Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Monologue Mania Day #945 How Long Does it Take? by Janet S. Tiger (c) Sept. 14, 2016

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Monologue Mania Day #945 How Long Does it Take?  by Janet S. Tiger (c) Sept. 14, 2016

                                          How Long Does it Take?
                                             A monologue by Janet S. Tiger 

                                             © 2016 all rights reserved

         (The writer comes out and looks at the audience, glances at some notes that are falling all over the stage, gives up trying to organize them, stuffs them in a pocket..  Yes, the writer is me)

I know when the actors speak directly to the audience, it's called breaking the fourth wall.  But I'm not sure what it's called when the playwright steps out of the shadows to tell something about how the play begins.  Perhaps because, watching the conception of a fully grown play is a little.....well, what's the word?  Lascivious?  No.....voyeuristic!  

Maybe it's because one of my know who you are!....heard me telling someone that I only need a few hours to write a play.  She suggested that I might reconsider describing it in those words.... as no one could possibly grasp it!....most people think of writing a novel or a play as a many-monthed or even many year proposition. But my speed has been a big factor since I started writing.  One of my most popular works was typed in an afternoon....and has since been seen hundreds, maybe thousands of times all over the world.

The key word here of course  Maybe it takes me only two hours to type the final draft....or close to it.

But  how long does it take to get to that day?

My most recent winning play, DAY JOB, was typed in maybe 3 hours.....but how many years went by to get to those hours?  60.... plus!

So I am unfair in giving the impression the words just come takes many years to get to the few minutes the typing is done.

The stories that people have told me over the years....the stories I have lived over my brief span on this planet....the newspaper articles, the movies, the books read....all contribute to a soup in my brain that is constantly the point I sometimes can no longer recall the origins.....Did I hear the story?  Did I read about it?  Was it a combination - or are they all?

My husband, as a diabetic, is on a very strict diet, so as to maintain his health, and avoid taking insulin.  I am no master chef, but I am happy that every week, I make what our family used to call a 'yatch' - a combo of lean turkey meat, many vegetables, and spices.  It is easy to chop up and put into the covered pan - and only takes a few hours to be ready to eat.   It is never the same twice, but it is always nice looking as I make it, and never inedible, but sometimes even more delicious than usual, according to him.   Another family member (you know who you are!) did not like the word 'yatch', so my daughter found the replacement, the edited title if you please, that we now use - 'miscela' - Italian for -a blending, a mixture.

And that is what I now think of when I work on my writing, as it simmers in my soul before it reaches the page.  I hope the blend will be tasty, and attractive......and the memory will bring a smile.  

         (The writer turns to leave, stops, looks back)

How long does it take to cook?  All my life.

        (With the magic of the theater, the writer write another day!)
Janet S. Tiger    858-736-6315      
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983
Swedenborg Hall 2006-8

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1 comment:

Jennifer Silva Redmond said...

I love this--and yes, I truly can appreciate that your work has been "simmering" for many years. I work in much the same way, with weeks or months going by before I even look at the page/screen.
Next time someone asks how long it takes you to write a play, say "it takes forever... and a day"!