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Tari
June 6th, 2006, 04:44 AM
These are a few pieces i've written recently and i'm not compfortable with something in them but cannot quite put my finger on it. Wondering if someone would be willing to help??


TEST

Row after row
Plastic. Plastic. More plastic.
Chairs and desks
Row after row
Sit.
Sigh.

Take up a pen
Read. Contemplate. Answer
Read. Contemplate. Answer.
Read. Contemplate. Answer.
It continues
Sixty-seven times.
Read. Contemplate. Answer.
Read. Contemplate. Answer.

Pen drops.
Sigh, slouch, relax.
Check the clock
Tick, Tock.
Thirty minutes left.
Tick. Tock.
Twenty-nine minutes left.
Tick. Tock.
Time drags.

Sneeze. Cough. Sneeze.
Scratching pens.
Rustling paper.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.
Pens scratch.
Rustling paper.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.
Sigh. Relax. Slouch.

Ten minutes left
Tick. Tock.
Minds working.
Sneeze. Cough. Sneeze.
Sigh. Relax. Slouch.

He stares.
You stare back.
He questions quietly.
You answer.
He takes your sheet.

Shuffle.
Pen and paper gone.
Eyes look but you ignore.
Shuffling feet.
Slouching walk.

Fresh air.
Sigh.
Breathe deep.
Freedom.
Escape.
Over.


LOST: A MONOLOGUE

Have I ever told you that I was lost? I figured this out in an empty theatre a month ago, at three in the morning. What a great time for an epiphany… three in the morning. I started asking questions that no one could answer… and no one ever did. Do you know how frustrating that is? I wished there was a target I could vent my frustrations at, but I looked at the guy next to me, who was also trying to figure it out, and suddenly it hit me... He’s lost too. I suppose that it’s some slight concession to know that someone else is lost, and I’m not the only one. Well great, I now know that I am lost, and not alone. Where’s the benefit in that? I never came up with a solution, but I started to realize that if I get found; I’m in more trouble than I ever had been in as a result of being lost. Another epiphany… To be found would not bring a solution to my being lost. In fact, it is the simple act of searching that makes us who we are. It is that process that will continue to bring us answers. If you are found, you have ended the search and really have nothing better to do at three in the morning. Hey now, with all this deep, metaphysical knowledge, what is a person supposed to do? Remain lost of course!... Wait, there has got to be something to do about it. I could stand on a box in the middle of the street and shout it out, but wouldn’t I be branded as insane? I suppose no less insane than screaming at the top of my lungs in an empty theatre a month ago, at three in the morning.


Much appreciated

~ Tari

Dawnstorm
June 6th, 2006, 05:57 AM
Hi,

I loved "Test". Brings across the tedium quite well.

There's very little wrong with it, I thought.

One thing:



Scratching pens.
Rustling paper.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.
Pens scratch.
Rustling paper.

Here, I'd expect "Paper rustles" (or "scratching pens"). If you're after a repetition-effect (I suppose), you may want to have parralel structures; if you go from the participle to simple verb for the pens, you could also do so for the papers. Not to have paralell structures could disrupt the mood (because people tend to notice differences on some level).

Other than that, there's not much to change, I find. (Perhaps you could rethink the "yous" near the end; but they do change the pacing, when that's what happens to the lyrical self, so they're okay, IMO.)

It's good as it is. :)

***

The monologue, on the other hand, is (a) a bit too abstract and (b) comes across a bit incoherent.


Have I ever told you that I was lost? I figured this out in an empty theatre a month ago, at three in the morning.

A month doesn't seem such a long time; so the "ever" feels a bit strange. I'd get rid of it.


I started asking questions that no one could answer… and no one ever did.

You're not telling us much about the questions but you make assertions about their answerability. What if I said, "Oh, a Tibetan Monk answered them, once, but he never told anyone because he died from the shock"?


I wished there was a target I could vent my frustrations at, but I looked at the guy next to me, who was also trying to figure it out, and suddenly it hit me...

The guy next to you? The theatre wasn't quite that empty, then. At this point I wonder how many other people you neglected to mention.

Also, how do you know he's also trying to figure "it" out?

The entire lost/found thing seems a bit off. For example:


If you are found, you have ended the search and really have nothing better to do at three in the morning.

If you are found, it's not you have ended the search, but someone or something that has been looking for you. If you're lost, what you can do is find your way, or hope to be found. However, if you opt for the latter, you really have nothing to do, in the first place. So I think, the metaphor you're driving at, here, is "to find your way" rather than "to be found". As in, I'm lost, and in a way that's scary, but at least there's something I can occupy myself with. (This would equate "finding your way" with "getting stuck in a rut" - which is both comforting and boring.)


I suppose no less insane than screaming at the top of my lungs in an empty theatre a month ago, at three in the morning.

