An Evening of One Acts. That sounds so simple. So straightforward. So….boring.
If a community theatre is putting on a show that their potential audience hasn’t heard of before, which we are, because four of the five are written by me, and two of the four I wrote specifically for this show, then the title is pretty important. It’s like an outfit you pick out for a first date. It’s the first thing your audience will see, and often a snap judgment will be made based on that title. I want the reaction to be more, “Ooo! That sounds good! I think I’ll go see it” rather than, “Yawn. I’d rather stay home and watch a Netflix marathon of Friends.
An Evening of One Acts just wasn’t cutting it. Based on that title, I didn’t even want to come see the show. I was racking my brain trying to come up with a unifying theme for the subject matter. There was so many themes to choose from: Love, Life, Literature, Friendship, History, Second Chances, Second Loves, Second Thoughts…
SO MANY COMPLICATED THINGS.
Then that word trigged something. I thought of the facebook relationship status, “It’s complicated.” At it’s core, this was a show about relationships. They were all complicated. But that title alone wasn’t enough. There needed to be more explanation. While An Evening of One Acts was too broad, It’s Complicated was too narrow.
I puzzled some more about my key words. I enjoy a good alliterated title as much as the next gal. I also find humor in a quirky subtitle, so I honed in on Life and Love. But I couldn’t land on third word that encompassed everything else. They were just all important things.
It was there, in the swirling mass of words inside my mind that I found the title. I said it out loud to test the feasibility of it. To decide if it was as viable outside my mind as it was inside it.
“It’s Complicated: An Evening of One Acts About Life, Love, and Other Important Things.”
I liked it! It was quirky, but sufficient. I submitted it to the board at our last meeting and it easily passed with their approval as well.
Every time it happens, it never ceases to fascinate me that anyone would want to read something I wrote, much less perform it. I’m excited by the idea of it, but I keep wanting to say, “Are you sure? No really…are you sure? Maybe we should rethink this.”
Monday is our first rehearsal, and since no one has yet confirmed my anxiety, I spent this afternoon pouring over the manuscript, making final changes before finally letting it go and printing out 23 copies for our cast and crew.
I pulled the hot paper from the copier, hole-punched it and stuck it in colored folders. Red, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, teal. I alternated, and the final effect was a rainbow of scripts. I liked being the one doing the assembling. It was my script (minus one) and I liked the feeling I got when I saw my words on the page.
Maybe I’m too hard on myself. Maybe it’s not so bad after all. I left them at the theatre, neatly stacked, ready and waiting for our cast.
For better or worse, things are about to get complicated.
Right at 35 days before my 35th birthday, Rachael and I found out that a book we wrote about our experience making our first film “No Lost Cause,” was being returned to us by the publisher after a year of waiting for it to be printed. Instead of wallowing in our collective misery, I committed to blogging every day while I searched for ways to overcome this perceived rejection and obstacle to our goal. I currently also have about three other projects brewing at the same time, and write about the progress of each of them. This is part of that series.
Read the first entry here: https://ashleyraymerbrown.com/2015/01/23/35-days-to-35-dealing-with-rejection/