‘…that was your father’s land, huh?

•February 8, 2013 • Leave a Comment

‘…that was your father’s land, huh?’ Novelist Mary Bush & me on AK ghosts shoving us from L.A. to TO @TheDriftsLive http://ht.ly/hy0OZ

US Health: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health

•January 10, 2013 • Leave a Comment

A New National Research Council report, “US Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health” lays it out. Can’t be clearer than this. While so many people suffer and the Right harangues about entitlements, the dirty not-so-secret secret is that Americans pay way more for far worse healthcare.

“The United States is among the wealthiest nations in the world, but it is far from the healthiest. Although Americans’ life expectancy and health have improved over the past century, these gains have lagged behind those in other high-income countries. this health disadvantage prevails even though the United States spends far more per person on health care than any other nation.”

This human rights issue is a major economic and cultural time bomb. Please do call me a socialist.

Year End Wrap Up 2012

•December 31, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I actually got bullied from that post I did on Open Book re putting games in scenes we’re writing. You’d think with all the stuff going on, people (I won’t name names —Charles—but you know who you are) would have bigger fish to fry. Jokers like that make so much of what has been sweet this year even sweeter. I’ve read two Cormac McCarthy novels this week and not taking any you-know-what.

2012 has been quite a year. To get you up to speed on The Drifts Livewe’ve pitched it in NYC to a slew of big and small producers, brought on a couple of new collaborators and started to get a little public funding for further development. We made a pitch reel too.

This summer, Lyon Smith, an ingenious musician & actor I’ve worked with before theatrically came on board. Lyon brings an actor’s sensibility to the work. He’ll improvise not only with smaller instruments, but also scratching on his digital turntable and/or some such.

In September, I got a pitch together including the reel. Set up by TRU (Theatre Resources Unlimited) in NYC there was everyone there from big West End types to smaller alt producers. Most of the people I pitched to thought the story, etc. was great. 3 followed up. I learned a lot since the pitch had to change person to person.

In October, Maja Ardal, an Icelandic/Scottish powerhouse actor, director and writer came on board. I first saw Maja coming back and forth from L.A. to Toronto before I moved here. She knocked me out then and just adapted and directed The Prisoner of Teheran here in town. She has a wealth of experience as a solo theatre creator and performer. If you’re into the Road to Avonlea, she was on that show for a good while. She’s also the former AD of Young People’s Theatre, where I was Dir. of Educ. & Participation (2007-09). She’ll help me to tighten the script and explore different ways to theatricalize.

We’ve won enough to fund a week of workshopping so far. It’s the first public funding the project’s gotten, so I feel like the door’s been inched open some. The show and the book takes on the meanings we give to bodies which could speak to a lot of people if we do it right.

As the year wraps up, I’ve said so long to Karen and Dad and Biki which threw me for a loop a bit. A lot, actually. You all were very patient. I finished up the TESOL program at UT (now I can teach anywhere they’ll have me). Although to use the term ‘teaching writing’ is problematic, it’s more like guiding and tossing out tools for the road. I’ve been doing a lot of it.  A couple of critical essays and an interview are out this year; I revised Alice Mitchell (a screenplay) and am revising another SK. I’ve started bearing down on Mattering, a book of essays thanks to a publisher and have a good breakthrough on the opening of my second novel, I Met Death & Sex Through My Friend, Tom Meuley. Since that’s currently clocking in at almost 650 pages, breakthroughs like this are key. They let me synthesize and cohere and so tighten. As we head into 2013, I’ve got my eye on a couple of solo fests but trust that The Drifts Live will find it’s way as it’s content and development attracts additional resources and opportunities.

Check out the screenwriting classes I’m doing at UT SCS this winter and the creative writing classes at Writers’ Circle TO. A couple are full but there’s still room in a couple of others if you’re game.

Happy New Year (you too, Charles).

If there’s no elephant in the room, the

•December 22, 2012 • Leave a Comment

If there’s no elephant in the room, there may not be a scene on the page. #screenwriting @stage32 http://ht.ly/ge6rg

Is it clear what ‘fair’ is for your pe

•December 21, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Is it clear what ‘fair’ is for your people? #screenwriting @stage32 http://ht.ly/ge69y #writerscircleTO

If yr people always say what they mean,

•December 20, 2012 • Leave a Comment

If yr people always say what they mean, they aren’t saying what they mean. #screenwriting #writerscircleTO @stage32 http://ht.ly/ge5WB

In action description, intention trumps

•December 19, 2012 • Leave a Comment

In action description, intention trumps blocking. #screenwriting #writerscircleTO @stage32 http://ht.ly/ge5yN