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Coming this fall to HBFaux, from hit producer Jenn Day…

Starring Nuance Bryant, Phoebe Roberts, Tori Bright, Cara Giorno, and Holly Bianchi, the hit new dramedy that all the ladies are talking about…

BRIDESMAIDS

Nancy (Bryant) is the life of the party, but her high spirits conceal the heartbreak within.

Paulina (Roberts) is so pretty she gets away with being mean. Will she ever learn it’s really what’s on the inside that counts?

You have to get up pretty early in the morning to outfox somebody with a brain like Tanya (Bright). It’s listening to her heart that’s the problem.

Claire’s (Giorno) got her career all locked up, but it’s her personal life that’s still on the loose.

Hannah (Bianchi) has wide eyes full of big dreams. Will she survive a dose of big city reality?

Together, they are BRIDESMAIDS. Catch it Tuesdays at 8/7c.

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Having a hard time coming up with a coherent entry. I have been feeling overwhelmed by my responsibilities lately, which hasn't left a lot of brainpower for much besides getting through. I have no particular end in sight, unfortunately, but gotta keep the old head above the water. So here's some random stuff about what I've got going on.

I think I have my Mrs. Hawking pilot where it needs to be. At least, I think so. I'm a bit concerned I've lost all critical perspective on the thing, but I'm probably being hard on myself, as that has been a thing with me lately. I plan on sending it to the producer I spoke to no later than one month after our initial meeting.

In the meantime, I am also working on a show bible to send along with it. It needs to be short, I'm shooting for about three pages, but still give all the information necessary to imagine it as a series. Right now I'm just banging it out, with the intention of cutting it back.

These compressed-period, four-hour-long classes I'm teaching right now are rough. Not only do they require more planning in a shorter amount of time, just teaching for four hours straight is not easy. I'm doing okay with it, but it takes a lot out of me.

I need to start building regular social back into my days. I've been so burnt and overwhelmed I haven't been seeing any friends, which isn't good. I think I need to start making a conscious effort to schedule at least one social thing every week. I've been feeling kind of adrift lately on top of the exhaustion, and it might help with the bad feelings to enjoy the company of friends more often.
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I have been getting a lot of things done lately. I've been working dilligently away on Base Instruments, and it's coming along. I wrote another pitch, this time for my other screenplay, The Tailor at Loring's End. Sunday alone I cleaned everything in my house except for mopping the kitchen floor (my least favorite chore, for some reason, so I avoid it), did all the laundry, washed and put away all the dishes. Made myself some chicken with sauteed apples and onions to eat this week.

My workout plan goes well. I think my body is in the best shape it's ever been. This system of working out six days a week, alternating ab routine with cardio, plus a low-carb, no-processed sugar diet with one cheat day a week is suiting me. It's not easy, but I feel strong and healthy-- and my abs are more visible than they've ever been. I'm in the middle of week three, and I'm hoping to make it at least a month so I can see where I am then.

But I think I need to get out of the house a bit more, or at least invite people over. I never mind being alone, but I do experience the sensation of missing friends. I feel like I haven't had much social interaction in some time. I'm handling Bernie's absense-- which has just hit the ten-month mark --pretty well, but I get into waves where I feel it more keenly than usual. I should make a point to make plans with people to keep it in check. The only remedy for missing people is to reach out and arrange to see them.
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I remember telling [livejournal.com profile] crearespero, when we were working on figuring out how to portray Mrs. Hawking in the beginning of the Arisia 2015 process, that Mrs. Hawking has been mostly by herself for the last year, and while she likes it that way, the complete lack of outside perspective entering her little bubble has made her start to get weird. I think a little something of this has started happening to me. Outside of people I encounter incidentally for my job and stuff, I have barely interacted with anyone in the last several weeks, especially not socially. Like my weird little protagonist, I am emotionally fine with this, but I start to worry it's not good for me after a while, even if it doesn't bother me. I think it makes me out of practice dealing with my particular social anxieties, which makes them seem harder than they would be otherwise. Also I like my friends, I want to maintain those relationships, so I should make the effort to spend time with them.

