The Gift

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Objective: Give props extra emotional power. Exercise: Write a scene in which a prop is used in two drastically different ways. The prop should originally be given as a gift or good-will gesture. Then, at the end of the scene, it is reversed and used to express anger or a change in sentiments.
Remember: Props should be visual, hand-held items. Hints: Be creative. Select an unusual prop and us it in an original manner.

The Gift

Bedroom. ABBY is sitting in front of a mirror doing her makeup, she is getting ready to go out. PAUL enters, he has just got from work, PAUL is wearing a fine suit and carries a briefcase, he places the briefcase to the side of the bed and moves towards ABBY and kisses her on the back of the head. ABBY continues to put on her makeup while PAUL removes his jacket and shoes before sitting down on the edge of the bed.

ABBY

You’re late

PAUL

Yeah I know, sorry. I was just closing some sales

ABBY

ok

PAUL

You know it’s been crazy since Petes left

ABBY

So you keep telling me

PAUL moves to ABBY and starts rubbing her shoulders until she gives into the gesture

PAUL

I’m sorry hun, how was your day?

ABBY

The the usual, standing around all day doing nothing, had to wait til 11 for someone to actually walk in
PAUL

At least you’re home now
PAUL kisses her head again, PAUL moves to his briefcase and pulls out a jewellery box

PAUL

Since it’s our special night I got you a little something

ABBY seeing the jewellery box in the reflection of the mirror turns around with curiosity. ABBY takes the box and opens it, it is a necklace in the shape of an Orchid

ABBY

It’s beautiful

PAUL

Here

PAUL takes the necklace and carefully puts it around ABBYS neck, PAUL kisses the back of her head again. ABBY looks in the mirror at her new treasure, her smile is short lived as she fills the pendant in her fingers

ABBY

Paul, where did you get this?

PAUL

Why? don’t you like it?

ABBY

No, no I love it, its just… it looks like the one they are showing on the news

PAUL

All right, well it’s not, I can assure you it’s not the same one as the one on the news

ABBY pulls out her phone

PAUL

What are you doing?

ABBY

Googling it

PAUL

Abby, you’re being ridiculous, it’s not the same, I bought it from Micheal Hill a few weeks ago, it’s just a stupid necklace

ABBY

Look! look Paul! Maddie McKenzie was wearing this when she went missing, it’s all over the news

PAUL

Ab calm down!

ABBY

Look Paul, gold orchid necklace, it was her gradmas, it’s the same one Paul, isn’t it!

PAUL

You need to calm down Abby, you are making this all up in your head

ABBY

You need to stand over there away from me

PAUL

You can’t be serious!

ABBY

Stay away from me, if you don’t have anything to hide Paul you’ll stay over there

ABBY starts to dail on her phone, the couple begin to circle each other in the room

PAUL

Ab calm down! put the phone down!

ABBY

Back off!

PAUL grabs the phone and throws it at the wall, ABBY tries to run away but PAUL grabs her before she reaches the door, PAUL throws ABBY onto the bed, he pins her down ABBY screams. Blackout.

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Preparation / Aftermath

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So I have been looking at this exercise for a few days now and for some strange reason it had totally stumped me, looking at it you think that’s pretty simple and I think that’s what got me.

Anyway here is the exercise and my interpretation of it.

 

 

Objective: Scene economy, planting and payoff, involving an active audience.
Exercise: Write two short scenes (1/2 page each). NO DIALOGUE.
Scene 1: Your character is in alone in a room getting read for a date. We should be able to tell from the way in which he/she prepares if he/she is looking forward to the date, apathetic about it, dreading it, etc…
Scene 2: The same character enters the same room after the date. What happened on the date? We should tell by his/her actions – how he/she moves, gets undressed, looks in the mirror, etc. – how the date went. Was it a disaster? Unexpected? Predictable? Passionate? Remember, you must know what kind of date it is: a wedding, a funeral, the prom.
Remember: Scenes of preparation and aftermath should be at an emotional extreme. Hints: Since the scene of aftermath should contradict the preparation, you want to bring the character from one extreme to the other.
Example: Imagine a hitman in a suit with a press pass for the Democratic Convention. He’s assembling his elite sniper rifle, while looking over the dossier of the party’s Presidential nominee… We know who he is, where he’s going, what he’s going to do, how he’s going to do it… and we feel smart because we put the information together. And when he returns, his mission will have been a success, or maybe he’s the one who has been shot.
The Marsh mellow incident

Scene 1:

