Thursday, March 30, 2006

Thursday, LFPC '05 and discussion night at "Talking.."

I got a request to tell another playwright about my experience at the Last Frontier Playwrights Conference in Valdez, Alaska last year.
Here's some stuff I wrote about it at the time.
My friend who had gone before me gave me advice: don't go if you have to pay a lot. Many people get assistance from schools or the state or.... I got free registration because I was hired as an actor, some financial help as a playwright-- you have to ask, and its first come first served-- somebody donated their fly-free miles-- and I slept in a sleeping bag on the floor for free. Everything was interesting, people were intelligent, talented, and helpful: but nothing uniquely valuable, at least not in terms of raising the profile of my work. My web site rather than networking or submission is still the main source of attention to my plays-- and that attention comes almost exclusively from non-theatre young people who don't yet understand how to access "canonical" or "cutting edge" scripts through the established channels of experts, agents, promotion, and publication.

After an exhausting two weeks of the Last Frontier Playwrights
Conference in Valdez, Alaska, I returned home to take over my daughter's Pet Care
business while she was on vacation--- so I'm catching up on sleep. My
"The 11:08 Brighton: the Oldest Established Permanant Rolling Cast
Party" went very well in Valdez, and I've now finished minor tweakings
of the script based on the feedback I got at the reading. What a high
it is to have work greeted with enthusiasm! I'm forming a theory that
praise is directly proportional to the distance you have to travel from
home to garner it.

Backstage did a write-up on the LFPC. The part that made my day goes
"....... many attendees commented that the caliber of the writing was
uniformly higher than in previous years. Among the standout works were
Mary Roseanne Katzke's "Dancing for the Hunter," Atar Hadari's "The
Lonesome Death of Janis Joplin," Geralyn Horton's "The 11:08 Brighton
From London/Victoria," Jennifer Williams' "Edge,".......... ."
The entire article:
Playwright Jason Grote has written up the conference on his blog. His comments are extensive enough that I don't feel I have to write it up myself. You can read Jason at:
A diary-like account of our Alaska adventures was recorded by Dan Trujillo on his blog:
Dan gallantly and generously drove me and PP member Jonathan Myers and Meron Langner of NYC (but earlier of B.U.) from Anchorage to Valdez and back again, an all-day excursion each way, and he has recorded our progress -- with pictures-- in his blog entries dated June 17th-30th. Sean Bennet was at one point rumored to be the 4th passenger, but he flew in instead I believe-- anyway, he was on site when I arrived, and already checking out his actors for "Fall-Out"!

I took notes at all the LFTC panels and workshops with the experts that I attended, and I'd be happy to share these with whomever is
interested. That workshop I had the most fun in went note-less-- it was two 2 hour Movement classes, Spolin/Stills style, and I had such a blast! I used to teach these, but I hardly ever get to do them myself-- once you get to be an actor of a certain age, directors seem to assume you don't want or need a body/mind workout any more.

At the evening performance was My Most Important Critic -- my teen age grandson. I think he was impressed, both by the production and by the respectful reception the actors got from the handful of people whoo stayed for the talkback. On the way home he allowed that it was probably more difficult to "make it" as an actor than as a rock musician-- actors have to perform other people's material, and they have to wait for somebody else to choose the material and then choose them to perform it-- and they don't have records to sell; when the show's over, it's all over-- for them.


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