I described it to someone as a rush; I think the fact of knowing that an audience would be seeing my play added somehow to the adrenalin. I love writing letters to the editor for exactly the same reason–someone might read it! Someone will actually Read My Words!

In hindsight, I mused to myself yesterday, I think I tried to do a bit too much with the script; it covered an awful lot of ground in barely ten minutes. I’ll chalk that up as a rookie’s mistake, the result of a kid at Christmas waking before his parents and getting to open all his presents in something of a frenzy.

On the way out of the theatre the other night, a friend of mine asked me: “Where did that come from?” This is a question that real writers probably hate, I think; I’m tempted to say, somewhat facetiously, “Well, the ideas shop had a sale on…” It’s like asking a doctor–gee, how do you make people better? It’s just so clever! The truth is (and this is the Big Secret, folks) that I really don’t know where it came from. It emerged from a synthesis of experiences, ideas, questions, emotions, Ave Maria, passions, toast and a few cups of coffee. And a love of writing dialogue. And the Sartre quote I cited in my previous post. All of that and the fact that the clock was ticking, ever louder.

When I emailed the script in I commented that it wasn’t the most cheerful piece of theatre One Day will ever stage, or has ever staged; I blamed Christos Tsiolkas for this, as I finished reading Barracuda last week. A difficult book to enjoy for lots of reasons, but I was captivated by it in that voyeuristic way; writers like Tsiolkas hold up the mirror and defy you to look away. What’s in the mirror is very often unpleasant.

I tried to do that with Catch Me. I hoped get to do it again next year. I’ve already started thinking…

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