Sunday, November 19, 2017

November 2017 Writing Challenge - #19 - Augmented and Virtual Reality

Your audience have on the goggles and headphones - they can hear and see each other all in the same environment

Computer graphics teams are standing by

What experience will you give them?

How will you keep them in a collective experience

How will you participate in theatrical energies in addition to cinematic?

OR

do you just want to write a play where these technologies exist? have spread and are common place?




********

This is also an intriguing challenge.  But for the moment I'm still working on the ethics of love potions... (big thank you to Eli Effinger-Weintraub and her beginner's guide to paganism reference)

*********

                          DUNCAN
This is why I worry about solo practitioners striking out on their own.

                          JEFFREY
We screw up.

                          DUNCAN
Well, you got the spell right but yeah, you still screwed up.  There are stages of training with a coven or at least a decent mentor.  A year and a day.

                          JEFFREY
A year and a day?

                          DUNCAN
Yeah, because it normally takes at least that long to fully understand what you're screwing around with.

                          JEFFREY
People's hearts, and relationships.

                          DUNCAN
All that, yes.  But worse, actually.  Free will. 

                          JEFFREY
Pagans are very big on free will.

                          DUNCAN
Well, think about it.  You ditched the traditional church you grew up in -

                          JEFFREY
It ditched me, actually.

                          DUNCAN
OK then.  You got yourself out from under a restrictive orthodoxy that was trying to tell you what to do so you can better exercise your own free will to live and worship as you choose and then -

                          JEFFREY
And then I concoct a potion that takes away someone else's free will.

                          DUNCAN
Exactly.

                          JEFFREY
But why is there a spell if you're not supposed to use it?

                          DUNCAN
It's the way you use it.  I mean dress designers use scissors.  But they use them to cut fabric, they don't use them to stab people.

                          JEFFREY
So, are love spells ever a good idea?

                          DUNCAN
Not really.  There are two basic categories, and one is less horrible and invasive than the other, but they've both got their problems.

                          JEFFREY
And the one I gave to Micah, who gave it to Auggie -

                          DUNCAN
Was the horrible, invasive one, yeah.
I mean, you see why, now, right?

                          JEFFREY
Yeah?

                          DUNCAN
OK, so with an attraction spell, where Micah gets Auggie to fall in love with him, Micah's hurting Auggie, and himself, and everyone in their immediate social circle, for starters.  I mean, at least he's not keeping it a secret, and he's trying to undo - or rather he's got you trying to undo it for him, but -

                          JEFFREY
He's messing with Auggie's free will.

                          DUNCAN
Yes, exactly.  And he's messing with Auggie's wife Sarah, and their unborn child.  Auggie already made a decision to build a life with someone, and it wasn't Micah.  Say we didn't undo things - how do you explain this mess to a kid?

                          JEFFREY
But these two guys have always been close.

                          DUNCAN
Well, you've screwed that up now, too.
By encouraging this delusion, Micah's screwing with a serious friendship, he's cutting himself off from other potential guys, most of whom one would hope actually have the advantage of being gay and possibly being interested in him

                          JEFFREY
- without the need for mind-altering chemicals being used.

                          DUNCAN
But instead, he's turning himself into something Auggie wants instead, with the added down side of now being the kind of person who would do something stupid, thoughtless and selfish like this.  When the dust settles, you and he and Auggie and Sarah all have to find a way to live with that less than flattering information.

                          JEFFREY
Setting aside being Auggie-specific for a second, what if a person just cast a spell to attract "the right person" to them?

                          DUNCAN
We still talking about Micah?

                          JEFFREY
Let's say we are.

                          DUNCAN
That's slightly less problematic, but only slightly.  You need to be super specific - because you also want to be sure that the spell means that you'll recognize that "right person" if they do cross your path - and of course, there's no guarantee they'll cross your path right away.  I mean, if they were already in your orbit, you might have met them and have no need for an attraction spell in the first place.  And if you wouldn't normally meet such a person in your day to day life, well, I mean, if you meet the right person twenty years from now, that doesn't do you a ton of good, but the spell still technically worked.

                          JEFFREY
So it's not much more useful than a gay dating app.

                          DUNCAN
Not really, not unless you're extremely lucky.

                          JEFFREY
And if you're extremely lucky, what do you need a spell for?

                          DUNCAN
Now, a self-love spell that you cast on yourself, that could be useful.

                          JEFFREY
Confidence builder?

                          DUNCAN
Absolutely, helps make you more aware of the romantic possibilities that come your way, AND makes you feel more worthy of being a potential catch when love comes calling.  Plus you may be having so much fun getting to know yourself better, you may not feel so pressed to spend all your time looking for a partner.  You can hang out with yourself and let the other guys find you.

                          JEFFREY
So when you say self-love -

                          DUNCAN
I didn't mean masturbation, no.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.

