Yes, and I know how that sounds. “Taking it up” like a Gentleman of Leisure deciding to “dabble” in art. But really, come on. I’ve been writing realistic dialogue for how long now? How many books?
I’ve been taking acting classes, an idea I came up with to improve my narration skills. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that my class wasn’t some Christopher Guest scenario, a cavalcade of amateurs, but that right here in River City (okay, Reno) that actors are working on Nike ad campaigns and MacGyver and Bones and animation and commercials… And that maybe, just maybe, this could be an avenue for me to get into voiceover acting for commercials, and it’s most definitely a place for me to start writing plays.
We all have our “I’ve always wanted to” stories. Mine has been writing plays. When I was flush, I’d go to New York twice a year and see plays, plays, plays, every night and matinees. And buy the scripts for the ones I missed, or that I didn’t have time for.
But, you know, creating theater requires… you know… other people. And I wasn’t very good at that. So, living mostly a Life Without People, it seemed a silly thing to even think about. What was I going to do, just write it and then what?
But now, all of a sudden, I have actors who are eager for material, who are hungry to help me write material, and here we go…
I’ve said it a thousand times. I’ve never ever gotten into anything in life through the Front Door. I never took the Orderly March, “I will study This and I will apply to This School and I will get My Degree and I will walk through the Front Door of my Dream Job and we will Shake Hands and There Shall I Be.”
I fell into training because in the late 80s I was one of a handful of office workers who had PC experience, and I ended up training other secretaries off their DisplayWrites or Wangs, with no “certification” in training, but just because I knew the stuff and I was good at holding anxious hands. Then I fell into technical writing because I wrote novels and I knew a program well, so why don’t you do the manual. And then into instructional design because I was a technical writer and they needed someone to turn manuals into videos and well, you’re here, try it.
I never had a degree or certification or anything in anything. I just did it. And now, here I am, walking through the side door again, into something new…
Anyway! In our class we do “sides,” which are just short scenes or pieces of scenes. So I said, well, I could write those, start small. So I Googled “writing sides,” and ended up reading about “Ten Minute Plays.” And I read a bunch of those and said, shit! I can do that!
So I did. Here’s my first one, in PDF. I’m trying to design these for use in class, so anyone of any age or sex can do them, well, at least if you’re not hung up on sexuality shit, unlikely in an acting class I think.
Let me know what you think in comments 🙂