Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"I'm Ready for My Close-Up..."

          When I was a little kid I wanted to be an actress. By the time I was in high school, acting had taken a backseat to writing and writing had taken a backseat to teaching and teaching had morphed from teaching art to teaching English. Teaching English, by the way, encompasses loads of acting (ask me sometime about how I get students to read, at least some, of The Scarlet Letter, or about commanding an audience in meetings!), art (try fixing a bulletin board, mapping a scene or decorating a door) and writing (lesson plans, notes to parents/students/teachers/principals, worksheets, meeting notes, test et cetera).
           Several years ago I used both my acting, drawing and writing skills to create a creative writing class. That class was lovely, we wrote short stories and poems and, well, a former student now friend, could tell you more because she still remembers all we did and that was at least 10 years ago...pretty exciting class, with pretty willing, clever and eager students.
           One of the assignments was writing a scene from a screenplay. We used the best book Writing Screenplays That Sell (I no longer have this book because I lent it to someone, this was before I learned from Adler not to do that) to talk about types of screenplays, characters, settings and treatments. We watched The Karate Kid (the movie used in the book) and then we went about completing all the task necessary to write a screenplay (character development, setting map, etc.) and then, instead of writing a whole screenplay, we fleshed out one scene from our treatment.
            You see, I love screenplays. I prefer to read screenplays before watching movies, I prefer to imagine who I'd cast (and, the possibilities are endless) in certain roles, where I'd film the setting (like a Director of Photography) and then I watch to see the treatment. My favorite screenplays are those by Kevin Smith, and I enjoyed reading Good Will Hunting, Trainspotting and various television scripts (tiny screenplays), The Glades comes to mind, as you can download the pilot episode free on the Nook.
            Maybe I should have been a screenwriter, Lord knows there's not enough of those in the world, or a critic, again a profession that needs more people. *note dripping sarcasm* Hmmm...the more I think about it...I could have been a casting agent...they're like teachers, only really, really mean and without remorse.
            Sigh, maybe for my next career...

"It's the moment of truth..."

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