On November 6th, 2015 – the 3rd play I’ve written will have its World Premiere. In 4 years, I’ve witnessed three World Premiere Opening Nights (and four if you count my double-dip for The Lost World in 2013 and 2014.) Not bad for a guy who once upon a time woke to his 36th birthday and wistfully observed –
“…I will, from time-to-time, get into a reflective mood where I look longingly at those roads not traveled. As you know, I am a HUGE movie fan and somewhere back in that rearview mirror, along this winding road I’ve traveled, rests the off ramp to film director or screenwriter or some profession employing the creative bent that really gets my juices flowing.”
I chased that thought a few sentences later with a little bit of a much-needed dope slap –
“Sure, there are choices I wish I made when I was younger but I wouldn’t change any of the choices I did make for it brought me right here.”
That’s some good advice. As a wise sage once said – “You get busy living… and get busy writing.” I may be paraphrasing a bit. It’s not like I’ve seen Shawshank 5 billion times and don’t have the exact quote tattooed to memory or anything. 😉
The point is – somewhere between 36 and now – a whole bunch of stuff happened.
I dropped 30 pounds. I finished a half-triathlon and then later a whole host of 5Ks and a 10K. I sadly said goodbye to two precious pups. I waltzed into a hair salon and demanded they give me “the Pitbull”. I co-starred in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (my first play since Senior Year of High School) and parlayed that into several additional roles – reigniting a love for live theater. I coaxed the number of full-length posts on this Blog perilously close to 700 in 7 years. I co-coached my son’s basketball team. I danced in 3 of my daughter’s recitals (with a fourth on deck this June). I celebrated many wedding anniversaries. Then I got divorced. Shortly after, I started writing my own true life’s next chapter – a work that remains steadily in progress but so full of hope.
And despite my earlier misgivings that I had somehow left my life’s calling in that rearview – I found the necessary moments in my spare time to feed, water and grow the three fertile seeds I had planted in my imagination at various stops during that admittedly short stretch of time.
The three works make up a very loose trilogy – tethered in theme but not story. They are all wholly fictional and stand on their own although they do take place in the common fictional New England town of Turner Cove. It’s not a traditional trilogy with one large story unfolding over three works. Each of these plays is its own thing. You could see just one and not miss a beat. That said, for folks who do see all three – you begin to notice the ties that bind and the little things that make me tick. Unseen relatives of characters in one play take the center spotlight in the next. A longtime movie fan, I also tend to write these theatricals using the language of cinema; in particular employing a soundtrack to set the mood. In that regard, Mumford & Sons has been my muse. Please don’t tell their lawyers.
I also tend to write to two big emotions – looking to hit the cheap seats with some buoyant laughs early before taking their hand and diving into deeper emotional waters. These tales are not the true story of my life BUT they couldn’t exist in this manner if it wasn’t for the way in which my life unfolded.
“Write what you know.”
The Monkeybar Mafia – my first – sprung from my one-year bout of unemployment and the nagging realization that I hadn’t done what I thought I would do in life and that as I neared 40, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up.
The Lost World was found when I went to my 20-Year High School Reunion and had the time of my life but also remembered just how awkward and shy I felt during so many years alongside people who were really not much different than me. It took growing up and getting comfortable in my own skin to recognize that. John Hughes helped point the way, too. That play paid tribute to both.
My new play, Lost and Found was what I discovered when I realized I had so much to say about my divorce – about supposedly finding love and then losing it and then wondering if I ever deserved it again. This tale isn’t my tale AT ALL (nor does it feature a divorce) but after two plays which ended on notes of unrequited love, I decided I wanted to work in reverse – beginning from a low place and aiming quite a bit higher towards true love. This one gives me hope.
I put together a little trailer today to advertise that we are holding open auditions for the play at The Eighty-Ates Banquet Facility at Indian Ranch in Webster, MA on Monday May 18, 2015 – 6:30 pm ET. That is the same location where we will reconvene after the summer for rehearsals ahead of our World Premiere Dinner & A Show event on Friday November 6th and Saturday November 7th.
But that is a long ways away. For now – it’s all about my hopes and dreams of getting the cast just right and then putting on another successful show.
I thought I would take the year off and then somewhere over that long, hard winter – I felt that creative itch that demands scratching.
What once was lost… has now been found.