I’m writing this on the fly, which can only mean one thing – more typos, more poor grammar choices, more run-on sentences, comma splice errors, etc. This post will be filled with all the things that would make my English teachers/professors/English professor friends cry, and then pause and wonder how on earth I manage to communicate. Ehhh, what can you do? Editing is for err… ummm… well, I suppose it’s for everyone, but still… Not today! Ok fine, I’ll do my best? (I’ve had sugar. This is my second disclaimer.)
Several months ago a co-worker stopped and said something like, “Beth, you’re always doing something. I love hearing your stories. What creative thing are you into now?” I hmmed, there was some hawing, and after some not so deep soul searching I finally declared, “nothing.” While adding in my head, “nothing, topped with nothing sprinkles and a huge dash of nothing – I was making nothing pops out of congealed nothing,” and I was actually ok with that. I thought about writing, but wasn’t feeling it. I perused new classes, but wasn’t feeling it. Basically, I was quite happy with reading more, and catching up on Netflix series one sitting at a time.
Sometime in February, I think, a friend of mine asked me to help assist with a play. I checked my calendar, moved some of the nothing around, and hopped on board. Afterwards I sat in character study discussions, table reads, rehearsals, and so far three performances. Nothing is truly more exciting than watching a production grow from an idea into a live performance with a talented cast who get better every time.
Next week we’ll have the last few shows. If you’re in Austin (and would love to travel to Georgetown), I encourage you to come see Blame it on Beckett. We have an extremely talented cast directed by one of my favorite people, Jonathan Spear. It’s well-worth the $15. (There are discounts for Seniors and children.)
The 48 Hour Film Project is also going on (it ends tonight at 7:30). This is the thing where, on a Friday evening, you get assigned a genre (ours is a holiday movie or an animal movie – OY), an object (a wrapped gift) that must be in the film, a line of dialog (something that had the word “oops” in it, but my memory is that bad that after 36 hours you got me), and a character (Charlie or Charlene Bitters, an author), and you have to write, shoot, and edit it within 48 hours. AND it’s also something I’ve avoided since we wrapped the last one in 2013 after the unfortunate incident with the neighbor.
Well, it turns out some of the talented actors from Blame it on Beckett were going to have to miss a weekend (thus the weekend break between performances) to participate in the 48 HR project which got me talking about it again. That’s when the writer from the previous show decided she wanted to see if she could do all of the work: writing, directing, producing, editing, music, etc. – basically, I think she wanted to see if she could get the least sleep of everyone I know and avoid merrily leaping off the ledge (she’s still alive as of this writing). My job consists (present tense since we’re still in this thing) of turning in paper work and asking the actors if they’d like a cookie. I mean, who doesn’t want a cookie?!?! (Apparently all the actors since I ended up with all the cookies once we wrapped. So sad to know cookie-haters walk among us. Even sadder that there are cookie-haters in my peer group. 😦 )
The good news is that our group, Uncle Bob’s Dangerous Pants, lives again!!! (And we still got props for best name from the 48 HR folks. WOOOT!)
Also, a beautiful thing happened that made this all seem right, yet has zero to do with creativity. The good neighbors (mentioned in the old post) are buying the evil neighbor’s house, which means the evil neighbor is moving. I can’t begin to express how hard it was not to do an old lady style cartwheel in the front yard and cheer (after of course crashing to the ground and moaning a bit, because my cartwheels have suffered greatly over the decades). Instead I took the news calmly only betraying my glee at the corners of my mouth and well, by repeatedly pointing to the evil house and asking, “that house? that one right there? oh that one?” It seems like closure of sorts. We did our first 48 HR shoot, had that happen, then did this one, and she’s moving.
Anyway, all of that to say that I’ve gotten to do some creative things with creative people lately, and that has made me pretty happy.
But I do want to add one thing – a friend who isn’t involved with any of my improv/sketch writing life said, “you’re so creative” after I mentioned the play and the 48HR Film Project. That was really nice, but here’s where I absolutely can’t take credit. I am good at many things, and the bulk of them include following directions.and wrangling. You also need people like me for the things I do, but I am not creative per se. I do not “create,” and I’m ok with not being considered “creative.” I support. I’m one heck of a supporter.
AND I’m very lucky to be surrounded by amazingly creative people who see the need for a solid supporter. Between all of us, we get things done, and right now I’m having fun doing just that. Now I need to get ready to go get the paperwork turned in so we can wrap this whole thing up tonight..