What did the "guy next to you" think about that? Remember him? Or was he just a "philosophy device", and not really there?

Also, doing that in the street would be considered a lot more insane than doing it in an empty theatre at three in the morning. (At least the theatre was designed with acoustics, dramatic displays in mind - your scream probably won't wake anyone. And - to be honest - doing it in a theatre is also a bit safer, as you don't really run risk of getting run over by a car, for example.)

I feel the monologue suffers from inconsistent setting/theme/metaphor, and from an overdose of abstraction. What you're saying could be interesting, but somehow isn't. (I don't mean to be harsh; you're on my writers-to-watch list. :) I just couldn't get into your monologue at all.)

Tari
June 6th, 2006, 07:11 AM
Hi,

I loved "Test". Brings across the tedium quite well.

There's very little wrong with it, I thought.

Thank you and i think yes the words needed to be shuffled a little. Papers and Pens needed to before "rustling" and "scratching" in both instances.

The monologue on the other hand has confused me. . .(the fact i'm listening to Alice in wonderland which is all nonsense doesnt help) But i'm dropping the "ever" in the opening.



You're not telling us much about the questions but you make assertions about their answerability. What if I said, "Oh, a Tibetan Monk answered them, once, but he never told anyone because he died from the shock"?

This particular comment i can answer. There is no specific question being asked. Like unanswerable questions. It's just that this character is trying to ask one or more of these questions. It' just reference to questions that everyone asks themselves. . .like "how am i really" "is there a god?, a heaven and a hell" etc etc etc. So theres no need to mention the actual questions.


The guy next to you? The theatre wasn't quite that empty, then. At this point I wonder how many other people you neglected to mention.

The guy is a metaphor for everyone else in the world asking questions and not getting answers.

This is the part (below) i didnt quite understand. The idea of finding answers isn't possible because there really arent any answers to be found.



If you are found, it's not you have ended the search, but someone or something that has been looking for you. If you're lost, what you can do is find your way, or hope to be found. However, if you opt for the latter, you really have nothing to do, in the first place. So I think, the metaphor you're driving at, here, is "to find your way" rather than "to be found". As in, I'm lost, and in a way that's scary, but at least there's something I can occupy myself with. (This would equate "finding your way" with "getting stuck in a rut" - which is both comforting and boring.)

Again the yelling out the question or acknowledging that you are looking for an answer to these unanswerable questions people would thin you are crazy. . .Catch my meaning? It's jsut the idea of voicing this search thats insane hence why yelling it in the street or a theatre or anywhere would be mad. (The theatre is more a place i'm familiar with so it was a comfort thing. a setting to help familiarise the actor.)

Thank you finding the time to read this :) much appreciated. and i'm flattered i'm worth watching. lol.

~ Tari

Tari
June 6th, 2006, 07:14 AM
TEST

Row after row
Plastic. Plastic. More plastic.
Chairs and desks
Row after row
Sit.
Sigh.

Take up a pen
Read. Contemplate. Answer
Read. Contemplate. Answer.
Read. Contemplate. Answer.
It continues
Sixty-seven times.
Read. Contemplate. Answer.
Read. Contemplate. Answer.

Pen drops.
Sigh, slouch, relax.
Check the clock
Tick, Tock.
Thirty minutes left.
Tick. Tock.
Twenty-nine minutes left.
Tick. Tock.
Time drags.

Sneeze. Cough. Sneeze.
Pens scratching.
Papers rustling.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.
Pens scratch.
Papers rustle.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.
Sigh. Relax. Slouch.

Ten minutes left
Tick. Tock.
Minds working.
Sneeze. Cough. Sneeze.
Sigh. Relax. Slouch.

He stares.
You stare back.
He questions quietly.
You answer.
He takes your sheet.

Shuffle.
Pen and paper gone.
Eyes look but are ignore.
Shuffling feet.
Slouching walk.

Fresh air.
Sigh.
Breathe deep.
Freedom.
Escape.
Over

Tari
June 6th, 2006, 07:26 AM
LOST: A MONOLOGUE

Have I told you that I was lost? I figured this out in an empty theatre a month ago, at three in the morning. What a great time for an epiphany… three in the morning. I started asking questions that no one could answer… and no one ever did. Do you know how frustrating that is? I just wish there was a target I could vent my frustrations at, but I looked at the guy next to me,and suddenly it hit me... He’s lost too. I suppose that it’s some slight concession to know that someone else is lost, and I’m not the only one. Well great, I now know that I am lost, and not alone. Where’s the benefit in that? I never came up with a solution, but I started to realize that if I get found; I’m in more trouble than I ever had been in as a result of being lost. Another epiphany… To be found would not bring a solution to my being lost. In fact, it is the simple act of searching that makes us who we are. It is that process that will continue to bring us answers. If you are found, you have ended the search and really have nothing better to do at three in the morning. Hey now, with all this deep, metaphysical knowledge, what is a person supposed to do? Remain lost of course!... Wait, there has got to be something to do about it. I could stand on a box in the middle of the street and shout it out, but wouldn’t I be branded as insane? I suppose no less insane than screaming at the top of my lungs in an empty theatre a month ago, at three in the morning.

