Dispatches from Suburbia

If I played an instrument, I would have a band called "The Simon Thomsen Sex Tape"; and other musings, rants, and disconnected ramblings.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Sexy Chemistry

"I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen."
-Frank Lloyd Wright

I'm happy to report that last night's script reading was an absolute success. The turnout was phenomenal (in fact, there weren't enough chairs), the actors were great, and we were able to have our heavily polished script finally read to a live audience.

We were at Frontier restaurant until 1:30 am on Tuesday night (or early Wednesday morning) making revisions, rearranging scenes, developing characters, etc. Totally anxious in anticipation of the following evening's event, I got very little sleep when I finally arrived home. Before the actual stage reading, we had one more rehearsal read-through. Then, five minutes before the performance was to begin, we made yet more last-minute revisions.

Jittery, sleep-deprived, and incredibly nervous, we took our seats as the audience filled in around us. The lights lowered, the actors sat on the stage before us, and the read-through of our year-long project--the pilot episode of "American High"--finally began.

The actors nailed their parts, as if they'd imagined the characters even more deeply than we did. Actually, I'm pretty convinced that the Sexy Chemists, our writing troupe, knows the characters better than we know ourselves, but the actors undoubtedly added a new layer of complexity to the project, making it all that much more compelling.

There were surprises, too, in the ways the audience reacted to certain parts. There were some chuckles during scenes that I never realized could be considered funny, a couple of surprise gasps, things that come from somebody other than yourself interpreting your work. This was neither good or bad, just a little surprising. There were, however, reactions that were supposed to be there--scenes we wrote that were supposed to be funny got explosions of laughter, and we got the intended gasps from the more shocking scenes. This put a smile on my face and the faces of the other three Sexy Chemists.

We got awesome feedback, especially from our screenwriting professor, the intense, ruthless editing fiend Matt McDuffie who had us doing rewrites five minutes before the show; even he gave us kudos. Ecstatically, he said, "You've got a T.V. show!"

After the performance ended, the actors got a wonderful round of applause. Then, Eric, the event's facilitator, piped up from the back of the room: "Let's hear it for the writers." This got a genuinely enthusiastic round of applause. As you can imagine, I'm on cloud nine right now.

Last night, watching my characters and my writing come to life, I felt like Dr. Frankenstein, standing over his grotesque creation and crying out, "It's ALIVE!" I may sound a little shallow, revelling in the audience's positive reaction and praising my own work, but we all have our insecurities, and a little stroke of the ego never hurt anybody. I am now a tad more comfortable in giving myself the "writer" label.

By the way, I'd like to thank my fellow bloggers for the well-wishes and kind words of encouragement.


At 2:24 PM, Blogger JR's Thumbprints said...

I probably learned more about writing from a college public speaking class than any other writing class. The key: Know your audience, and learn from them. Congrats!

At 1:41 AM, Blogger ShadowFalcon said...


That is fantastic news, now keep writing!

At 11:21 AM, Blogger Erik Donald France said...

Fantastic news, Simon! That's great -- I wish you great success with this project and your other writing endeavors. Cheers from Detroit!


Post a Comment

<< Home