Entering third week of rehearsals!
As many of you know, I am also an actor.
I’m currently in rehearsal for the role of the Constable in Henry V — and I’m almost off book!
I’m now working my lines daily at home in addition to rehearsal. This is my personal detail work. Without it I would flounder about more than usual later. I should mention that this is my 49th season. My first role was at the Nomad Theatre in Arthur Kopit’s, “Oh, Dad, Poor Dad,” under the direction of the legendary James Sandoe. I doubled as a Bell-boy and as Oh Dad. I think I was fourteen at the time.
Because I’ve lately become so obsessed with writing these stories of mine (143 so far this year alone – about 325 in the last 30 months), I’ve had to mostly quit thinking about them in order to focus on my character. I say mostly because it’s not possible for my archetypes to “not” push themselves to the surface of my mind. The difference is that I do not immediately begin writing the story so that my mind does not return to absorption.
The sole exception is the very last story I’ve posted in the Flash Fiction section of the menu bar. I was out walking as I do every day and the entire story flashed in front of me so fast, I could only see the first images (those of Emelye showing her art to Miguel.). Later in the day, I remembered the flash of story and its solitary image and then let the story tell itself.
I make it sound easy. In fact, because I was writing from memory (an added layer to my normal process), I interjected “author” throughout the first draft. By the way, I should mention that I always think my “authorial” work to be my best. That is, until I am confronted by a reader who reminds me that my author is a real story-killer.
It took a major rewrite of a 300 word story to get a story out of it (The rewrite is now about 400-450 words, I think.). I like the stories I write from my collective unconscious much better and they are definitely much easier to write.
My newest idea is to use free-indirect discourse as a tool for the agents of the story (But, specifically not as an authorial sneak attack on the narrator, which is how most writers try to use it.)
By this I mean to allow my characters to have a sub-conscious and therefore a personal agenda that is actually the agenda of the agents whose part the characters are playing. I will let my characters not only tell the agents’ story, but give them opportunity to apply free indirect discourse via the narrator and by doing so gain an additional means of telling their story — a different side-track of images running in parallel (I wonder why everybody wants to pick on the poor narrator.) The trigger words (for the audience) are changes in the verb tense and via adverbs. David Herman (Story Logic, Narratologies) discusses it indirectly, I believe, but as far as I can tell, the articulation of this discourse idea is mine alone.
This is, of course a continuation of my theory that we inherit not just the archetypes, but also the stories the archetypes are attached to. These inherited stories always arrive with the agents of the stories (the archetypes) embedded within them. How embedded? They are inseparable. If you try to remove the agents, the story disappears as well. If you try to take away the story, the agents will always tag along.
It is the “agents will always tag along” part that intrigues me. If this is true, the way to see one’s archetypes is not to attempt to look at them directly — that’s the allegory of the cave, all you will see are the shadows on the wall — Instead, just start telling the story, or even better, just let your agents start telling their story. They are the ones that know it best.
A stories’ agents (sometimes a solitary agent) have the true purpose of telling the story. Both the narrator and the author ethically must respect this inherited storytelling “structure.” This structure of story-teller and audience can be found in all forms of life, both plant and sentient being. In fact, many would describe any planetary object with a burning center to be a kind of agent that is telling its story as it creates it. This structure “feels” like a contract between the story-teller and the audience. The storyteller must ask permission to tell the story. The auditor must ask permission to hear it. This is a common “sense” of the formal structure of storytelling (almost universal.)
History is an attempt to tell a larger story. And, of course there are much larger stories than those we can imagine (or could possibly know about.)
I think one should not confuse plot with story. Plots (jokes for example) are an artificial appendage to a story. I cannot find any evidence of plot existing anywhere outside this planet. I believe its implementation is a kind of applied catharsis teaching us as a species to become didactic — which is also not a “natural” state of mind.
Irony, especially in situational or cosmic forms, represents itself as possessing a kind of authorial mind. It certainly is useful as a corrective whenever we become too certain of something. Cosmic irony, most frequently seen as perverse irony, requires that somebody closely involved with it “never see it coming.”
Which brings me back to the Constable. He is the most ironic character I’ve ever played. I love him! He both heaps his sarcasm on everybody and “never sees it coming, even foreshadowing his own death.
By the way, We are still looking for a “Nym.”
Nym is a great role!
If you want to be on stage, now’s your chance.
Call Jo Bell at 303-442-1415 (The Upstart Crow).