The First Christmas / The Process / Writing

The Art of Letting Go


Some of the items on my study desk have been there since the Eisenhower administration.

Some of the items on my study desk have been there since the Eisenhower administration.

Thanks to some reality TV shows I’ve seen, I know I’m not a hoarder. But thanks to the state of my desk, my closet, my car, my hairstyle and such, I know I’m not one to shed things lightly, either.

Bumped into that issue again this week with the script for “The First Christmas,” which will play this December at the SCERA. There’s a certain scene, involving the wise men, that is causing us some staging problems with the design of the new set, not to mention some casting problems.

A potential solution occurred to me this week, but it would involve undoing some things that in my mind were done-done. Like locked down tight, throw-away-the-key done. The trade-offs, on the other hand, seemed like they might more than compensate. Only one way to find out for sure, though: write it out. Worth going down the road, at least.

So it’s Thursday night, and I sit down to write. I open the script and stare at the screen. I try digging in, but it doesn’t click. I walk away, come back, dig in again. Cut and paste. Ew. Command-z. Cut and paste something else. Bigger ew. Bigger Command-z. Maybe I’m too tired.

I decide to sleep on it. If I go to bed early, I figure, I’ll have one of my familiar “middle bits” at around 2 or 3 am, get on my computer and it will all come flowing out. Next thing I know, it’s morning. I slept through the night, which was cool and rare, but there was no “aha” moment when I awoke where all the pieces came together in my head.

The pieces were definitely not together. Ugh. It’s either not meant to be, or I’m having one of those hard-time-letting-go moments. I don’t know which, but I know I need to figure it out and soon. Our show opens rehearsals in a little over a week.

Last night, after a hot date with Suzanne to the inaccurately named Awful Waffle, I find myself back in my office. I try again. This time, I decide to let go of what had been in the scene, and build from the ground up. If things from the previous version made it back in, fine. But if not, so be it.

The rewrite inches along slowly, but steadily. Finished about 1 a.m. this morning. Woke up, tweaked a few more things. We’ll see if it sticks. But it was a good reminder to me that sometimes, you have to let go of one rung in order to make it to the next.

Now, about those leisure suits in my closet…

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3 thoughts on “The Art of Letting Go

  1. I have SO learned this myself! “B-but! That’s such a good line! It MUST be heard by the world!”

    Then there’s that “stupor of thought” thing and the inability to make a line or a thought or a scenario work, no matter what angle I try. That’s when I know it’s time to let go. Ah, the brilliant things the world will never hear…

  2. I had to look up the Eisenhower term of office to see if you were even around. I remember being on my folks’ walkway when they told me he had won the office. That was back in 1953, but being on the “2-year baby plan” you certainly did qualify for the Eisenhower era but probably on your ‘desk’ was little hot wheel cars and little other cars. You were always playing with the cars! I even carried them in my purse to make sure you had your entertainment at hand.

  3. Pingback: The Art of Holding On | Dennis Agle's Technicolor Dream Blog

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