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Maureen, I'm Not a Theater Person! - The Book of the Celestial Cow

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January 4th, 2013


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12:17 am - Maureen, I'm Not a Theater Person!
My dad wants me to do less theater. He says it's fine as a hobby, but it will never do anything for me in life. He doesn't understand that not only is theater basically my entire social life but also it provides me with more personal fulfillment and satisfaction than my actual job.



In past years, I have submitted three pitches for the SF Olympians Festival. This year [2012], I was so busy and apparently uninspired that I could barely muster up one, which I almost didn't send because I figured no pitch was better than a bad one. I had resigned myself to that one shot when the organizer announced on Friday that no one had submitted for The Bow, which was one I had been trying to find a pitch for. I spent the rest of the day tossing around ideas, not really expecting to find the time to put together a real pitch. And then I saw Superior Donuts, and it gave me emotions, and I rode those emotions into a pitch I thought up on the way home, where I tried to make my idea sound as good as it had in my head before the midnight deadline. I figured I had failed, but at least I hadn't obsessed over it for more than an hour or two.

When I was offered The Bow, I was so giddy and excited I was almost crying. I took a chance, I said what the hell, and it had paid off. And now I get to turn my idea into a short play. I get to tell that story. I get to have my words presented to an audience. I look at the list of names and can't believe that I'm going to be in a festival with such talented writers.

You can't win if you don't play. Always play, you guys.



Remember when I won a Stuey last year? Of course you don't. But I do. And this year, I was mentioned again! I am part of the "jewel in the crown," Pint Sized Plays III (Best Theater Festival); I gave an "excellent" performance in the Best Break Through, Atlas; and I wrote the "wonderfully absurd (and oddly unsettling)" "Man vs. Beer," which featured the Best Chemistry. It really was a good theater year for me, and I was glad to be a part of such great productions!



I have been really involved with San Francisco Theater Pub, and this year [2012] we had a retreat and everything. Theater Pub has a show every month, and they wanted pitches from us for the 2013 season. I've actually had an idea for a murder mystery that I've been wanting to write for a year or two now, but I didn't have time to flesh it out enough to be confident enough to pitch it (maybe next year). But another idea did quickly take hold: I wanted to put together a night of short genre plays, a night of sci-fi/fantasy/horror theater. There isn't a lot of genre theater out there as far as I can tell, and I wanted to provide an outlet for the writers who are writing that stuff, find some new local talent. I put together a pitch...

...and it was accepted! I GET TO DO THIS TOO! I...I have to figure out submission guidelines, solicit submissions, promote the submissions call, put together a reading committee, choose the plays, find directors, run auditions, cast the plays, promote the show, work with Borderlands however much they want, and hope everything comes together on May 20.

But first, I need a catchy title! I want something that can encompass sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. I was thinking Worlds' End, as in the Sandman pub, but that sounds too much like an apocalypse-themed night. Right now I'm thinking The Pub from Another World. Any other suggestions?
Current Mood: stressedstressed
Current Music: Silversun Pickups - Skin Graph

(20 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:seawench
Date:January 4th, 2013 04:49 pm (UTC)
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Actors, musicians, writers, and artists are weird. We do the things we do regardless of whether or not people pay us (although we're not going to stop them if they want to). That freaks people out, even though some of the same people will play or watch endless sports.

I get to spend about a day and a half in San Francisco at the end of the month (Thursday night through Saturday morning). We're staying in Japantown (who could pass up an anime-themed hotel?). Normally I'd just explore, but time is limited. Anything you can think of that I shouldn't miss? I did the touristy things with the family a while back.

[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 4th, 2013 05:00 pm (UTC)
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Oh! Well, if you would like to get together for dinner, I would be up for that. We've "known" each other for so long. If you were here through more of Saturday, I would give you the Mission Tour and take you for burritos and ice cream and murals and the pirate store and Borderlands and stuff. You can still explore the Mission on your own, though; it's my favorite part of the city. Also, you should go up the glass elevator in the Westin St. Francis at Union Square for the best free view of the city. If you like art museums, the De Young is great. What sort of things do you like to see/do/eat when you travel?

That freaks people out, even though some of the same people will play or watch endless sports.
It really does bug me that sports fans are normal and television fans are weirdos.
[User Picture]
From:seawench
Date:January 4th, 2013 05:31 pm (UTC)
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I would be up for breakfast/brunch and wandering around the Mission Saturday (the 25th). My brother would be happy to sleep in and it doesn't really matter what time we get on the road, as long as we make it to Redding before it's too late. We're making the dutiful grandchild pilgrimage, so neither of us is particularly keen to get there early.

We'll definitely check out the elevator. Museums are great, but I'll always go for the odd or thought-provoking over the merely impressive. There was a neat restaurant with sushi on boats that we liked last time, but we're open to most food suggestions. This is the first time we've gone anywhere together as adults, and I'm looking forward to exploring with the only other adventurous member of my family (My mother eats the same salad everywhere. No, really. She has a blog. petraprese.tumblr.com).

It really does bug me that sports fans are normal and television fans are weirdos.
Totally. Because reading or writing fanfic makes you a nutjob, but constructing a fantasy team to play against other fantasy teams is somehow ok?
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 4th, 2013 06:08 pm (UTC)
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I would be up for breakfast/brunch and wandering around the Mission Saturday (the 25th). My brother would be happy to sleep in and it doesn't really matter what time we get on the road, as long as we make it to Redding before it's too late. We're making the dutiful grandchild pilgrimage, so neither of us is particularly keen to get there early.
Oh! WELL IN THAT CASE, the Mission Tour is a go. We meet at the 16th and Mission BART station at 11, and we'll be done by 2ish, full of burritos and ice cream. I will show you some odd and thought-provoking stuff.

