Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Cheep Cheep Blog 3 - Joseph Workman

A couple weeks ago Sam Zinsli had Alex Ries and I on his radio show with KBVR to discuss "Cheep, Cheep!" and the one acts, as well as our general experience/background with theatre at OSU.  

Before coming here, I transferred between two different universities and took a year off.  I attended the University of Puget Sound for part of my freshman year, spent a brief period at Portland State, went back to UPS, and then chose not to re-enroll for my junior year, opting to take some time to try not going to school and figure things out.  When I decided to go back to school, it was for computer science, because I felt that computers will be the waaaaave of the future and I'd have much better job security.  Also, I wanted to work on video games.  This endeavor obviously didn't work out. I took some valuable lessons from my experiences in that study, but didn't feel like I fit in; I didn't have passion for it.  Plenty of people do jobs that they're not passionate about, so I feel a bit sick about this entitlement, but also lucky enough to have the privilege and opportunity to have a say in the matter. It didn't take long for me to once again gravitate toward theatre.

Starting over at OSU, I've had to relearn a lot of things, having retained only some foundation from high school and UPS.  While "Cheep, Cheep!" is silly and by no means brilliant, I remember a time where I was unable to even finish a script.  Having heard my writing over and over again for the past couple weeks, of course there are things I would change/rework.  But more important than that I have noticed things in the script that I can pin to subconscious tendencies or memories/emotional recollections, which has been an interesting, reflective learning process.  For instance, Maxwell's emotional attachment to bicycles is a not so exaggerated aspect of myself; I have had three bicycles stolen from me over the course of my college career, and I used to ride through Washington rain storms in a swimsuit.  Margery is based on a girl who used to stalk me when I helped out at CCD which is like Sunday school for older kids if I recall correctly... (I just googled it:: Confraternity of Christian Doctrine - I never knew what it stood for all these years since I believed in God and heaven and things.)  Chester's ideal of Cheep Cheep Farms is the American dream of pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps and a baseless belief in the power of optimism - something I've been taught to mistrust but value all the same.
Also, in the very appearance of the writing itself, there are particular stylistic habits of capitalization, use of ellipses, hyphens, elongated vowels, etc., which are useful to me to record the way I hear the character's voice, but can be distracting to an actor reading the page.  The habit of writing that way is useful to me, but I'd like to clean it up to where it's also accessible and open to the actor.

Things are coming to a head for the one acts and opening is already next week.  It feels sudden, yet there's still so much I want to do. We have run-throughs of all the shows til Thursday, which leaves little time for working specifically with our cast.  I never feel ready for a show to open, but somehow it seems to come together each time, so I'll trust in that.

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