The gold curtains were pulled taut, much like the nerves of the actors waiting on the other side.
The music began slowly as whispering voices quieted all around. Shhhhhhh. . .
The thumping, thunder of drumbeats crescendos through the auditorium as the eager audience began to smile. Recognition spread quickly. "Hey! We know this song."
And then it happened. The first giggles escaped and dissolved into the darkened room. Actors ears strained to hear the sound as they exchanged silent smiles. Suddenly, energy on both sides of the curtain rocketed to the rafters.
Success! The tone had been set!
The curtain was jerkily pulled apart and after a a quick scan of the stage, the magic was heard again. Not so hesitantly now, laughter pealed across the room in succession as each one read the quirky sign," Fantasy Iron Chef 2009 - Julia Child vs. Paula Deen". What????
A bit of explanation in order? The annual variety show at my sister's church had always been a great fundraiser and worthy cause. My sister and her best friend jokingly teased about taking part for once. "We can't sing, dance or play an instrument, but we can cook" they surmised. But how do you bring that into a variety show? That's when my husband and I were asked to compile a script for the two reluctant actors.
My husband is the funny one, while I reside on the more serious side of life. But after 30 years together his comedic side is beginning to rub off on me. Together we combine the best of our respective worlds and write some pretty funny stuff. This time we chose a parody of the very popular Iron Chef television show. Since poor Julia Child is deceased, thus the title "Fantasy Iron Chef 2009". The script, only 4 pages, was a hit. But while we supplied mere words, the novice actors and their supportive church family supplied the energy.
To me there is no bigger "high", than hearing an audience laugh at something you have written for that purpose! To hear them cackle when they are supposed to, is sheer joy. When an audience catches the jokes that you have created for them, it is like Christmas morning!
It is like giving birth to a much anticipated child. Our scripts, short stories and novels are our children in progress. When their arrival date looms, we worry, fret, and anticipate. Will this child be appreciated and accepted? Will this child be loved by others? My questions today:
Have you ever written a script or skit? Have you ever given your WIP "baby" to another just to watch their reaction and judge their acceptance? Have you waited in anticipation as a reader or critique partner read your words out loud? Was it a helpful, joyful or disappointing experience?
Coming Friday: Act II- The Case for Humor