Monday, December 1, 2008

Hamlet and Sudafed

I started re-writing last night, late. I first go through the entire script and find errors in grammar and syntax, and then start re-working the movements. The last movement of the play is the push to make a correlation between Shakespeare's 'Hamlet', and the death of his Father with mine. It's tricky, and has to be done so the parallel doesn't make me sound anywhere near as tragic as 'Hamlet'. Ironically, the two years after my Father disappeared, I saw three productions of 'Hamlet', one in Phoenix, one at The Utah Shakespeare Festival, and one in New York City. The one in NYC was really two Hamlet's because as the Wooster Group performed the play on the stage, the 1964 version of Richard Burton's Hamlet played on a screen behind the actors.  In addition, my theatre classes perform one of two Hamlet monologues for a final exam. Over the years, I've gotten to know Hamlet pretty well. The ghost of Hamlet's father is stuck in a purgatory until Hamlet can avenge him. Right now, because I didn't know that was where I would land, (in my play), I have to go through the play and make subtle references, so near the end, Hamlet doesn't just come out of the blue. So, all morning, I've been re-reading Hamlet, and finding the lines to the story, especially in the beginning when his father appears to him. The interesting thing about the ghost appearing is that it exacerbates Hamlet's madness, (wouldn't it exacerbate yours if a ghost appeared to you?) It's  interesting to watch and try to understand, behavior instigated by a ghost.  There is a history of ghosts in plays, but rarely with the evident insight for changing the outcome of life. Shakespeare makes a thorough study of what happens when the 'super-natural' interferes with life. It is profound in its ability to really understand what would happen to a person who touches the super-natural. I believe Shakespeare struggled with this in his own life. Could or would the spirit world be it God or Evil, penetrate the conscious living human being, and should this occur? What is the outcome? It raised the question so adroitly regarding all of those who claimed to have angels or messengers appear to them.  Your life would never be the same. Hamlet's life was certainly not, and I believe led to his death as well as countless others. There is much more here to mine, but then I would ruin some of the surprise.  It has taken me so long to really love Shakespeare. I remember forcing myself in younger years to go and watch his plays whether I wanted to or not. It paid off, even though its taken me probably eight or nine Hamlet's to get to where I actually know what's going on. That's why Shakespeare should be a life long pursuit, just like pursuing a spiritual life might be. On suicide, "Whether tis' nobler in the mind to suffer the slings  and arrows of outrageous fortune, and by opposing end them..." What one of us if we examined our own life would find some outrageous fortune? All of us. 

I did get a call from the realtor of the space I wanted who said the owner didn't want to do a three month lease, I made a counter offer, still, there are other spaces and I'll have to work harder to get it. It wouldn't be the first time space becomes an issue, but I am firm in my conviction of where I want the play to go up.  The L.A. Arts District. I'll ask the ghost of my father for help. 

Oh, I almost forgot. The opening night of the play, Friday, February 20th. Closing night will be March  21st. I'm not sure how many shows each play will run a week, but probably three shows for each play, or six performances a week. In a week or so, I'll make the final decision on the run, and which shows will run on which night. Plan your trip to Los Angeles and take in a couple of plays. It will be an adventure for you! I will also post travel possibilities, for the bohemians who can crash on a floor or air mattress. It will be one big theatre party. Rehearsals start the end of this month, giving us seven weeks of rehearsal. Kurt called last night from NYC, and feels a little overwhelmed with both plays going up. I may have to find another director for 'Blue Baby, A Memoir'. I'm sure there are directors here, maybe I'll sit next to one at the next A.A meeting. After reading the script of 'Bohemian Cowboy' and beginning the process of getting it ready for rehearsals, I am once again encouraged by the material. The small strides I've made at looking at it from an actor's point of view is so encouraging as well. There is much for an actor to work with. There are images. There are old photos. There is light and sound. There is power. There are ghosts and songs. There is Hamlet and cowboys. And of course, there is the DESERT.  Here we go! 

I finally went to the store and got some sudafed. I can breathe again, I may live. Tomorrow I may be able to start walking again, I have to lose a little weight and keep shape, acting is draining. I haven't done a show like this for three years, but I feel this summer performing gave me some chops. I'm looking forward to starting the acting process, but for now, I'll keep focussed on the writing and prepare for the acting. That folks, is living! 


Gerry said...

"Bohemian Cowboy", the new name for the play? I am convinced you are working! Wow, quite the run down but I know that everything has to be worked out practically to the day and the hour with plays. Yes, I feel that a ghost is looking for a likely place and it will 'come' to you. Having been connected to a number of plays going up, I can get excited about this one from start to finish. I am thinking now that maybe Dan and I could come by car, just go to the theater, some way that was easier than traveling alone. We will see. Mom

caroline said...

Yay! you jumped in with both feet. all good vibes on landing the space you need.

annk said...

I am wondering how I can get to L.A. That would be fun. Could we go as a group? I love reading about the process of getting a play up on stage, the acting now the writing is coming together. On stage there needs to be some action that writing doesn't always need. I hope all your friends are reading your blog! You do like to talk when you talkl.

Joss said...

I'd love to come to L.A. and crash my bohemian sista-girl gnome booty w/ yours and others. I miss you a lot and i'm sure we have lots of catching up to do.

I just recently drove my Jeep down from the Grand Canyon to Phoenix, so I do have a Vehicle available to come visit for your plays. Besides, my birthday is March 7th...should be right in the middle of your performances. :)