Monday, April 05, 2010

Monday Night Lights

I had to work tonight, but they sent me home early...something about a school group booking more tickets than they needed, so only three tours went out instead of four at eight-thirty. I thought--I could do a re-write on my play! Except that, in order to hang on to my sanity, what with working two/three jobs, plus militia, I imposed a limit of a thirteen hour workday. So now I am casting about for something to write about.

The play is going well. Quite a few people have seen it and commented on it and occasionally...changed some of my words...without asking me...but overall, things are going well. This is about as unusual a situation you can get for a playwright. Usually you have to beg on bended knee and promise all sorts of sordid favors to get anyone to read your work. I appreciate all the comments, I really do, especially when someone who knows slaps me on the wrist (metaphorically) and says DO NOT UPHOLD THIS COMMON MISCONCEPTION. Okay, fine. But the changing my words--even though it is done with enthusiasm and the best of intentions--rankles a little. Granted, we are only on draft two. I get to take the changes and either keep them, toss them or make them better. If I don't agree, I get to dig in my little dramatic heels and say "look, we ARE going to make fun of Jefferson, even if it's not correct, because people know who Jefferson is and IT'S FUNNY." I have spoken to other writers connected to the Foundation, and they warned me this was a problem. Too many people trying to make sure that everything is absolutely one hundred percent historically accurate. I want that, I really do. I also want to entertain the hell out of people and make them laugh. And if it's a choice between bending the historical record or having a boring show, I choose to toss history out of the window. I have done my research. And I choose to blithely ignore it.

Speaking of defenestration, isn't that a funny word? and isn't it funny that we HAVE A WORD for throwing things out of a window? I could say "I totally defrenestrated him!" and people would know I tossed someone out a window. Isn't that weird?

Back to historical interpreting...we historical interpreters/reenactors tend to fall into two groups. The daytrippers, who will use their sewing machines to make Simplicity patters with quilter's cotton, buy a mob cap and call it a day, and the hardcore or "progressive" re-enactors who spend far, FAR too much time and money on "authentic" fabrics and handsewing. No prizes for guessing which category I'm in. But this leads to some hysterical situations where grown men are openly admiring each other's clothing and accoutrements...a situation which this eBay ad perfectly captures:

thirty seconds of hilarity.

...for the record that coat is pretty authentic, as is the gorget he is wearing and the gun, but the wig? Sigh. Farby as hell.

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