Wednesday, September 24, 2014
"One reason it’s difficult for writers to take chances with their stories and screenplays is because they don’t do it in their own lives. If you wanna create something that is fresh and alive and surprising, you can’t have it already worked out and known before you make the journey. I used to tell my students about the value of reading their scripts to strangers on buses. Not so they could elicit an opinion from someone that they didn’t know, but because it was a very palpable way of altering their psychical distance to the story and its characters. You’ve got to be prepared to do the unexpected, don’t be afraid to take wrong turns, open unmarked doors., cultivate a passion for doing without the guarantee of how it’ll turn out. Too many adventures are lost in the slackness of waiting to think up of a plan. Make interesting choices and evermore interesting mistakes. You are the future, and it is always acting NOW."
-- BILLY MARSHALL STONEKING
Monday, September 22, 2014
I hate to be the one to break the news, not that it should be news, but predictability breeds predictability. You can’t plan for surprise, or freshness, or originality. You can’t consciously choose those things either. The choice is not to be or not to be; the choice is to dance or not to dance. The best choices are those that arrive effortlessly through the natural movement of characters motivated by needs and fears, they are made by the story, by its music, atonal though it may be. What the story shows us, and what it goads us towards, is openness, effortlessness, spontaneity. It is never the story that resists these impulses, only ourselves, clutched by an unmanaged fear that were we free enough to let the story become whatever it might be, it would expose something better left hidden, thus opening us to attack or derision. It is a prospect many find too painful to even contemplate, and so they make story into a fortress instead of an escape plan.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Sunday, September 7, 2014
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Serious drama is always an account of the damage, the woundings inflicted by one's tribe and the tribes of others, the limits imposed by history that one accepts and embraces in order to be seen and heard. We tell our stories out of these wounds, out of the damage done by family, school, history and frustrated desire, believing we are answerable to all of these, or that they are answerable to us. Family, school, history and desire are where our sins and shortcomings live.
To be "original" doesn't mean producing something totally new, something that hasn't been expressed before. To be original is to produce something that's present in everyone, but which no one else would've thought of expressing in just that way because no one else is you.