And I miss Bernie. It's seem to be keen recently in a way it wasn't before. I mean, I always wish he were around, but my solitary nature makes me pretty resistant to ever feeling lonely. And he and I talk every day, so our relationship still feels so strong than I always feel close to him even though he's far away. But maybe it's started to wear on me, as I've begun to be a bit melancholy that he's not here. It also strikes me how I miss having someone around on whom I can count on for help whenever I need it. I'm a really indepedent person, I have trouble asking for help at the best of times, but with Bernie I actually felt comfortable enough to turn to him. I have great, generous friends, but I hate to bother them, and I certainly hate being helpless unless somebody can come to my aid. I got sick with a migraine today, and it would have been so nice to have him here to help me out. But as it was, I had to manage on my own. I can get my fill of emotional closeness with Bernie even far away, but when it comes to physical support, that's just something he can't do from Maryland.

The snow's the biggest problem. It's be so much easier to plan and get around and just freaking see people without it. I want to make that effort again. I love Mrs. Hawking, but I should definitely work to be ANYTHING BUT LIKE HER.
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Bernie and I celebrated our first anniversary of dating this week. Our real anniversary is in May, but my mom died like the day before and I forgot all about it. So we finally remembered and decided to celebrate. We went out to Forum, the restaurant where my brother Casey works, and had a wonderful dinner. We don't go out very often, especially not to fancy places, so it was fun to get dressed up and have such a special meal. Casey took good care of us, and it was really nice of him to make sure we had such a nice time.

Bernie's gift to me was a Sherlock Holmes-themed game where you explore London to solve a murder mystery. We played it for the first time last night, with [livejournal.com profile] lightgamer [livejournal.com profile] morethings5 and Sam, and it was a blast. Your objective is to find the solution in fewer steps than Sherlock himself did, which encourages choosing your information sources strategically, but also to learn enough to get the full picture of what was going on with the victim and the crime. I loved the conceit of figuring out where to go and who to talk to in the city to gather information, plus examining newspapers for possibly relevant stories. It made me want to write my own mystery using the rules of this game-- I'd set it in the Hawking universe, and maybe change the conceit to the players all being members of the Hawks and learning their craft from the master. Mrs. Hawking is more of a spy than a pure detective, but she definitely uses the techniques of deduction, so I think it would be easy to adapt her sort of capers into the form. I'm very grateful to Bernie for finding this game and I think we're going to have a lot of fun with it.

I still can't get over how happy I am to be with Bernie. I feel like I can share all the aspects of a relationship with him, from the fun exciting parts that you enjoy together, to the mundane everyday parts that are improved by the other person's presence, to the difficult unpleasant parts where you need strength and support. There is honesty and genuineness, and even when things aren't perfect, I always feel respected and valued, and like we have methods to deal with the problems. There are no red flags I have to ignore or get past. Maybe it's silly how that still seems so miraculous to me, but even though things finally feel like I'm in the right place, I still can hardly believe it. 
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Feeling intensely energized today after last night's reading of the second draft of Adonis. Oh, my God, guys. It was so productive and Bernie and I were so pleased. I went into it really nervous but hopeful, a combination which puts my stomach in knots. I spent Friday and Saturday furiously working away on it with Bernie-- who has contributed enough at this point to share the writing credit --refusing to rest until we'd hammered out the rest of the arc. The first half came together quickly that way, but we really had to work to get the second half to flow and fill out and make sense. We came onto something we felt was solid, and then I feverishly wrote it all down in preparation for last night.

And not only did the reading go really well-- I was very happy with it when I heard it aloud --the things it still needed were expertly worked out by my brilliant readers. Their suggestions were on point, concrete, and really helpful. I can't get over how lucky I am to have such smart people giving commentary. Bernie took notes from which I'm working to edit now. For someone who struggles with inscribing words the way he does (he is mildly dyslexic and finds that part of writing difficult) he took really good useful notes, something my brain tends to spin too fast during readings for me to be able to do. And they're hilarious because of his occasional side commentary, such as "LIKE I SAID" when everyone at the reading agrees with an idea of his I rejected.

I really think we've cracked this story and it's just a matter of making certain it's in the right form to be a proper screenplay now. The only thing I'm really concerned about now is the page length. We're shooting for about two hours, as it is an ancient epic with lots of action. But instead of being about 120 pages, following the rough minute per page rule, it came up fairly short, despite the fact that we've hit all the beats for the modern cinematic story structure. I feel like the action sequences would be choreographed to take up more time than the space they take up on the page would imply, but I don't know if that means a reader would see that and be like, well, oh, it's an action movie, so it's not coming up short. Screenplay storytelling is really rigid in form, and I have to make sure I can fit it. It's a little limiting, but if I want a chance of being taken seriously, I have to play the game properly.

Three days left to edit! Wish me luck!
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This is a reminder about the Watch City Players have a summer show going up, Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest.

