This weekend marks the beginning of production for They Live Among Us. Within a few weeks, all will be visible, all will be known, and you, gentle readers, will be able to join us on this journey.
Soon, I will write in depth about this weekend; what I saw, what I heard, what moved and intrigued me. What I hope for the characters… and what I fear for them most.
Until then, I leave you with thoughts from an entry about what I’ve experienced during the creation of TLAU from my other blogsite:
Acts of Intimacy
Writing for actors is an act of intimacy.
When you take this approach, you are peering into an artist’s heart and soul… and you are allowing them to peer into yours. You ask questions of their characters – detailed glimpses into their lives, for these glimpses provide you with not only what is happening in the present, but what has happened in the past… and in the world of They Live Among Us, backstory – the character’s lives, their fecund histories – is everything.
It is a little frightening, this transparency. Yesterday, at the table read, I revealed a suspicion of mine in regard to a character’s backstory. It is a dark and terrible moment in his past; the reveal was unsettling for all.
It is much safer to keep things gay and light. To reveal something so dark is to open one’s self up for inspection, for criticism, and for judgement. Such reveals are an articulation of the struggle within. To commit this act is to stand there naked, for all to see.
This intimate act of writing is as if you have been speaking with a person for a while… and you move in close to them… and discover that they are wearing a scent. You look around, and realize that others in the room do not know this scent. It is subtle. It is only for those who are allowed so close.
Intimacy is not without risk. Shedding defenses, stripping off layers places you in a position of vulnerability. What if you are rejected? What if the sum of you is considered to be aesthetically or morally displeasing? What if you are found to be ugly?
As I prepare to incorporate notes and thoughts from the read, I also prepare to bare my mind, my heart, my soul. My friend Dari says “Write like you’re naked,” and never before have words rung so true.
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