Captain’s Log 5,687
Just two more sleeps before I head off to Canada! Wahoo!
I am flying into Detroit where Amy and Kelly will come fetch me. Doing that saved me $400. Flying into another country is expensive! So we will drive over the border instead.
This is what I know so far……
Going for a ride on Rizzo, the motorcycle (with an enormous helmet Amy borrowed from a friend)
Playing with three dogs
Going to a hockey game (might have to wear that helmet to protect myself from those rowdy Canadians)
You what they say……there was a street fight in Canada and a hockey game broke out. HA HA HA!
Amy and Kelly, the two little sugar lumps who will be taking good care of me!
I am SO ready to get out of this town for a few days! Work is nutzoid and the show is growing some challenges as well. All I can say about that is posing this question.
Would Shakespeare or Arthur Miller get treated like this?
Playwriting is not like brain surgery. For the most part, nobody tells a brain surgeon what to do. Well, maybe another brain surgeon might do that. If I was a brain surgeon and another brain surgeon made a suggestion, I would listen. But I am a simple playwright. Since what I do is not a rocket science matter of life or death, my work can be challenged. So can my artistic choices. Now, please note that I would never ever EVER consider challenging a playwright or a director unless I had a problem or a question about the role, staging, etc. I would NEVER EVER EVER EVER suggest to a writer that he or she needs to change the story!
We have written our script in classic style. It’s something I always do. There is a procession of actors onto the stage at the very beginning. It’s homage to the ancient Greeks. Someone was complaining of the use of the Deus Ex Machina at the end. That was intentional too. We WANTED the Deus Ex Machina as part of the show!
A Deus Ex Machina is when some new event, character, ability, or object solves a seemingly unsolvable problem in a sudden, unexpected way. If the secret documents are in Russian, one of the spies suddenly reveals that they learned the language. If the writers have just lost funding, a millionaire suddenly arrives, announces an interest in their movie, and offers all the finances they need to make it. If The Hero is dangling at the edge of a cliff with a villain stepping on his fingers,a flying robot suddenly appears to save him.
The term is Latin for god out of the machine (pronunciation: Day-oos eks MAH-kee-nah) and has its origins in ancient Greek theater. It referred to scenes in which a crane (machine) was used to lower actors or statues playing a god or gods (deus) onto the stage to set things right, often near the end of the play.
So this is exactly what I needed. I am very well-aware that my time with this group is coming to an end. It was fun and I met some great people, but there are other projects with other theatre people who have a better understanding of how things should be handled. This will be my last show with them. I know I will never write anything for them again. They are not at all interested in having me on the stage ever again. They see my value solely as a director, not a performer. Unfortunately, directing is simply too much of a challenge when people actually come up and suggest that you change your story three weeks after the scripts have been produced. Just too much.
I know these folks do not mean any harm. I know they have the best intentions. I just don’t need challenges like this right now. I am looking for professional courtesy in all areas of my life, including this. I had tremendous fun with these folks, don’t get me wrong. I like them as people. I just don’t like their sense of entitlement to take over my role (and my co-author’s role as well). We were gobsmacked last night after they made their suggestions. Totally gobsmacked.
The changes they are suggesting will not be made. To prove their point last night, the actor who was supposed to carry the scene simply walked through the lines without any energy or effort. Yes, the scene sucked. It sucked because of how it was acted, not how it was written. I don’t need this.
I have better things to do.