Friday, September 15, 2006

Hey There, Stranger....

I'm still alive. Congrats to Will for the gig. Think of me when you're toiling away and now I'm green with envy!

I'm gathering all of my bits and pieces for Sunday. I had a couple of actors flake and had my lead actor go all crazy with me yesterday:

Me: So, I'm calling to confirm the reading on Sunday at 8:30p

Actor: Is that when it is? (beat) I've been waiting for you to call and give me a date. For a week.

Me: Can you not do it?

Actor: Oh, no, I'm free, but you said you were going to call me, and then I didn't hear from you....

Me: Well, if you remember, about a week and a half ago I told you we were definitely doing it on Sunday the 17th probably at 7p, but that I had to confirm with another actor and the theater before I could confirm with you. (beat) So, this is me confirming.
Head 'em off at the pass I always say. This guy was already complaining to the producer that I hadn't told him every little detail about the read-thru, so I knew he was waiting with some kind of scolding. Meanwhile, he's been promising me actors and that he'd help find the stage, etc., only to turn around once I've secured things to say "Oh, well, I would've done it but since you have something for certain...." I hate when people do that.

Anywho, for anyone who's never done one of these, I'll lay out my plans for the next few days. I'm happy to break the entire process down and provide examples of some of the materials below if anybody needs a flashlight through the woods.

So far, I've pulled together maps and directions, assembled my cast, secured the theater we'll be using, picked up a tripod and photocopied a stack of scripts. I emailed out an agenda with a map, the script, an agenda and my "hopes and dreams" idea of how the read-thru will run.

Today I'll place a personal call to everyone involved in the reading, pick up the the video camera and tape so that I can do a dry run of the recording and see if I need to beg, borrow or steal a microphone(s).

Then tomorrow I'll break the script down in pieces and put together my binder for the run-thru (phone numbers of everyone involved in case anyone is running late, extra copies of the scenes separated into different "sides", blank paper, tape flags, pens, pencils and a couple of colored pens and highlighters in different colors).

On Sunday, I'll get cash (in case someone needs to get bailed out of jail, (and I'm only partially kidding here)), buy some soda (coke/diet coke/sprite), bottled water, ice, grapes, pretzels and some cookies, meet up with my friend early to set up the read-thru area and a "holding" area for folks who aren't doing scenework, then settle in and wait for people to show up.

The read-thru itself is going to (hopefully) run like this:

8:15p-8:30p -- ARRIVALS
8:30p -- Cold read-thru
8:45-9:15p -- Scenework: Scenes 1-3
9:15-9:30p -- Scenework: Scenes 4-9
9:30p-9:45p -- Scenework: Scenes 9-11
9:45p-10:00 -- final read-thru
The piece is actually only 9 pages, so I think it will take about an hour, but with the crazy lead actor, and another actor I've never even met (who is used to doing stage work), I'm anticipating any kind of craziness if these two don't like one another.

I made sure everyone knows the session is being taped for my personal use so no one is shocked by the camcorder, and now, all I can do is work my plan and watch things unfold.

Last weekend, I went up to the Bay Area for my novel writing group and had a great time. Everyone is so on point in terms of just getting the pages out there. It's really inspiring, and the books were good too. I'm due to turn in 100 pages in November, so I'm sweating every night. I'd put the book aside to get my samples finished and since I'm still working in rough, I'm having nightmares about ex-boyfriends showing up recently divorced, giant bbq's at which I'm cooking everyone's food using my pages for fuel (they impart such a nice smoky mesquite flavor to the ribs...), and my dog growing a beard and sitting in a rocker waiting for me to finish something.

Anyway, back to the salt mines. This week I rewrote one chapter of my book (the dreaded Chapter 5 which has been kicking my ass since I started it). Came up with an act-break fix for my tv spec pilot, wrote a partial treatment for an indie film idea I've been kicking around for a while, and read a book (LICK CREEK by Brad Kessler which I can neither recommend nor trash, just wish I had back the 8 hours I put in). What have you guys been up to? :-)


wcdixon said...

Thanks Diva...and thanks for the update. Was starting to worry.

What do you look for a readthru of a show as you/the director/writer...but mostly you as the producer? And how much turnaround time do you have to administer any changes you might see necessary?

Always engaging...

bianca said...

Great to hear from you Diva. As for me, here's the list: I'm re-writing a script, sending another one out for notes and working on a play. Let us know how everything goes. Just out of curiousity: what's the book about (or is it hush-hush and on the q.t.)?