Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bob - Outtakes - The Rules

Today I stumbled on the file called "BOB-RULES." These is what I wrote down two years ago as my guide for the play. I've kept the all-caps intact even though they are a little silly.

No cussing
Tapping into heightened Barbara-like reality
Living to a greater extreme
No doubt as to the truth of the story but definitely
Montages of scenes, a canvas of events happening at once: finding a job,

I want to SUBVERT and play with American hero stories
A retelling of it. It should not support it
Subvert what it means to be “great”

Peer Gynt

Circumstances are molding bob
Circumstances out of his control, in a way.

What are the obstacles.

What is the context that the story is being told.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bob - The Outtakes - a series

Periodically, as I work towards it's glorious debut, I'd like to share some of the remnants of BOB that have been left in old word documents, never to see the light of day.

There are literally hundreds of pages of material not in the play, some of which is awful and some of which is nice. AND this process is forcing me to look back at my starting point and see if there are any nuggets back there I should think about.

Today, meet Deborah, the prototype version of the first person Bob meets in a rest stop.

(A flashlight pops onto BOB’s face.
BOB has been covered in a tarp or blanket.
A canteen of water is poured on his lips.
We here other figures in the distance
BOB sputters)

(BOB chokes and manages to get some of the drink down, coughing)

There you go. Down the hatch. Gurgle gurgle.

(BOB suddenly develops a ravenous thirst and begins to guzzle the bottle)

Shebam! There’s the desire for survival poppin through. Seize back on that life now little guy.

(BOB gasps for air after drinking)

Where am I? What’s going-

(BOB vomits)

OK, I think that’s good. Vomit is a good sign! As is consciousness. As is your lack of full body shaking you were doing a few hours back.

Now I’m not a doctor but I would suggest jumping into calisthenics there, buddy. Your body’s easing back into function.

Where am I?

Rest Stop. Near Lebanon. Missouri, I think. I know where the rest stops are better than the where the towns are.

How’d I get here?

Well, I was driving my rig, having one of my usual arguments on the CB about the meaning of life, death and whatnot. I was articulating a point to LumberBoy and Vixen’N’Dixon about how absolutely completely incredibly tiny tiny tiny we are compared to the size of the universe with some emphatic steering when I almost ran you over your crumpled semi-nude self on the side of the Interstate.

Now, I may believe that we as individuals are small and insignificant and that when we die our “soul” turns to nothing as the electricity drains from our brain, but that doesn’t make me a non-compassionate person.

Thank you.

Now as for how you got to the side of the road, sans the clothes, alone, on the cusp of death, you’ll have to fill me in on that part of the story.

My mother told me she stole me from a bathroom, then she died, then I cremated her, then I got arrested, then freed, then someone stole my shirt and pants, then I decided I needed to get out of Chicago.

That’d make we want to leave town too.

God Speed, Deborah

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Welcome Space Brothers on YouTube

Welcome Space Brothers, a most awesome comedy movie written and directed by my brother George and coproduced and featuring myself in the darn thing (And shot in 1999) is now yours to enjoy FREE on the INTERNETS. George figured out a way to split the movie up into handy installments of 6 parts. So you can watch it at a pace to your liking.

Enjoy the Full Movie Here!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bob Workshop in Tallahassee

I've just returned home from a 4 day Workshop of BOB at Florida State University in Tallahassee, working with the team from Actors Theatre of Louisville (including fearless director Sean Daniels. Or maybe he's just quietly fearful), and a fabulous group of theater students (and a Professor who played Bob). Locked in by unusually cold temperatures and with the help of a strongly beaned coffee shop near the Residence Inn, it proved to be very very fun and productive.

As is usually the case, my brain works about 30 faster in a workshop environment. Hearing the text out loud makes problems and opportunities so much clearer to me than it does when I'm sitting at home or at a cafe around here. I think that's because not only does the energy of the room inspire me, but a workshop (or a rehearsal room for a production) forces a level of focus and intensity that is unmatched. Somehow all my usual distractions (Facebook, email, news, laundry, porn) seem to fade away and not bother me. That needs to happen more often.

Some Script Change Highlights
  • A big cut at the top of Act 4 seems to have unlocked something wonderful and needed in the play and characters. Yay for cuts
  • 12 new characters including a Girl Scout. 8 of them in about 2 pages
  • We lost a few characters too, including Candy, the Director of Development. God Speed, Candy.
  • Favorite new stage direction : "Bob throws the bird poop back up in the air. The sound of bird being struck. A bald eagle falls to the stage]
  • Favorite new line: "Well pin a gold star on your math chart, piglet."
  • 30 new pages brought in
  • A 15 pages shorter script
  • Lengthy discussion on how we will know that an Actor is playing a wolf.
And the best sign on the way to the airport:
"Run from Satan. Walk with God."
[A Church sign promoting exercise]

Thursday, January 06, 2011

the new bob poster

Art by the fantastic Matt Dobson


Sunday, January 02, 2011

some 2010 miscellany

I fell in love with Robyn, the Swedish pop singer, and have been listening to her albums obsessively.

I think The Kids Are All Right was one of my favorite movies. And Toy Story III.

Enjoyed watching Nurse Jackie, the big C, Treme, Bill Maher, The Daily Show, Big Love, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, So You Think You Can Dance until all those dancers got hurt.

For playwriting work I traveled to San Diego, Sacramento, Pasadena, Lousiville, Dallas, Denver, and New York City (5 times)

For sexual harassment training acting work I traveled to Bakersfield, Chico, and Redondo Beach!

Some of the Plays I saw: She Stoops To Comedy, Sunlight, Equivocation, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Learn to be Latina, Girlfriend, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Enron, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, The Real Americans, Red, Middletown, The Little Foxes, A Christmas Story, Olive Kitteridge, Roadkill Confidential, In the Red and Brown Water, Marcus or the Secret of Sweet, Now Circa Then, Bloodsong of Love, boom, hunter gatherers, and a bunch of readings.

We had a new mattress this year and went to Thailand. Both the major highlights of the year.

I worked on two new plays, BOB and Litter, and now they're both going up this March. It's been an interesting challenge to have near simultaneous deadlines but it's also been a good brain organization exercise.

Happy New Year!

more on 2K11 soon!