J.R. Blackwell (blackwell) wrote,
J.R. Blackwell

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Yesterday I e-mailed Jared to tell him about this project I read about called the 24-Cram. It’s where a group of people, who are clearly and wonderfully insane, write and perform a 10 minute play in the space of 24-Hours. I noted that the very idea was insane, but provocative. I already had the weekend mapped out in front of me. I was going to do some laundry and maybe get started on my taxes, the “pens and pencils of existence” as my friend Tom Devaney would say.

Jared wrote me back to tell me that he’d signed up. This was like a challenge. A glove-slap before a duel. No way was Jared going to sign up and get his play performed while I stayed at home and did laundry. I signed up too. Who cares if we don’t have pants to wear on Monday morning? We will have PLAYS, damn it, PLAYS!

Last night, we prepared ourselves for the fight. This was going to be a marathon, and we needed a warm up. So, last night, Jared and I read Mamet to each other and then both of us sat down at 9:00pm to write a ten minute play. After an hour, we both had rough drafts. Jared describes them thusly:

Mine, a Mamet-ian exploration of the pros and cons of the iPad, took about an hour. JR’s, an examination of the pitfall of modern supernatural romance via speed dating, took about the same time, but was, as you might imagine, a little more deep. After that rush job, 12 hours aught to be a luxury.

I’m not sure if I was deeper. Hard to say. Subjective. I’m sure scholars will argue about it for years to come. Jared’s play had this amazing rhythm that I think actors would adore. I did have a few scenes that I enjoyed, my favorite one was when one woman chews the main character out about hating on her fetish. I hated the ending on my script, but then again, I wrote it in an hour, so I’m not going to be too hard on myself.

Tonight 8pm, I meet the actors and the director and we all get to learn what we’re working with. I have to assume that the earliest I’ll get home is 9pm – but more likely it will be about 10pm. Then I write. Now, I know I can write a ten minute play in an hour, but there is also a statute of limitations on my ability to function after 1am. After 1am, my ability to function is reduced by about 1 shot-glass of scotch per hour. Since I’m a lightweight, by 4am, I am pretty fucking useless at any intellectual or physical pursuit. It really is like being drunk – I get so tired that I think that certain things are funny that really are not, and I feel nauseous and then I pass out. So really, I only have about 6 good cognitive hours.

Fortunately, since I live with Jared, and both of us will be engaged in the same enterprise I like to imagine that this gives us an edge. We’ll be able to review and edit our work, get feedback, and rework what doesn’t work. In 12 hours. I will write a script tonight, and it will be in the hands of the director at 8am sharp. This, I swear.

The play goes up at 8pm on Saturday. Yes, this Saturday. Tomorrow. Plays and Players. I would love to see folks come out! All proceeds benefit the theater.

Plays & Players
1714 Delancy street
Philadelphia, PA
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