by Lindsay Joy · June 19, 2014
Every time I open my computer I scare the bejesus out of myself. Sprawled out over my screen seem to be the workings of a mad person- like a mad woman of Lewis Carroll proportions. My play is there. Well, it’s all over the place, really. Almost like the plot of Inception, my play exists in three different time lines. I made a terrible discovery. I fucked it up.
The start of a piece is easy. It’s all play. Anything is possible, and every impulse can be followed. Then, decisions have to be made. A plot must exist. Actions and intentions must be clear for each character. Obstacles and conflict must exist…etc, etc, etc. You know, you actually have to craft the fucker. I’m a rare bird amongst the writers I run with- I like re-writing. Love it, actually. I like knowing that I’ve caught a mistake, that I’ve made something better and more clear. Cutting and pasting during a rehearsal process is sexy to me. It’s like I’m figuring out an emotional puzzle and I’ve been given the border pieces already. With this play, I realized I fucked it up before I heard it aloud. I know that in the long haul, this is a better scenario. But, boy oh boy, does it suck right now.
Here is what I did. One character, Trevor, was introduced on page 49 of my first draft. Ahhhhh. First draft was so close to being done- maybe fifteen pages from a conclusion, but something wasn’t sticking the right way. It was like I was baking bread with no yeast…nothing was rising or moving the way I wanted it to. I mistakenly thought it was the fault of a different character, Amber. Poor Amber. Not her fault at all. It was Trevor’s fault.
I do this thing sometimes when I write where I withhold information from the audience. I do this in hopes of a great gasp or realization from the audience in performance. Some writers do this with laughter- they need it. I need to surprise them. A gasp? An audible gasp? An audible gasp with seat movement? Fuck yes. That is my drug, brother, and I need a hit!
This is where Trevor comes in. I kept him off stage for most of the play because he is the holder of the big, bad, gasp inducing secret. But, he needs to be there in the mix of the rising action to propel the reveal. He needs to enter on page twenty. He does, and I know it. Hence, the multiple windows of the same play open on my laptop. I fucked it up, and I’m now scared of it.
I know that this is better to figure out now. It’ll make the play better. AND, thank goodness I’ve had Padraic and the Farm to bounce pages off of. Hearing it out loud in his weekly classes is about the only thing keeping me from chucking my computer off the Williamsburg Bridge every morning. Fucking Trevor. I blame him for my madness.