THE LOCATION HAS CHANGED, HOWEVER. It's going up Saturday, July 26th at 7pm in an outdoor performance at Clement G. Morgan Park in Cambridge, MA.

To repeat my pitch from before:

"This show is fun and funny, but what really makes it special is that it's all about gender and gender variation. Some characters are gender-flipped, some are reinterpreted as trans or nonbinary; even the whole idea of Earnest is based around the lead characters exploring their own gender identities outside of the ones assigned to them. It's an interesting and fun queering of the text."

The cast is as follows:

Jaclyn Worthing / Ernest Worthing: Frances Kimpel
Algernon Moncrieff: Charlotte Oswald
Gregory Bracknell: Matt Kamm
Cecil Cardew: Eboracum Richter-Dahl
Lady Bracknell: April Farmer
Miss Prism: Jonathan Kindness
Dr. Chasuble: Sparrow Rubin
Lane/Merriman: Stephanie Karol

Directed by Lenny Somervell

It's free and in the park, so I wanted to organize a big potluck dinner before the show. I'd like to meet up in the park around 5:30 and hang out and have a picnic until the performance. Feel free to bring anyone you think might enjoy it! I'm planning on bringing chicken marbella. :-)

Let me know if you can make it! Also tell me what you'd like to bring, or I can suggest something if you need an idea.

This should be a lot of fun, so I hope to see you there!"
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Nerds have embraced the concept of “drift compatibility” from Pacific Rim. It reflects a sort of total mind-meld one can achieve with a person with whom you are in perfect sync with. It’s become a convenient expression to describe levels of particular kinship and closeness that isn’t limited to a particular type of relationship—could be romance, could be familiar, could be friendship. A kind of closeness where you could share the totality of your being with them.

It strikes me that I don’t believe I am drift compatible with anyone. It’s not for lack of bond. I have wonderful friends that I love and trust and know I can count on. I have wonderful family that I am close to and have been so good to me. I have Bernie, who I love, and who loves me more and judges me less than anyone else. But the idea of anyone in my head, in my thoughts? Could never do it. Could never stand it. Never with anyone. I think I’d rather be dead.

I just can’t bear the idea of anyone seeing all my thoughts. Before I even was familiar with the concept, I would imagine what if someone around me was psychic, and it made me want to puke. Is that unusual? Are there people for whom the idea of being able to share ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING in your head with another person is desirable? I have issues with shame, and perhaps as a result, a nature that is naturally inclined to a certain level of artifice. But I’m also private; not sure how much that’s related. I couldn’t even share everything about myself with Bernie. I don’t think I could ever do it with anyone.
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Yesterday I finished version 3 of Puzzle House Blues, my new musical. This set of edits was directly in response to criticisms and discussion made by trusted friends who read it, as well as the observations of my collaborator. I struggled a fair bit with this one, as there were some structural issues that needed to be solved before other things could be improved, but I finally think we're on the track we want. Troy looked it over, and he has agreed that at last we have reached the stage where we're polishing.

That means we're diving into version four. The story is strong, well-paced, and makes sense. Now we're working on making sure the characters are all as well-defined as possible. Troy looked over the current script and gave very specific notes. I am once again grateful I've found a collaborator with whom I work so well. His notes have been very on-point at every point of the process, and his view of how to make things work has gelled very nicely with mine. The combination of him and my very discerning friends have been a godsend to my editing process. I tend to get too close to my projects to see the issues that they see.

And of course, the songs. Troy is primarily handling the songs, music and lyrics, but I'm acting in a kind of editorial capacity. We're trying to figure out how to balance the spoken parts with the musical parts in terms of moving the story and illustrating the emotionally dramatic moments. It's a new challenge for me, but I think we're on the right track.

We're going to do another reading once this round of polish is done and the songs are at least mostly set. We need to see how it all hangs together in combination, for which a second reading is necessary. I look forward to that point, as I think we'll be just a few steps away from there.
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I am back in Waltham now. The funeral is done, and now it's time to return to life and learn how to get along without my mother.

The funeral was small but nice, in a nice Catholic church like she would have wanted. Good people came and were kind. We even received a lovely arrangement of white flowers with a card with my name on it with the epigram from Cymbeline, "Fear no more the heat o' the sun, / Nor the furious winter's rages. / Thou thy worldly task has done, / Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages." The combination of those two things make me think that it must have been friends of mine who sent it, and if you happen to know who it was, I'd love to be able to thank them.

