Short plays and lead guitar (and the stray piano waltz here and there)

Long holiday weekend! Chores around the house.

But, some good, delicious, wonderful creative time. (If I get something accomplished in creatvitiy, yipee! If I don’t…I’ll feel like I have wasted these precious days off.)

So, first up on the agenda: we got a call for submissions for short plays. (How amazing is it when people actually contact you to make a submission–as opposed to making the blind submission/cold pitch that I normally have to make!)

So, my writing partner and I have each been thinking up ideas. We draft out our own idea for a play, and send the draft to the other one. Well, hers was soooo much better! It’s a comedy and quite unique, and has lots of opportunities for one-liners and jokes.

There is an old saying about acting…you have 1000 ways to make an audience cry. But only one way to make them laugh! Comedy is hard! Much much harder than drama. So, to write a good comedy? We haven’t really explored that yet.

And as for me…with playwrighting I seem to have one “go to” emotion that I write from, and that is “the lament”. I don’t know why, but that seems to be a theme for all my plays. So, I need to think up something _away_ from that emotion.

So, we delve into my partner’s play. She has the basis down. I add to it. But…what if we have a character sing? So, I start writing a song for the play. The title has the word “lament” in it. But, it’s in the realm of comedy, so ???

Turns out, my partner liked the song title so much, she changed the play title to match the song title. So,  even without the emotion “lament” in the play, we end up with “Lament” in the title of the play.

I can’t get away from it. 🙂

So, this is 3 days of major work. I am always up early. My brain fires best in the AM. So, this morning, I laid out her draft, with my additions, and firmed up the stageplay, and sent it to her. We’ll do more evaluating, but we are very, very far along on this project.

Next. I need to record the piano music to make the submission. (We need a waltz, with big piano. I need to put on my ‘composer’ hat.)

Which is good…because my other big goal for the weekend was to lay down some individual music lines, on the guitars, and have them ready for the big recording studio. And so far, my guitar work: Nada. (Here we go again!) My catalog of recorded mastered audio is good. But it’s mostly simple tracks and power ballads. I’m an artist who works in a variety of genres. I don’t like labels and I don’t like to limit what we do as musicians. But, the truth is, country is where my heart lies, and  I need more country songs. So, I need guitar and guitar and guitar (acoustic,  electric, and bass…and let’s not even mention steel).

When I sit down, all plugged in and instruments hot, I do not play well. It baffles me. I think, “I’ve lost it – I’ll never play guitar well again–if I even played adequately to start with.” So, I get a solo guitar, nothing attached to anything. I come to the living room, and sit in my easy chair or sit on the sofa, and I try to play. And it’s there. It works.

Why, why, why can’t I do that in a studio setting? I’m about to give up. I’ve been losing this fight for the last couple of years. Let’s just find a good guitarist, to take to the studio and play the lines.

I need my own, personal,  Deacon Clabourne.

[Paging Mr. Charles Esten. Paging Mr. Charles Esten. Can you make a swing through Oklahoma on your next break from acting?–and bring your guitar!]

In other creative work, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks working on the editing for the lastest music video that we directed. It makes me smile. The goal of that project was to make your toes tap and to make you smile. Well, it hooks me. It hooks me every time. I’m very close to having it released. (You really have to get up your courage to put your work out there.)

I got up my courage and showed it to a friend yesterday. I had told him that if he hated it, he could say so. I value honesty (and constructive criticism is very helpful in these situations. Who knows what I missed in the editing?). He laughed at the ending and said that the song was catchy.

So? Maybe…maybe…my goal was accomplished. I’ll release the video soon, and then the whole world can act as judge.

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