BrianC
June 6th, 2006, 07:27 AM
Still a problem with that pen-paper verse:


Sneeze. Cough. Sneeze.
Pens scratching.
Paper rustling.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.
Pens scratch.
Paper rustling.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.
Sigh. Relax. Slouch.

Should be:


Sneeze. Cough. Sneeze.
Pens scratching.
Paper rustling.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.
Pens scratch.
Paper rustles.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.
Sigh. Relax. Slouch.

Or:


Sneeze. Cough. Sneeze.
Pens scratching.
Paper rustling.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.
Pens scratch.
Papers rustle.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.
Sigh. Relax. Slouch.

Otherwise I think Test is great. Are you going to submit it anywhere?

Tari
June 6th, 2006, 07:29 AM
Still a problem with that pen-paper verse:
Should be:
Or:
Otherwise I think Test is great. Are you going to submit it anywhere?


Ohh didnt notice that. . .thank you

~ Tari

Dawnstorm
June 6th, 2006, 08:16 AM
This is the part (below) i didnt quite understand. The idea of finding answers isn't possible because there really arent any answers to be found.

To be "lost" is a spatial metaphor for a mental process. The equation is (approximately) "to be unable to answer certain (unanswerable) questions" is like "to be somewhere and not know where".

To be lost has a counter part: either (a) to be found or (b) to find your way onto familiar terrain (i.e. to get somewhere you know).

You used the "lost" vs. "found" distinction. But this places agency to the one who does the "finding". Let's say your lost in a wood, and then someone comes looking and finds you. You may have wandered around aimlessly, hoping to find a familiar place. You may have constructed this as a "search" for the way home. But, if you then stumble across someone, the search is ended, not because of anything you yourself have done, but because you "have been found". It is not your success; it nothing you have done. You are the recepient of "finding", not the agent of "finding". So, within the bounds of your metaphor, you cannot say "when you are found, you have ended your search...". (Though you could say "you end your search", I suppose, because there's no reason to go on searching; or you could say, "your search ends", "your search is ended"...). The point is that to "be found" is a passive thing; something that happens to you.

I did understand that aren't really any answers to be found; but there's even less out there by which you can be found. I can imagine finding non-existance answers; I cannot imagine being found by some agency beyond non-existant answers. (This metaphor does come up in religious/spiritual songs. For example, Amazing Graze, "I once was lost, but now I'm found." However, I did not find any hint in your writing that you were looking for anything beyond these questions [such as God, or the immanent world order]).

What I'm basically saying is that if "you are found", there has to be someone or something to do the finding; and I don't feel your text supports this (not even hypothetically).

I know that's quite confusing; and I could well have made it even more confusing. I'm not always all that clear.




Again the yelling out the question or acknowledging that you are looking for an answer to these unanswerable questions people would thin you are crazy. . .Catch my meaning? It's jsut the idea of voicing this search thats insane hence why yelling it in the street or a theatre or anywhere would be mad. (The theatre is more a place i'm familiar with so it was a comfort thing. a setting to help familiarise the actor.)

I do get that, but don't you meant "not any more insane", then?

A sub point was that if you use setting to demonstrate an idea, you're introducing something tangible. If you, then, start messing with the setting (like introducing imaginary people, or only comparing certain aspects of a setting with some other - distant - setting) to make it more abstract, the result can only be confusion. It's like you're trying to lift your anchor, and hope to stay put, anyway.

For example, if you're in a theatre, the "guy next to you" could be a discarded costume (are they playing "Waiting for Godot"? "Hamlet"? "Death of a Salesman"?)

***

I agree that it's not necessary to ask a specific question, to be understood. But specificness of some sort is needed. These questions can go in different ways. See what I mean?

Waiting for Godot - General absurdity
Hamlet - Maddening Circumstance
Death of a Salesman - Attrition of habit

These abstract questions can take many directions. Being lost in a Beckett-ish world isn't the same as being lost in a Shakespearian world. Or perhaps the scream at the end makes it all more Byronic? (Hm... a poetry reading in the theatre.)

It's not that - intellectually - I didn't see where you're going. It's just a bit empty, without any hint beyond vague metaphors and half-baked setting.

Does any of this make any sense to you? Do you see what I'm missing in your monologue? (Or am I just my usual nit-picking, cynical self? ;) )

***

Oh, and in the updated poem, I think there's still a problem:

Paper rustling --> Papers rustle.

I think you should keep the singular/plural constant, also.