The setting is a kitchen, one that you may find in a students first flat away from home. Pantry, fridge, sink, cupboards and drawers under the sink, washing machine, tumble dryer and a old fashion phone on the wall. In the middle of the kitchen is a small uninspired square table, with only one chair next to it. DAVE enters with purpose only wearing in his boxers. DAVE is carrying a jacket, two pairs of gloves, a scarf and a woolly hat. DAVE places the accessories onto the table and hangs the jacket on the back of the chair. DAVE opens the tumble dryer, pulls out a pair of trousers, socks, T-shirt and a hoodie he smells each item before dressing himself. DAVE goes to the pantry and pulls out a giant bag of marshmallows and throws it casually onto the table, he moves to the cupboard opens the door and takes a look inside, DAVE has to rummage at the back of the cupboard to find what he was looking for – two long skewers, he puts them onto the table. DAVE now goes into the drawers and pulls out some lighter fluid and a lighter, he checks to see if the lighter works, it does, he pops the lighter into his back pocket. DAVE checks his watch and realises he is running late so he rushes for another drawer that is filled with plastic bags, Dave pulls one out and places the marshmallows, the lighter fluid and skewers gently into the bag being extremely careful not to pierce the bag. DAVE puts his jacket on and puts one pair of gloves into his pocket and the other into the bag and exits.

Scene 2:

DAVE rushes in, he has a claw mark on his face, his T-shirt is blooded, his scarf and jacket appear to have been burnt, it looks slightly comical. DAVE is also carrying the plastic bag we saw earlier only the bottom is missing, he puts it onto the table. DAVE is completely expressionless. DAVE walks to the cupboard and retrieves a large glass from it, he looks at the glass, it feels like he is working really hard to connect his brain with movement. He finally fills the glass with water and places it onto the table, he takes of his jacket and throws it onto the floor, we see claw marks all over his body. DAVE sits down and takes a large gulp of water and places the glass slowly back down onto the table. He pauses. DAVE looks at his hands and they are trembling. The phone rings.

The Picnic

Scene 1:

DAVE is in the kitchen, he is wearing a smart collared shirt, and some shorts. The kitchen feels warm, not in the heating sense but like grandmas cottage when you think of Little Red Riding Hood. It is filled with utensils that hang near the oven, a few cook books here and there and a table and chairs. DAVE is preparing a picnic, he is confident, a man on a mission. He has shopping bags on the table, he is placing the contents into a picnic basket, first he puts plastic plates in, followed by the plastic cups and cutlery, the food is then carefully packed grapes, cheese, crackers, sliced ham, bread rolls, olives, dried tomatoes, a box of After Eights. Dave also pulls out a box of condoms and takes 2 from the box and places them carefully into a secret compartment in the picnic basket. The last item from the shopping bags is a bottle of wine, he reads the label and goes to put it into the basket but doesn’t. DAVE is clearly conflicted with himself but eventually places the wine into the basket, the final item that is placed in is the picnic blanket. DAVE leaves casually with a promising smile.

Scene 2:

DAVE enters the kitchen with an sense of embarrassment, he seems flustered a complete reverse of the DAVE we saw in the previous scene. DAVE places the picnic blanket onto the table and pulls out the blanket, followed by the wine which he looks at disappointed. DAVE tuts at himself and puts the unopened bottle into the trash. He sits on the chair deflated. DAVE sits quietly contemplating to himself, he retrieves the bottle from the trash and proceeds to drink from the bottle.

Wind back Wednesday

 

So I uploaded this video for wind back Wednesday, this was a piece I wrote for stand up comedy, it feels so long ago, I realise that I wrote this piece, performed it twice and never looked at it again, I didn’t spend the time refining it. I never did stand up again, because I felt I didn’t have anything to say, funny when you look back and in fact you actually have too much to say. Anyway hopefully you’ll enjoy this piece. FYI there is some terrible language in this.

PS I actually don’t like Winnie the Pooh because of this.

Back to it…

So I hadn’t manage to get my next post on time as I was distracted by other things, like the Superbowl, it was the first time I have ever watched it and even tho sport really isn’t my thing, I found myself shouting and jumping for both teams! I also just finished reading Ian Rankins ‘Black and Blue’ I’m have a Reebus marathon. 

So yes, that is why I have been slack… 

The next post will go back to the writing exercises. 

Ciao for now 🙂

#backtowork #writing 

Great motivational quote for the evening

Originally posted on Motivational Quotes for the Day: Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine & at last you create what you will. -Shaw ? Motivational Quotes (@motivational) November 3, 2016 //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

via Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine & at last you create what you will. -Shaw — charles french words reading and writing

Atmosphere and Mood

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So I’ve taken a task from the The script lab and it is all about creating atmosphere and mood so this is my first attempt of doing so… please feel free to give me constructive feedback.

Thank you.

Objective: Set the mood through character action

Exercise: Write three short scenes (each 1/2 page). NO DIALOGUE. The same character walks alone through the same surroundings (interior or exterior) three different times. NO DIALOGUE. Use concise, creative description to alter the mood and atmosphere of each scene: The first time we get the feeling we’re in a horror film. The second time a romance. The third time a cheerful comedy.