                          JEFFREY
So casting the love spell inward, rather than outward, that's OK.

                          DUNCAN
That kind of self-love spell we just talked about, yes.  The other kind, not so much.

                          JEFFREY
The other kind?

                          DUNCAN
It's the same kind of ill-considered life hack as the spell Micah inflicted on Auggie, just in reverse.  It's basically designed to "make me the kind of person this other guy would love."

                          JEFFREY
Changing yourself for another person.

                          DUNCAN
Never a good idea, with or without magic.

                          JEFFREY
Because if it works -

                          DUNCAN
Then you're either stuck pretending to be something that you're not for the length of your "relationship" or you revert to your true self at some point because you just can't stand it anymore, and then your beloved thinks you've pulled a bait and switch on 'em.  Why would you want to do that to yourself, or them?

                          JEFFREY
Once again, nobody's happy.

                          DUNCAN
Nope, not really.

                          JEFFREY
Love's hard enough -

                          DUNCAN
- without needlessly complicating things.
Micah's your friend.  Don't you think he deserves better?
Don't you?

                          JEFFREY
Yeah.  I guess.

                          DUNCAN
You're feeling like crap now.  I get that.  It's good that you're bothered by it.  Means you won't do it again.

                          JEFFREY
Absolutely not.  No.

                          DUNCAN
I can help you.

                          JEFFREY
And I'm grateful, I really am.  We'd be so screwed if you weren't -

                          DUNCAN
I don't mean just with this.

                          JEFFREY
Oh.

                          DUNCAN
I mean, if you want to learn.
The pagan stuff, the Wiccan stuff.
I can help.
I've been there.
I remember what it was like to be the newbie.
It wasn't that long ago.

                          JEFFREY
Yeah.  That'd be -

                          DUNCAN
And you don't need a love spell.
With me.
I see you.

                          JEFFREY
Oh.

                          DUNCAN
If you want.

                          JEFFREY
Yes.  Absolutely.  I mean, I see you, too.

                          DUNCAN
Good.
I'll try to keep the bossy mentor stuff and the boyfriend stuff separate.

                          JEFFREY
Love's hard enough -

                          DUNCAN
Yeah.



(to be continued)
 

November 2017 Writing Challenge - #18 - Sports On Stage

Put a sport on stage. The victory reveals something about the character.

Have fun with the sport.

Imagine if you'd like some of the staging conventions that could be set up- or don't!

Maybe break the fourth wall!

**************

Still distracted by research.  Still poking around the scene throughline for Micah and Auggie - an insert that plugs into yesterday's scene...

**************

                          AUGGIE
What's that look for?

                          MICAH
Nothing, really.  Just, I've never heard you say, "Snuggle up" before.  Actually, I don't think I've ever heard you call it anything before.

                          AUGGIE
Even though it's a thing.

                          MICAH
Even though it's a thing.

                          AUGGIE
Before it just seemed weird to call it something, or, you know, to ask.

                          MICAH
So you'd just shove up against me and keep burrowing until I relent and throw an arm around you.

                          AUGGIE
Something like that.

                          MICAH
So it's OK, as long as we don't draw attention to it or give it a name.

                          AUGGIE
Kinda.  Before.

                          MICAH
And now?

                          AUGGIE
I guess we're not pretending anymore?

                          MICAH
The rules of being a guy are very complex and confusing, I'm not gonna lie.


Saturday, November 18, 2017

November 2017 Writing Challenge - #17 - Reactionary Art


Go to the below link and read a few of the plays that were written for Donald Trump


Write a reactionary piece AS Donald Trump back to the cast, production team, and author.

Or

Write a reactionary piece AS the most articulate and intelligent member of Donald Trumps press team.

This is a favorite thing for me to do- like debate team but in theater.

Remember unlike in debate… FACTS ARE NOT EFFECTIVE

Kicked puppies crying for help

War widows clutching children on crutches

Grandmothers’ taking fresh apple pie out of the oven

These are your weapons.

*********

Again, no additional fictional space in my head for Trump right now.  Trying to work my way into another set of scenes for Micah and Auggie

**********

                          AUGGIE
OK, now I get to say something nice about you.

                          MICAH
Hey, you already started singing me something.  That's piling on.

                          AUGGIE
Singing only counts when I get through an entire verse or chorus.  You wouldn't count a single line, like "Once Upon A Time..." as a whole story, would you?

                          MICAH
No.

                          AUGGIE
OK, snuggle up.

                          MICAH
What?

Before MICAH can react, AUGGIE has sidled up next to him and put his head on Micah's shoulder.

                          AUGGIE
There is way too much distance between us.

MICAH is torn between moving and staying right where he is - between what he probably should do and what he really wants to do.

AUGGIE settles in, putting an arm or a hand on MICAH in a non-sexual way, but also a way where Micah would have to physically move the arm or hand to get away.