On that note, I want to thank everyone who has sent kind words, sympathy, and support for us in this time. You don't know how much it means to me, and to my family. I am inexpressibly grateful.

I'm mostly okay, I think, though I think I might be kind of withdrawn for a little while on. It hasn't totally hit me, I think, that she's gone forever. We talked every day, and probably the first time I go to call her without thinking before I remember will be tough. But she made us strong, and so I know we'll be able to handle it and be okay. Still, I imagine I'll want to spend a good bit of time to myself before I can really get on with things.
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I have been the recipient of a number of thoughtful anonymous gifts recently. They've been my favorite snacks, and I'm actually most touched by the fact that the giver remembered well enough the sort of things I like. I've been in a rough time lately, so it's been very cheering that somebody's thinking of me and willing to make efforts to make me feel a little better.

To whoever has been sending these, I am incredibly grateful. It means a great deal to me that you care, and I'm touched every time I receive one. But you know, you needn't keep spending money on me. You've been more than kind enough, you don't have to keep putting yourself out. The message is what counts, and it's been more than received. Thank you so much.
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I came home to find a thoughtful gift for me on my kitchen counter.


A Mexican glass-bottle Coke and a bag of plain Goldfish. My favorite comfort foods.

There's no note beyond the little tags with my name on them. But some very kind person remembered some small detail about me and, likely knowing I am in a rough way right now, left them there for me as a gift. What kindness. I'm touched by the gesture, but I'm even more touched that somebody remembered this about me. I don't even know who it is, though I suppose I have a guess.

Thank you, unnamed person. This has been a real pick-me-up. <3

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I learned recently that Chris Evans, the gorgeous actor who plays Captain America whom I have wiled away many a happy hour ogling, suffers from extreme social anxiety. There’s a part of me that is shocked by that. Imagine, being a golden god, and being afraid people are going to judge you. But really, it makes me feel a kinship with him. More and more, I suspect I have some social anxiety too—at least a mild form of it.

It’s weird. As I’ve mentioned, I only have a couple of the markers, but the ones I do, I have to an extreme degree. I have inordinate anticipatory anxiety before many social situations. It’s not unmanageable, I usually just handle it, but it’s still there to be handled. It’s very strange. While I do have strong self-esteem, I still have a constant little nagging fear of being judged. Most people don’t understand how those two things can coexist, but I really feel like they do. The only way I can characterize it is, like, I see myself as definitely good. I am secure in the knowledge that I am good. But it’s like I have a fear that “good” isn’t good enough, if I’m less than “perfect,” that invites judgment. Fortunately that internal voice is not too hard for me to ignore, but it still meeps a fair bit about “You should be perfect and you’re not!” Honestly, a lot of my damage centers around the notion of “You should be perfect and you’re not!”

It often takes the form of an absurd, irrational worry that there’s something wrong with my face. I mean, I know intellectually that there’s nothing wrong, but my anxieties for some reason center on it. Certain people in particular, specifically people who I’m always struck with how good they always look, will trigger it. For example, it’s often set off when I talk to [livejournal.com profile] niobien, through no fault of her own, because she looks so damn perfect all the time.

I also worry a lot that I’m going to “bother” someone. Like, people will react with, “Ugh, leave me alone,” if they know me, or “Who the hell are you? Why would I do anything for you?” if they don’t. It makes networking hard as shit.

The other day I went over a list of sixteen markers and assigned myself one point for every one I had, and half a point for every one I’ve experienced even a little bit. Even then, I only got five and a half out of sixteen. All the ones regarding people paying attention to you were not problems at all, and often were in fact things I thrive on. But the ones I did have—a fear of meeting new people, a hatred of small talk, of calling people on the phone, of using public restrooms –I have pretty badly.

My head is a strange place. It’s full of tiny little voices saying crazy things, but none of them really hit me that strongly. I guess everybody has them, but I suppose I’m pretty good at remembering my jerkbrain is a liar, as Captain Awkward would say. But even though the feeling of social anxiety is manageable for me, I can’t really pretend it’s not there.

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This past week I had some of my pool of acting talent test out the Clara subplot I wrote for Vivat Regina. I was not feeling very good about it going in. I struggled a lot with not only figuring out why she would appear, what she would add to the story, but also where the hell to put here. It seemed like there was no place to break up the already-established plot structure that didn't bring the moment to a halt. But I gave it my best shot, and threw it to the actors to see what they would do with it.