As long as you mean Saturday the 26th, because Saturday the 25th is next year.
[User Picture]
From:seawench
Date:January 4th, 2013 08:45 pm (UTC)
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Excellent. And yes, the 26th. Neato! Always fun to match actual faces to online people!
[User Picture]
From:incidentist
Date:January 6th, 2013 09:48 pm (UTC)
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I went to the St. Francis elevator the other day, and they now require a ROOM KEY to go up. You can just wait for someone to use their room key, but man. I hate change.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 6th, 2013 10:54 pm (UTC)
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They only do it during the holiday season, I think, when traffic is really heavy. Wait, do you mean you need a room key to use the elevator itself? Aw, man, that's annoying. During Christmas, you can't even get to the elevators without a room key.
[User Picture]
From:loopychew
Date:January 4th, 2013 05:28 pm (UTC)
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Titles which really only work if you're saying them as hammily as possible (or using the font equivalent):
"TALES FROM THE PUB!"
"IT CAME FROM THIS PUB!"
"BREW TALES!" (or, "BRUTAL BREW TALES!")

Other titles, mostly bad puns:
"Bar Crawls to the Unknown"
"Dive Deep"

...yeah, I'm short, too.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 4th, 2013 05:47 pm (UTC)
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Ha ha ha ha I do kind of like It Came from This Pub!
[User Picture]
From:beeker121
Date:January 4th, 2013 07:13 pm (UTC)
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Yup, parents disapproving of theater. Could you tell your dad he's being a trope? I'm actually grateful you found theater and enjoy it so, your enthusiasm for it helped me maintain a balance when I was in the throes of several shows from hell.

I'm still bummed I missed Atlas, but now have the May 20 TheatrePub date in my calendar. And hey, now that I have a 2013 calendar what date is your Olympians thing in November?
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 4th, 2013 07:19 pm (UTC)
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November 20! Apparently I am into 20ths this year.

I hope you'll spread the word to any interested playwrights you may know! I need to put out a call for submissions soon to give people enough time to submit.
[User Picture]
From:beeker121
Date:January 4th, 2013 09:35 pm (UTC)
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Heh - well I just got an email from another friend with a save the date for July 20, so maybe it's not you, it's me.

I don't know that many local playwrights but I'll be happy to pass along the info to the folks I do know. I think it's an awesome idea to create a night of theater around.
[User Picture]
From:etherealclarity
Date:January 4th, 2013 08:29 pm (UTC)
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Congrats on The Bow! That sounds really exciting.

And live your life for you, not for your dad. If you're fulfilled by theater, keep doing it! Some people live to work because they love their job, other people work to afford to do the things they love. Most people I know are in the latter category, including myself. No shame in that.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 5th, 2013 12:23 am (UTC)
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Well, it's a take-off on The Thing from Another World, so it sounds better in my head that way. The Pub from Elseworlds, heh.
[User Picture]
From:kibarika
Date:January 6th, 2013 09:42 pm (UTC)
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Or to borrow from Douglas Adams, The Pub at the End of the Universe?

Sunil, you are my hero with all this, no joke. A couple weeks ago I started looking into playwriting opportunities locally and found some stuff. Now that Pirates is gearing up that'll probably take a back seat but maybe I'll move forward. I can't tell you how much I love your genre night idea. As I as poking around on the interwebs I discovered that there is apparently a "geek theater" phenomenon happening (though I only found evidence of one production), and I'm so so so excited that you're doing this. If I weren't already headed out to LA May 5, I'd try to make it out to see your stuff May 20. But I fear I can't make two Cali trips so close together. (Especially as Will might have a business trip to Berkeley in April and I kind of want to piggyback on that, which would make it 3 trips. BUT. If I follow him out there for that trip, you and I are getting together.)

Oh and the other thing that's inspirational to me is that you are so involved with SF Theater Pub and you're not a guy-who-drinks-for-his-social-activity. The theater is what brought you there. And again, as a non-drinker but a total theater-lover, this is super inspiring to me.

In short, YOU = AWESOME.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 6th, 2013 10:56 pm (UTC)
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Or to borrow from Douglas Adams, The Pub at the End of the Universe?
Heh, you're the third person to suggest this. It's too specifically sci-fi, and it would be better for a night of Hitchhiker theater. I'm sticking with my title officially now.

If I follow him out there for that trip, you and I are getting together.
We are!

In short, YOU = AWESOME.
D'awwwww.
[User Picture]
From:soundingsea
Date:January 6th, 2013 09:43 pm (UTC)
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Congrats on all your theatrical successes! Your dad just doesn't see the benefits to you. Maybe show him some pics of you happy with happy people?

You can't win if you don't play. Always play, you guys.

So true!
[User Picture]
From:incidentist
Date:January 6th, 2013 09:54 pm (UTC)
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Oh oh oh, how about "Creature From the Black Saloon"?

...maybe not. But maybe "(b)Eerie Tales"? Or "Strange Brew"?
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 6th, 2013 10:57 pm (UTC)
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Oh oh oh, how about "Creature From the Black Saloon"?
Ahahahahaha I kind of love that. But I'm sticking with The Pub from Another World.

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