Creating/blogging movies scene by scene is a better exercise for me as a storyteller than I ever experienced in any of the ten years of playwriting classes and workshops I took. It was a real milestone for me to begin to make complete stories that were less than 20 minutes long. In fact, the closest that I came to working like I am working now were the times when my acting tutor, Luis Oropeza, was working on his solo play about Lorca, “Blood Poet” and when he was preparing for his role in the play, “Kiss of the Spiderwoman.”
Turning my lesson into a masterclass, Luis would get up on his feet and go into character. As the character, he would talk about the story and dig deeper into subtext. Luis did not memorize easily, but he so fluidly gave life to character that sometimes when I was supposed to be giving him lines, I became so absorbed in his character that I forgot I had the script in my hands.
My characters often transport me after I have been living with them for a while; and one of them, Missy the Slave Mistress in THE BLUE LADY, began rewriting not only her backstory, but the whole movie as her character developed in the same compelling way that I was sometimes convinced Luis’ paraphrasing was truer than what was on the page.
I have been fortunate to work with some talented dramaturge-directors on my solo theater pieces, who, once I began to get up on my feet with one of my solo plays in rehearsal, would tell me, “You have to turn off your writer now.” I wonder if my plays would have been better if every time I sat down to write, I had been inside my pivotal character’s skin.
My portfolio of “Serious Shorts.”
Still, Kabuki Geisha (2012)