The verdict they came to was that it worked a lot better than I thought! They actually loved the character of Clara, and said she added both a spot of humor and the presence of someone who has not drunk the Mrs. Hawking Kool-Aid, so to speak. One thing that really bugs me is when a character is an asshole but none of the other characters ever give them any consequences for it because they're soooooooo special. I wanted Clara to be somebody who was not so impressed by Mrs. Hawking-- who is both definitely very cool, and very much a pain in the ass --that she wouldn't validate everything she does. I was happy to hear she achieved that.

There were still problems, though. Some of the insertion points for Clara's scenes were off, and she wasn't doing everything she could to serve the overall story. But the wonderful thing was that my lovely actors all had ideas to fix it. A little bit of each one's thoughts combined to show me what I could do to make her work better. I think it's incredibly cool that now each of them have their fingerprint on it. I'm so grateful for their help. I'm lucky to have such talented friends, who are generous with their talent.

I've been working on the edit since then. I should have it done very soon. I'm extremely happy that it worked out, because the idea does enrich the story. Yay for progress!

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Finished a fairly solid first-round-edit of my new play today. I had an emergency reading dinner with some really wonderful actor friends who rendered their opinion on very short notice, and it was incredibly useful. The plot of this piece involves a fairly complex series of actions, which I wanted feedback on the logic of, as well as whether or not the emotional arcs read and were genuine. I mostly achieved what I wanted, and in the ways it didn't quite work the suggestions and responses I got were very helpful. I spent today applying those edits, and I'm pretty happy with the result. Not bad for a week's work!

As I mention, I'm waiting a bit before I widely say what the piece was. But it had a couple of demands specific to this particular project, including issues of context and whether or not certain subtle things were delivered clearly. I also really wanted was a balance of drama and emotional weight with moments of genuine levity and humor. The reading last night seemed to demonstrate that I achieved that, and I think I managed to incorporate my readers' suggestions effectively.

This piece could definitely use a subplot. It's... maybe ten pages shorter than it should be. One thing I have a consistent tendency towards is making the plot barrel forward full speed ahead. I'm not very good at adding in those little somewhat divergent threads that seem to tell a separate story, but which actually supports and reveals the overall themes of the piece. My way has the advantage of the fact that it usually indicates highly active characters who are taking steps and making things happen to achieve their goals, which tends to make for better drama. But at the same time, it can have the downside of pacing problems, and a lack of dimension and complexity. I had the same trouble when I was working on Mrs. Loring, and honestly, I never really resolved it in that one. At least for the first draft of this newest, I suppose it will do, but I wouldn't mind thinking of something else I can include just to get it up to length.

It probably needs more tweaking. I did write it in a week. But at the moment I am a bit burnt out on it. I will need more distance before I think I will be able to effectively bring it to the next level. Still, I think it's good enough for what I want it to do at the moment...

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I'm several weeks into this new life schedule and I'm starting to get into the swing of it. Getting up early and using my morning to prepare for the rest of the day, putting dinner in the crock pot, going for a workout, packing a bag with everything I'll need to take with me until I get home again at night. There's still something to get used to about being out around people for a full day, but I am feeling good about handling my responsibilities and doing a decent job of balancing them with the things that are important to me.

It struck me how happy I am with things lately. I have a regular part-time job that, while I don't love every aspect of, I like well enough, am good at, and leaves me enough time to pursue my other work. Between it and my various other small jobs, such as modeling and costume designing, I am making a little money again, more than I was at my previous job, and I am spending more time doing the things I want to do. I have been pursuing ballet and going to my circuit workouts, which has left me feeling strong and healthy. I am happy with how my body looks and feels right now. I launched my Mrs. Hawking website and, while I'm still working on how to find its audience, I'm proud of how it's coming along. I have been doing a TON of writing on various projects, many of which have a decent chance of seeing production, which could further my career as a playwright. I have lovely friends who give me a ton of joy, with whom my only issue is I probably don't spend enough time with them. And I have Bernie, whose love makes everything that much brighter.

I find I am happiest when I have a good balance of responsibilities, free time for fun, creative projects to work on now, and anticipation of good things in the future that give me a sense of moving forward. For the first time in years I feel like I'm mostly hitting that target. I may be a bit on the overcommitted side, as I often am, and should probably be careful of new commitments. But I feel pretty damn good overall, and I'm incredibly grateful for that.

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Tonight I had some lovely people over for dinner who did me the favor of having a casual reading of my new play Mrs. Loring. We were a few people short and some of them had to talk to themselves, but they did a great job for having never seen the script before and just winging it. And even better, afterward they helped me work on what I should edit. Between Steph, Lenny, Eboracum, Charlotte, and Frances, their responses were super-useful to help me figure out what worked, what didn't, what it still needed and how I could accomplish it.

