On-Stage: How it Happens: An Introduction

I claim to be a writer.

As proof, I offer these facts: I have completed several short stories in the science fiction and fantasy genre (two of which have been published); two LDS mainstream novels (neither of which have been published); a couple of screenplays for hire (neither of which have even come close to pre-production); some rather bad poetry (a smattering of which have been published after a fashion); some song lyrics (most of which have been set to actual singable tunes) and a whole bunch of plays.  Several of which have been produced.

Now, I don’t write every day; I just don’t have the time for it.  I know that–according to some hard core folks of the writerly type–that means I’m not a real writer.  Because, you see, writers write.  Every day.  Or so they say. 

In my own defense, one of the reasons I don’t have time to write every day is that I’ve got other creative outlets.  In addition to being a writer, I’m also an actor.  And a director.  Of plays.  I’m your run-of-the-mill all-round general Theater Guy.  Which really means that I’m a theater slave.  And this takes a lot of time.  (I also have a Facebook account that doesn’t take nearly as much time as you would think, because I don’t play Farmville, or Yoville or anything like that.  Honestly.)

This is how it happens that one becomes a Theater Slave.  First; it is a well known fact that Theater is a living, vital entity that makes great demands of her minions.  Perhaps this fact is not so well known by the ambivalent masses, but it is well known by those who have been tapped to wear the masks of Comedy and Drama.

The thing about being a Theater Slave is that it’s not a compelled duty.  One is not culled from the streetly rabble and pressed into service.  One serves that seductive creature of one’s own free will.  Honestly; it’s completely voluntary.  Indeed, one must actually seek diligently for the privilege to subject one’s self to the machinations of the Great Spirit of the Stage.  And, as everyone knows, if you seek you shall find.

It all begins innocently enough.  Usually the foundation of one’s obeisance is laid in the pre-pubescent years when one can oftentimes be found dashing about the house, pretending to be chased by hideous monsters or evil men with large guns and murderous intent then getting caught by said evil monsters and hidedous men and being spectacularly slain–limbs flying, gore splashing–all to the delight and horror of one’s private audience.  Of course, this type of behavior inevitably leads one to participation in things like roadshows and school plays.  And this is when Theater claims her own.

Remember that I said I’m a writer?  I wrote my first play when I was in the seventh grade.  It was by assignment for my English class.  I was a big Walter Farly fan at the time so I stole the plot from his Island Stallion novel with bits taken from The Black Stallion as well.  In addition to being a dreadful piece of theater, it was also dreadfully impossible to stage.  That did not hinder the ninth grade drama class from giving it the old junior high school try.

All the plays from our English class assignment were given to the Drama class for a project of theirs.  At the end of the year, our class was invited in to see the plays that had been chosen for immortalization.  Mine was last on the bill; the position of honor.  As I stood in the back of the room listening to the words I had written coming forth from the mouths of those fine actors, someone invited me backstage so that I could be given an award at the end of the production.  I stood in the wings as the actors ran about the stage on their broomish steeds.  The applause was deafening.  I was ushered through the curtains so that I could take a bow with the performers, and to receive my award.  I stood smiling beatifically at the expectant crowd when suddenly I was pummeled over the head by all the brooms.  Great laughter ensued.

You’d think, after that, that theater would be the last thing for which I would develop any interest.

Well, to tell you the truth, I’m not exactly sure how it happened.  Somehow, though, Theater got her hooks in me, and I have been her willing slave ever since.  I guess I just think she’s hot.

So, since I have been invited to blogify here on occasion, I think that, for the most part, I will be talking about Theaterish things from time to time.  But not exclusively.  As I said at the beginning of this ramble, I’m a writer of various kinds of writery things and I am willing, nay, anxious even, to talk about them all.  As long as there are no brooms in sight.

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2 Responses to On-Stage: How it Happens: An Introduction

  1. Lisa Torcasso Downing says:

    Oh Scott, I sooo wanted that second to last line to read "I am willing, neigh, anxious even, to talk about them all." I, for one, am glad theater will be represented here. I’m jealous of those who are deeply involved. My husband and I saw a professional rendition of [i]Talley’s Folly [/i]last weekend and I walked away sonvinced that the stage is probably my favorite way to enjoy narrative.

  2. J. Scott Bronson says:

    Yes, perhaps I should have stuck with the equine theme. By the way, a Facebook friend says that I suffer from OTD: Obsessive Theatric Disorder. Spot on I think.

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