***

Hope I made some sense. :cool:

Hereford Eye
June 6th, 2006, 08:35 AM
Tari:
Seems as if this is more than one paragraph.


Have I ever told you that I was lost? I figured this out in an empty theatre a month ago, at three in the morning. What a great time for an epiphany… three in the morning. I started asking questions that no one could answer… and no one ever did. Do you know how frustrating that is?
I wished there was a target I could vent my frustrations at, but I looked at the guy next to me, who was also trying to figure it out, and suddenly it hit me... He’s lost too. I suppose that it’s some slight concession to know that someone else is lost, and I’m not the only one. Well great, I now know that I am lost, and not alone. Where’s the benefit in that?
I never came up with a solution, but I started to realize that if I get found; I’m in more trouble than I ever had been in as a result of being lost. Another epiphany… To be found would not bring a solution to my being lost. In fact, it is the simple act of searching that makes us who we are. It is that process that will continue to bring us answers. If you are found, you have ended the search and really have nothing better to do at three in the morning.
Hey now, with all this deep, metaphysical knowledge, what is a person supposed to do? Remain lost of course!... Wait, there has got to be something to do about it. I could stand on a box in the middle of the street and shout it out, but wouldn’t I be branded as insane? I suppose no less insane than screaming at the top of my lungs in an empty theatre a month ago, at three in the morning.

How could you know what the guy next to you - or the rest of the world - was thinking? Maybe he was attempting to decide between fish and chips and a Caesar salad. There is no indication you talked to him so you drew this conclusion from what clues?

What caused you to realize that being found would not be a solution? It was a gradual realization so what triggered it?

Why is the solution of remaining lost an 'of course'? What makes that self-evident? You say it is being the lost and asking questions that brings us answers but you already stated that you "started asking questions that no one could answer… and no one ever did." You also stated "I never came up with a solution,..." We can conclude that asking questions is the purpose of the whole thing but getting answers is unlikely. That's okay; it's the asking that is important, not the answers.

Is not the monologue a form of standing on a soapbaox and shouting it out? Does the monolgue then indicate your insanity? Or is the point of the whole monologue that existence is insanity? I could live with that.

Tari
June 6th, 2006, 08:49 PM
Hereford Eye: Have you ever written and performed theatre? . . . just a general question. Because I have come to realise how different it is to writing poetry and ssories etc. . .


Is not the monologue a form of standing on a soapbaox and shouting it out? Does the monolgue then indicate your insanity? Or is the point of the whole monologue that existence is insanity? I could live with that.

A monologue is not standing on a soap box and shouting things out and it does not indicate any form of sanity or insanity. A monologue by definition (according to cirriculum requirements) is "a long solo speech through which character is revealed or explored and dramamtic action is progressed" . . . Now this is abscured slightly for each theatre style. This piece is "Absurdist Theatre" (Beckett, Stoppard etc) Absurdist theatre by definition is "A forn or style of theatre that focuses on the irrational and illogical aspects of human life and interaction to highlight a sense of helplessness and the inadequacy (sp?) of rationalistic approach to these aspects."

Hence this piece is a long speech about the illogical and irational aspect of questioning the unquestionable which all humans do.

This is presented here without the stage directions or floor plans or scene description etc it is just the speech and i think it needs to be taken as dialogue. (And it hasnt been fully workshopped yet thats coming in about four weeks time after our production)


What caused you to realize that being found would not be a solution? It was a gradual realization so what triggered it?

Nothing triggered it. It was a sudden epiphany. the audience will not hear a characters though process only the actor will.


How could you know what the guy next to you - or the rest of the world - was thinking?

The guy as i said to Dawnstorm is a metaphor for all peopl asking these questions. As the actor and writer i have yet to decide who or what i want this "guy" to be onstage. I'm leaning towards a discarded, old, torn up costume rather than an actual person. But again the costume will be representational for human existence and how humans wear down over time because of this "search" as such. Again the audience doesn't know this and will not. It would be like asking why they are wearing school uniforms in a production of say "hamlet" the director will explain their choice in the shows programme.

Dawnstorm your turn:

Just note you are not nit-picking or being cynical iknow understand where you are coming from. Unfortunately I cannot make many of these changes until i have workshopped the piece properly which like i emntioned to Hereford Eye will not happen for some weeks. (god damn exams and production rehearsals are soooo much work!) So for that reason once at least exams are over i should be able to sit down and rework and workshop this piece physically or possibly dump it all together depending on my other practical piece for final exams.

To Both: May i note that characters of Theatre of the Absurd have limited thought process if any and without another character to interact with they will have very limited thought process so everything is spontaneous and will make little sense to an audience. Hence why this style is not as popular as say "realism" or "naturalism" and has a decreasing audience and writing scene.

All comment and critique is muchly appreciated . . . .

~ Tari

P.S. Thanks DS for picking up that incosistancy in "Test" i've editted it above.