The Bag Means Your Mind

A delightful mix of insightful comments and ignorant assumptions about screenwriting... and such.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Back in the Saddle

After the conclusion of my comedic subplot* I’m back hacking away at Movie Magic and am on a collision course with FADE OUT:. I hope to finish by December 11 or before. Currently I’m on page 102 and Act II is about to conclude. Looks like I’ll be missing the magic 120 by a few pages (maybe 130-135). I’d be ecstatic with 130 knowing that I will have more content with far fewer pages. Assuming this version is readable, I will send it out before December 14 to get some overall impressions and maybe some ideas on how to get the page count down.

Then I will take some much needed time off and chill for the remainder of the year, and then try and address whatever comments I have/start a new project in early January.

*Look for comedic subplot part II: Electric Boogaloo coming to a blog near you sometime before my dramatically unsatisfying demise.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Five Minutes

Yes. I’m still alive after my stand-up comedy ordeal and I have a video to prove it. Getting up there and doing my five minutes (five and a half actually) seems like a death sentence, but it actually wasn’t bad. I told myself I’d post the video no matter how good or bad I did, so true to my private word here it is.

Did you watch it? I hope you did because if not you will be totally lost when I start talking about soiled trousers, Amish prostitutes, and park benches later on. For a first time, I think I acquitted myself quite well. Looking at the video makes me cringe to an extent because my nervousness was so apparent, and I rushed through the large majority of the material (it probably should have been closer to seven or eight minutes).

Throughout that day, I was confident and even serene at moments. And about an hour before I left for the venue, the confidence and sereneness paid their respects and said adieu. I wasn’t a nervous wreck, but I wasn’t the cock of the walk either.

And then my moment came and my name was called and the audience greeted me with applause. And I was nervous. I stepped up to the microphone, arranged my notecard and adjusted the microphone. Silent seconds ticking away. My mojo was rushing down my left leg*. I started to speak, and my opening quip (I won’t embarrass it by calling it a joke) fails mainly due to my rushed speech.

And then I start on my first joke. When I hit the first good punch line which involved an Amish hooker and a spent cocker spaniel (I know those of you who didn’t bother to watch the video are now intrigued. I will wait for you to watch it… OK good.) the audience erupted in laughter (I know you know, but I enjoy both saying and typing it so bear with me).

Anyway, they laughed enough that I actually had to stop my routine for a few seconds. Good feelings surged within me. I gave my follow-up line and people laughed again. My confidence soared. And I gave the next and final line of the segment and people laughed even more. A guy could get used to this.

As you know I was still nervous and rushed through a lot of the material, but from that point on I was golden, and even when I slipped up and momentarily lost my mental place I was able to remember where I was and soldier on. The people continued to laugh and when I finished my set I felt my pride fill the room as the applause rained down.

Before watching the video I thought the night went better than I expected and exactly how I had imagined it. In spite of my nervousness, I did a job I personally can be proud of, and I look back on it now and wonder just how much more people might have laughed had I really done it the way I know I could have.

People ask me if I will do it again. Ryan, my official ass-kicker says I will certainly do it again. I do want to, but I think I will sit the sidelines for awhile and try to get a grip on this screenwriting thing. Nothing saying I can’t develop my stand-up ability at the same time though. Right?

* Yeah. It was my mojo regardless of what those people in the front row say.