Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Back from Sing-for-Your-Supper

It has been an extremely long, but actually quite productive day.  Not only did I get in two presentations/papers in for TAC (a transportation conference taking place in Sept!, but they wanted the first round of submissions now) only a couple of days late, but I went off to Sing-for-Your-Supper.  Unfortunately, I didn't have enough lead time to convince anyone from work to go, though there was one young woman who wanted to go but had plans.  She said she might go another time, though I may not go again for a while (or at least not submit anything for a while).

I realize I am quite biased, but I think my playlet was the strongest single, unified piece, though probably the final piece got the loudest laughs.  There was another good piece that had comic moments, but wasn't exactly a laugh-out-loud comedy.  Then there were two frankly bizarre meta-pieces.  (Oddly enough, the second or third SFYS I attended had a similar meta-piece where they wrote a script about SFYS and the quirks and foibles of the hosts (and the mentalist who comes up after the intermission).)  The last one definitely had its moments, particularly when the actors were stalling for time and got into an argument about the merits of Star Trek Generations (this was part of the act of course).  The mentalist was standing right near me and just kept cracking up.

I got a few compliments on my piece, but more importantly I got quite a few laughs and in the right places!  It was useful feedback of a sort, since I think I am getting better at getting jokes into my scripts.  It is true that I need to rewrite one of the last jokes, since it just doesn't hit hard enough.  It should be seen as completely bizarre that they go through this re-up process every four weeks.  But that was on me, not on the actors, who did a great job with the piece.

I'm still not making any useful contacts though, and I haven't even run across the actors that did my very first piece, since I want to reach out to them some day.  I did hear during the pitch session* that Toronto Cold Reads is looking for pieces, so I think I will submit the Late Night at the Seven-11, which is probably the best piece that was rejected so far by SFYS.  Depending on how that goes, I might tweak The Study Group and send that along as well, though I have to say I probably do have to make it punchier.  (If nothing else, I think watching a lot of short pieces at SFYS has really made me appreciate that getting a point across quickly is vital if you aren't to lose the audience.  You really have to grip them fairly early on.  The slow-burn approach may work for some movies or for novels, but generally doesn't work in theatre.)

Anyway, it was a good time out, even though I don't think I will do it that often again in the future.

* I heard about so many upcoming cool events (there is so much talent in Toronto!), but honestly, I don't think I can add to my list of things to do, unless it is Fringe-related, which takes place in June.  Obviously, I would make an exception for Toronto Cold Reads.  (Goes away and pokes about here.)  Now that I have investigated Toronto Cold Reads, it might be just what I am looking for.  The writers skew older, and it is so much closer to where I live -- they are at Broadview on the Danforth.  I definitely will have to check this out.  In fact, it is the same location as "Read Stuff with Eric," but that is apparently a recurring event for trying out solo material (I love the name), while Cold Reads is restricted to 2+ actors, which is definitely more my style.

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