Peripheral City

Peripheral City
Peri, played by Josh Elrod

Monday, April 4, 2011

Guerilla Shooting in Ineffeciency Rehearsal Style

So, on Saturday, I met eight actors in a basement church in Williamsburg-Brooklyn to shoot two scripts in under three hours. I had fifty dollars to pay the sound man and spent another twenty-eight bucks, much to my vexation, on a big Dunkin Donuts coffee box and another of actual donuts. The first two actors and I shot a three page script about a school teacher becoming the devil in front of a silver mime and his cracked out video camera wielding sister, the playing field of social difference, class and race - being leveled by dwindling resources for education and teacher pay in the US - as the subtext. Of course, the third actress, Squeaky, playing the cracked out sister, freaked out when she got close to the church, performance anxiety I think, and didn't show. Non-professionals. When will I learn?

The second was eight actors going to rehab for addiction to watching either TV shows or Sports. The lead was supposed to be played by my co-writer, Reese Waters, but he was sick so Damion Omar Lee, who showed up for Lucky Magic, played the lead James, court mandated into rehab for his Basketball addiction. But when he gets to rehab, it's crazier than he is. Damion was a star. I shot the rehearsal, everyone read off of scripts. I think I'll shoot the whole show that way, armed with only scripts and minimal costumage, and people willing to make fools of themselves, I think I'm on to something.

The judges at the Writer's Guild Pitch competition had no idea how to rate my pitch, as my pitch almost exclusively did not talk about what the show was about, as the show is so absurdly about addiction, even I don't know how to frame the premise in a narrative form. They all thought it was about "watching" and I can see how I mislead them. Who on earth, that isn't an addict, could understand the language of addiction, the deep pathos, the yearning, the crippling fear that in retrospect is sooooo funny to us addicts, just because of those windows of sanity we have in which to see how crazy we addicts can be. Anyhow, the Watchaholics Anonymous, Episode One, is sure to be a hit among addicts everywhere, if not among absurdists.

This weekend, I shoot my first installment of Angry Women, about angry women. I am very excited.

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