Spent a lovely couple of days in Kalamazoo, MI with fellow Theatrefolk writer Allison Williams
I go here twice a year and I always find it invigorating. Maybe it’s because it’s not my house and there’s nothing here I can distract myself with as I can at home. Although that’s not necessarily true because the place is a fun house of books and masks and costumes and theatre memories and pictures and so on. Maybe it’s because I know I’ve only got a few days of quiet and I want to make the most of them as humanly possible.
I worked on five plays in round table. I would either give myself a time limit on a piece or the instant I got stuck, I would move on to the next piece. I only had one notebook and everytime I moved on, I’d put the title at the top of the page and off I’d go. Every piece was in the idea stage, which for me is the honeymoon stage. Nothing I write is wrong, I don’t have to worry about linking anything together, I just go, go, go. Working on more than one play at a time is one way I combat writers block. I hate staring at a blank page! At some point I will push certain plays to the forefront and take those to the next level depending on my schedule.
Whenever I hang out with Allison, there’s always some adventure or something out of the ordinary. I was in Kalamazoo for Halloween and it was certainly the most involved Halloween I’ve ever done! The front of the house was decked out with a huge inflatable gargoyle, there were lights, and a sound system of scary noises.
Four of us dressed up to give out candy – one as a crazy scientist with a lab coat and full face mask, and the rest of us as additional gargoyles, with masks and wings to boot. Some kids were so scared by the sight of the house that they refused to come up and get candy! That’s pretty powerful. It was a lot of fun, I find it’s always easier to get into character when you’re wearing a mask. It didn’t take long to find my “inner” gargoyle.