The Motherfucker with the Hat

I got into the acting class. Awesome. Yes, I’m both excited and nervous. This is good. Makes me think of what Fred Astaire purportedly said to Ginger Rogers: “Don’t be nervous — just don’t make any mistakes.” First class is Tuesday. I’ll do my monologue again. We’ll see how I do.

One of the other assignments going forward is to go to plays and read them. To that end, I just read The Motherfucker with the Hat. It’s a play that makes me wonder why we feel the need to call something a comedy or a drama. And dramedy is not a good solution, at least not for this play. This play is distinctly both at different times. Good stuff. Nicely done Stephen Adly Guirgis.

Let me say something thing about the very first scene in the play: It’s sooooooo good.

One of the things I try to remember to think about when writing is: how far can this scene travel? How far can it travel from where it starts emotionally, tone-wise, story-wise? This scene travels far on all of these counts.

One of the key reasons it’s able to travel so far is because it’s got a big “BUT” in the middle of it. Things are going great, wonderfully for the main character, Jackie — until he notices something. And this thing he notices changes everything. Everything. And because it changes everything where the scene is going takes a sharp dramatic turn.

It’s also a complete scene. Which is to say, you could read this one scene, and nothing else, and you would understand it. part of this might be related to the fact that it’s the first scene, but still, my guess is that this is true for all the others scenes in the play also.

Lastly, the scene just plain rocks. Both characters are so alive, flawed, and they wear it on their sleeve. So good.

Dune Fences Thumbnail

Photograph: Dune Fences

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