Hints: Use night/day, lighting, props, sounds, wardrobe, and movement. Ask where the character is coming from/going, how the character moves, what is the next scene, what same elements can be used in each scene, but to different effect?

 

SCENE 1 IN: — NIGHT

It is nightfall, a dusty road the stage is barely lit apart from a street lamp which is not working properly, it flickers on and off rapidly. DAVE appears from the darkness through what can only be described as a deep murkiness. DAVE is wearing an over sized oilskined jacket with the hood worn up, combat pants and army boots. As he comes closer to the audience it is very apparent that he is nervous and on edge about something as he is constantly looking around the ethos of space. DAVE moves carefully around the clutter on the road desperately trying to keep as quite as he can, but the mess becomes overwhelming to sneak around, Daniel knocks a pile that startles him, at the same time a blinding light deliberately shines on him, he tries to escape the beam but is transfixed on the source.

SCENE 2 IN: — DAY

It is a beautiful summers day, on stage left there is a glorious french street lamp, through the middle of the stage is an exquisite pavement filled with different coloured bricks and on stage right is a table set out for two, a bottle of water with two glasses, a menu and vase with a splendid bouquet of flowers. In the distant is a faint sound of the sea, waves crashing, muffled sounds of children playing and the sound of seagulls squawking. DAVE enters the stage taking in the beauty of the scenery, he is filled with energy which is coupled with his radiant smile. DAVE is wearing a blue short sleeved shirt, a white singlet, blue spotted shorts, jandles, a sunhat and a pair of sunglasses. DAVE seems mischievous he spots the empty table and moves to it with determination, sitting at one of the seats with nervous excitement. DAVE picks up the menu and has a quick peek before placing it neatly back where he found it. He pours himself a water and looks around for a waiter, no one to serve him just yet DAVE pulls out his phone and proceeds to type a message, he looks at the menu to find the name of the cafe/restaurant he is sitting at, after completing his message he hits send confidently. DAVE sits in thought for a moment before reaching into his pocket and pulling out a ring box, he places the ring box onto the table carefully before opening it, DAVE delicately looks at the ring for a moment before his phone receives a text message, DAVE puts the ring back into the box abruptly and puts it away in his pocket. DAVE reads the messages and his face becomes more warm in expression.

SCENE 3 IN: — EVENING

It is evening, light shines onto an old lamppost with a sign on it that reads ‘Grand Opening of the Rainforest’ a professionally made sign with a giant arrow pointing towards the entrance of the new nightclub in town the ‘Rainforest’. Heavy bass and loud dance music is coming from the club but it is completely empty. DAVE appears from a door at the back of the club, there is a florescent light that reads ‘office’. He is wearing a pair of exercise shorts, T-shirt, novelty socks pulled all the way up and bright blue sneakers. He walks to the centre of the club holding a briefcase and a sign on a stick which he places along the bar next to him. He places the brief case on a table and opens it, the lid blocks the contents from the audience. DAVE proceeds to do some excessive stretching before pulling out a panda costume from the brief case. He takes a deep breath and puts the costume on, once in the costume he practices some dance moves then closes the brief case and throws it behind the bar in one swift move. DAVE grabs the sign that is leaning against the bar and drags it slowly outside towards the lamppost. DAVE takes one final deep breath before raising the sign, the sign has been hand written ‘NEW CLUB – IT’S GOING TO BE PANDAMONIUM’. A sense of embarrassment hits DAVE.

First blog post

 

Wham! Bam! Kapow!!! this is the first blog wooooooooooooooooowhooooooo!

This is exciting stuff, the first blog wow, what do I do now? Explain what’s happening? OK! so I’m an actor and I’ve set myself a goal to write my very first play. I haven’t really thought this through and since I am just writing everything that I am thinking anyway lets set some goals, for you to see and for me to stick too!

Right O, Step One do some research on how to write plays. I’ve recently found this website with some writing exercises to do the script lab so I’ll give them ago and show you what I come up with.

Step Two – brainstorm some ideas about plays I’d like to write, I kinda want to get this done by the end of next week.

Step Three – Just write the play. I want to have a rough draft at the end May, giving myself 13 weeks to come up with a fairly well thought out product.

Step Four – Finish the product, end of July.

Step Five – Find a producer to put it on.

Step Six – Watch my first play on the stage.

And that is pretty much my plan, obviously I am very naive to the process, and may not have an understanding just yet on how this works, which is another reason why I’m blogging to record my trail and errors.

Final goal, how often should I blog and will it correlate with my progress? Hmmmmm maybe I should blog every other day? Yeah lets give that a go for now. Max. every two days Min. Once a week.

Sorted.

Have a wonderful evening and I shall catch you later 🙂