Monday, March 30, 2009

Don't Pan-do What Pan-do Don't Pan-does

So now that the weekend is over and I'm back at my regular job of not writing racially/sexually offensive plays, I thought I'd post a quick blog on my experience with this year's festival.

After drawing Chinese New-Year as my holiday and Ghost Hunter as my profession, I had a number of initial ideas that I thought would work well, the first being a noir-style detective story about a woman murdered in (where else) Chinatown and a medium who had to contact her spirit to find out who the killer was (it would've been her sister who hired the detective in the first place. How's that for a twist?), the next being about astronauts hunting ghosts in outer space with specially made ghost-killing rockets that the Chinese made as a way to keep evil spirits from ruining their New-Years festivities (I have no idea why this was going to take place in outer space. I just thought it would be cool). Then I came up with the idea of starting the play off with having my actors lying on the ground looking up at clouds and saying what they looked like and one of them (probably the Asian one) said, "That cloud looks like Chinese New-Year!" Believe it or not I wrote over five pages of that before I realized that I'm a horrible, horrible writer. Oh, and the clouds were going to turn into ghosts and attack the actors in the dramatic finale. How was I going to pull that off on stage, you ask? Easy, ghosts are invisible. Duh! Then at some point in the evening inspiration struck me like a bunch of alcohol poured down my throat and I came up with the idea of having a panda rape one of my actresses off stage for shits and giggles (because nothing goes better with shits than giggles). I think that was actually the inspiration for the whole show and I worked backwards from there.

Needless to say I found the script to be a riot while I was throwing it together at 3:00 in the morning, but when I woke up and re-read it in a more lucid state of mind I realized that I had just unleashed unmitigated evil (and a very un-funny show) upon the world. Do I have time to go back to the cloud idea before I meet my director? No, no I do not.

Thankfully my director is a 24 hour lush (or at least that's what I assume since she actually thought the script was funny) and she even got an obscure reference to "The Muppet Movie" that made no sense what-so-ever in the show's context, so I knew my script was in good hands. Now if only the actors who were unlucky enough to get picked by me didn't mind making total asses out of themselves onstage or derogating their own nationality and ethnicity, I might have a decent show.

Fortunately all the above was true (especially about the director being a raging alcoholic. Rumor has it she's Irish) and they managed to turn my script from (and I am quoting myself during the award ceremony here) "crap into... good crap." And of course 'good crap' was meant to be a compliment when I said it, I'm just a worse public speaker than I am a writer.

I also have to say again how impressed I was with the level and amount of talent on display throughout the night. It was beyond what I'm used to seeing on Broadway stages. As I was watching the pieces I was constantly thinking to myself, "I hope I pick that actor next time," or "I'd love to see what that director can do with my next awful play." I told one of the actors in my show that I still think about him saying, "Dum-dum-dum-dum-Dumbledore," during the last Short-Shorts, and now I can't wait until April 24th so I can randomly say, "Oh, by the way, happy Arbor Day everyone," to everybody I run into.

Oh, did I say this blog was going to be quick? I meant, "so-long-that-nobody-will-bother-to-read-the-entire-thing."


  1. Hey, I'm not a drunk BECAUSE I'm Irish!!! It's just a happy coincidence that I happen to be both!!! "kill pandas!"

  2. Oliver, I'll be your panda whispering, make an ass of herself actor any time! I thoroughly enjoyed my first experience with phareplay, i hope to be back soon!

    Cat Corbett