MICAH stays put.

                          MICAH
Auggie -

                          AUGGIE
Been too long since we did this.

                          MICAH
We haven't really done this since -

They think.

                          AUGGIE
My bachelor party.  End of the night.  Everybody else passed out drunk.  You and me -

                          MICAH
Stone cold sober.

                          AUGGIE
Wide awake and terrified.

                          MICAH
No reason to be.

                          AUGGIE
No.

                          MICAH
But everything was changing.

                          AUGGIE
Up until then -

                          MICAH
We managed to avoid admitting that to ourselves.

                          AUGGIE
But before that -

They think.

                          MICAH
That shouldn't count, should it?

                          AUGGIE
That counts.

                          MICAH
You weren't really yourself.

                          AUGGIE
It was months.  It counts.

                          MICAH
You were a mess.

                          AUGGIE
Kristen just broke up with me.

                          MICAH
Yeah.

                          AUGGIE
I thought she was the one I'd be marrying.  Someday.

                          MICAH
'Cept you couldn't keep your dick in your pants.

                          AUGGIE
I was 22.

                          MICAH
So was she.

                          AUGGIE
Women mature faster.

                          MICAH
Men only seem to use that factoid when it's convenient for them.

                          AUGGIE
I was a dog.

                          MICAH
Yup.  And she realized that.

                          AUGGIE
I was a terrible boyfriend.

                          MICAH
Yup.

                          AUGGIE
You didn't give up on me.

                          MICAH
I wasn't sleeping with you, and trying to avoid a venereal disease.  Or getting my heart broken.

                          AUGGIE
I was a really terrible boyfriend.

                          MICAH
Well, you paid for it.

                          AUGGIE
I still don't know why that breakup hit me so hard.

                          MICAH
Yes you do.

                          AUGGIE
Yeah.  I do.

                          MICAH
We talked about it.  Endlessly.

                          AUGGIE
Hey.

                          MICAH
Just kept going round and round the same conclusion.

                          AUGGIE
Was I boring you?

                          MICAH
No.  You were in pain.  You weren't terribly original, but you were in pain.  You knew what you did.  It just took a while to sink in.  I didn't mind spending time with you.

                          AUGGIE
Like this.

                          MICAH
Yeah.  Like this.

They settle in.

                          AUGGIE
Oh God.

                          MICAH
What?

                          AUGGIE
I was taking advantage of you.

                          MICAH
What?  No.

                          AUGGIE
I was.

                          MICAH
Didn't hear me complaining, did you?

                          AUGGIE
I needed to be held, and you held me.

                          MICAH
Hey, you let me cry on your shoulder, quite literally, more times than I can count.

                          AUGGIE
But this.  That time -

                          MICAH
If there'd been a blow job or a hand job involved, maybe.
But snuggling?  I didn't feel like you were taking advantage.

                          AUGGIE
But you wanted more.

                          MICAH
See, if straight guys were less uptight about this, we'd probably all be better off.
As it is, it needs to be some gay/straight combo platter where someone has to be totally fine with it, and the other guy just has to relax for a minute and let the walls down.

                          AUGGIE
Have I been holding you back?

                          MICAH
No.

                          AUGGIE
Really?

                          MICAH
My social life has always been weird.

                          AUGGIE
Sending out the wrong pheromones.

                          MICAH
Straight guys like you gravitate toward me.

                          AUGGIE
Hey, there are no straight guys like me.

                          MICAH
You are an original, yes.  But you're a type.

                          AUGGIE
Your type?

                          MICAH
Straight guys are all the intimacy, none of the sex.
Gay guys are all sex, no intimacy.

                          AUGGIE
You just need to meet a better class of gay guy.

                          MICAH
You ain't kiddin'.

                          AUGGIE
I was taking advantage of you.

                          MICAH
I was fine.  You got better.  It was OK.
And you're not taking advantage of me now.

                          AUGGIE
No.

AUGGIE kisses MICAH's shoulder, or hand.

                          MICAH
Auggie?

                          AUGGIE
Yeah?

                          MICAH
I think you need to tell another story about Sarah.

                          AUGGIE
Like what?

                          MICAH
When did you first realize you loved her?

                          AUGGIE
Probably the night we met.

                          MICAH
Sap.  That's not quite true.

                          AUGGIE
How do you know?

                          MICAH
I was there, remember?  Working your merch table at the Anodyne.

                          AUGGIE
Oh God, that's right.

                          MICAH
Your most reliable groupie.

                          AUGGIE
I knew I was in trouble, though.  Sarah.  That first night.

                          MICAH
OK, I'll grant you that.

                          AUGGIE
I felt something.  That - thing.

                          MICAH
Chemical.

                          AUGGIE
Yeah.

                          MICAH
First time since Kristen.

                          AUGGIE
Yeah.



(to be continued)