Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Culinary Heaven, A Stellar Reading and Some Encouragement

Loyal Readers, the identity of the woman in the photo has been concealed in case it is me. Will you look at the size of that Dosa? Masala Dosa, that is. Crazy, right? This was the luncheon portion of said dish at Tiffin Wallah, a delicious little place in Murray Hill. My friend Cindy and I stumbled upon it while there last week and were rewarded by the most excellent Indian Food I have had in years. Outstanding. Run, do not walk there.

You are all wondering if the woman in the photo finished the entire thing, aren't you Loyal Ones? I'd love to tell you but I must protect her privacy.

In other news, I was Over the Moon about the reading of Over the Moon at the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis last Monday night. The cast was nothing short of stellar and they made my work just sing! (The actor who played Andy Levine literally did sing some of his role. Ben Rosenbaum is his name. He was an outstanding and believable Andy. I wish I had links to the other actors who read, but alas, I do not. Suffice it to say that it could not have been better.

The audience was modest, but the talk back was quite fruitful. Besides some people I knew from Sewanee, there was a small group of students from a local college that attended as part of a class requirement. I was a little uncomfortable when I saw them enter because the females in the group were black and I was worried about how Andy Levine's stage name - Big Black Cock Daddy - would play. I hadn't tested that demographic yet, so...

One of the young women, I put her at about age 20 maybe - was rather effusive - to put it mildly. At intermission she immediately turned around and said to me with great enthusiasm:

"You gotta make this into a screenplay. I can just see it as a movie, you know. Are you gonna make it into a movie?"

"I've actually had feedback before that it would be a good screenplay, but at this point, I'm going to keep it a play. Unless Meryl Streep wanted to play Elaine, then I might reconsider."

"I don't know who that is."

Seriously, this girl had never heard of Meryl Streep. It was remarkable. During the formal talkback, she had so much to say about the relationships of the characters. At one point, she said, "When Andy takes Elaine to that place - what was it? Car-something?"


"Yeah, Cartier. I didn't understand what was happenin', like I was tryna figure out where he was takin' her - like was it a strip joint or sompthin."

I just loved that she had no acquaintance whatever with the world of the play - upper class CT and NY - and that she was far younger than the main characters whose relationships play out most strongly - and still, she was completely engaged in the story and very excited about it. It was gratifying to see and hear it.

That said, Sarah Slight, the dramaturg who lead the discussion did a good job at not allowing her to monopolize the discussion, which she was in grave danger of doing, and for that I was grateful.

All in all, the experience was exceptional and I really felt at the end of the evening that the script was close to being in final draft form. A year ago, I could not have imagined that I would finish a script- a decent one at that - and have it read by such amazing actors. I hope that I'll be equally pleasantly surprised a year from now at my place in the playwriting world. Who knows? Keep your fingers crossed, Loyal Readers.

I did get a rejection letter this week from the Seven Devils Conference but it was a very nice one with some encouraging words. Perhaps everyone got those same encouraging words, but I'm just going to assume that was not the case. Why not think good things rather than bad? It's all in one's imagination anyway. Might as well create my own world.

Following that thought, I just purchased some polarized sun glasses. Not only do they make your BloomingtonGirl look like a sexy rock star, they rest her eyes rather nicely. I noticed that some things - like the screen of my I-Pod, for instance - look different with the glasses on. It reminded me that if you change the lens through which you view the world, things appear different. That can be a good thing indeed if you keep your lenses a little rosy. I believe in that.

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