Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Act 1- Delivery

Slowly the lights were dimmed.

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


  1. I have never been brave enough to write a script or screenplay, that seems harder than a novel to me. Yikes!

    The joy seeing the audience respond is priceless.

    I cringe at the mere thought of my baby not being well received, but at some point I must let others hold her.

  2. I've ever written a script of skit, but I can certainly understand the high of hearing them respond like you had hoped.

    I hope to do that with my books some day.

  3. I wrote a skit for a school project once. It definitely wasn't very good. That's not something that I'm very gifted at. I do love it when my stories minister to my readers, though. It's just hard to get up the guts to let someone else see my baby!

  4. I wrote a skit with my sister-in-law for a women's retreat for our church one year. I had to act in it, too! It was so fun to see everyone's reactions.

    I love that same kind of feedback on my stories, though it can be intimidating to let other people read them sometimes.

  5. Not me but it sounds like you had a blast!

  6. I have never written a script, though I rule nothing out :)

    Stephen King says that all writers are needy at least in the moment that they hand their work over to a reader to read for the first time. Yes, I too am needy in that moment. I want the reaction that says, well done. those words matter. I am learning to do that for myself first.

  7. Let me just say, that the script was awesome and so very funny!! It was a huge hit and I'm still getting comments. Thanks to you and Darell for creating it and then handing it over to us...can only imagine how hard it was to let it go! If you're taking votes on whether to add humor to your novels or not, I vote yes!! Love you, Sis.


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