As it is, the script is pretty bare-bones. In my rush to finish it before the deadline, pretty much all the scenes are in the service of moving the plot along. That means that it moves too fast and needs both more lead-up to make things believable when they happen and more character development. I also believe that every character who's more than an extra should have an arc. While I would say about half of my six significant characters do, my lovely readers helped me figure out what the others should have. It needs a lot of work, but I think I have a better handle on how to attack it now. I'm sure I'll want to do another reading once I make the edits, and I'm excited for when I get to that point. 
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As you may know, I love to entertain. I've been starting to have people over for dinner again lately as a way to get myself back into being social again, because it's a way I get lots of enjoyment from. It's a combination of feeling good about myself when I show others a good time, and because cooking is not only a creative activity I enjoy, but a way to feel like I have some accomplishment and control-- hey, I can feed myself like a grownup! I won't starve to death! And it's a nice thing I can do for the people I care for.

Unfortunately I'm limited by my resources in how many I can host in what fashion. A dinner party of mine can never have more than a handful of people max, due to my budget and how little sit-down space I currently have, and even a big bash has to have a hard cap on the guest list. One of the advantages of my old place Elsinore, even with as many problems as it had, was that at least I could invite a ton of people if I wanted to throw a party. Here in Illyria there's always the risk of packing people in like sardines.

But if I had the money and the space, I know exactly what I'd do. I would have four major parties a year. Well, I'd probably have other parties too, but the BIG, IMPORTANT parties would occur four times a year, in spring, summer, fall, and winter. And they would be, as they say, THE EVENTS OF THE SEASON. I would have a fabulous seasonal buffet, different for each one. I do a pretty good job with the spread given the constraints I'm under, if I may say so myself, but imagine what I could do with a real budget! There would be different themes for how guests should dress-- casual, fancy, costumed, whatever appealed to me at the moment. I would also love to have the space for a dance floor, something I've never been able to have at a party before. And best of all, I would have the space to invite as many people as I wanted. It would be necessary, after all. People would plan their attendance for months in advance. Because anybody's who anybody would be at these parties, so it would painful to miss. ;-)
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So I don't want to make too big a thing of this, but it shaped my Intercon experience, and I'd like to get that out of me before I try to talk about Intercon. Also I've gotten some questions about what happened, and I'd like to clear them up.

You don't have to read more about this if you don't want to, but it clears up what happened if you've been wondering. )

I'm hoping to not post too much more about this for a while. I don't want to become steeped in it, or the person who can't talk about anything besides her breakup. But I wanted to clear up about what happened at Intercon as regards to my personal stuff.

I'll say one thing, though. Rough times really how you who your friends are. I have been so incredibly lucky to have so many friends reach out to me during this time. Some people who aren't even that close with me but still were kind enough to extend themselves to show support and care. That means more to me than I can say. Thanks to all those people for their strength and understanding. It's what's getting me through this really rough patch of my life.
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This past Tuesday saw my reading of Mrs. Hawking sponsored by my grad program at Lesley. I am happy to report that it went quite well. I was a little nervous going in-- not only was there no rehearsal, many of the actors had not read the play beforehand. But it turned out that they were so good that even in a completely cold read they did a fabulous job. I was mightily impressed. They even did the British accents I was hoping for. In fact, those that were double-cast even did different ones to differentiate their several characters! That was very cool. Here's a picture mid-reading, thoughtfully snapped by my super-cool former sci fi and fantasy adviser Mark:

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It worked similarly to a radio play, if you've ever seen one. The actors come up to the stands when they are present in the scene, and return to the chairs behind them when they are "offstage." The only downside was that the actor playing Nathaniel made the choice to make him, in my opinion, excessively absurd. I don't mind if he's funny and even a little silly early on, but this actor decided to maintain that throughout the entirety of the piece. If you're still not able to take him seriously by the final scene, it pretty much kills his arc. But other than that I was happy, and it turned out to be extremely instructive. It suggested a number of edits I can make, which I will work on forthwith. But I got a lot of complements from my teachers and fellow students, which felt great. And I was fortunate to have a nice crowd of my own lovely friends there to support me, who I believe also enjoyed it. Thank you so much for being there. I think I had a bigger crowd than they see at these student staged readings! So I feel pretty good about the whole thing, and I'm eager to get working on the edits. I want this piece to be the best it possibly can be.

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July 2017

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