The Creative Process: Long Island Iced Tea Version

For some reason, Anna Baron has commissioned me to write a One Act for her to direct next year. Thinking that this year’s play would be my last chance to show off my “forgettable dialogue” as the Thresher put it, I’ve already used up all my good ideas. Seriously, here’s the list I brought to college. I think it applies, not only to one acts, but to life:

Patricia’s List of Good Ideas
1. LIVE ANIMALS
2. Witches!
3. More singing
4. Tape inanimate objects to people as much as possible
5. Find silly nickname–ADJUST WARDROBE ACCORDINGLY
6. This:

Yeah, that's Dhruv in a leotard and tutu made for six-year-old girls

Yeah, that's Dhruv in a leotard and tutu made for six-year-old girls

As you can see, I’ve already used up all of them because, unlike THE 434, I’m good at completing lists. This means I’ll either have to write a whole new list of good ideas (though I can’t see how it’ll beat that one) or attempt to use the same one over again without anyone noticing. But how can we get Dhruv back into that tutu? And can I somehow make it a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure One Act? I’ll ponder these.

Lately, my strategy has become sitting down in the depressingly empty Wiess commons at meals and announcing, “So I have to write this one act…” and then making a list of everything people suggest. In the end, all I’ll have to do is find a way to squish everything on the list into one play. It’s the Long Island Iced Tea version of the creative process. AND IT ALWAYS WORKS. Here are just some of the gems I got tonight:

Dr. Gustin: You should write about a married couple!
Denise: You should write about your road trip!
Dr. Gustin: Wait, you could have some kind of trial and then pick audience members to be part of the jury! It could be a different outcome each night!
Me: So a choose-your-own-adventure couple’s road trip courtroom drama?
Roque: Ummmm… (his face says he wants to be the voice of reason, but he’s just not man enough)
Me: Genius!

And clearly the best way to get inspiration for this epic tale of melodrama and audience participation is to experience my OWN courtroom drama on our road trip. Like most of my goals, this one can easily be solved with a simple game of Truth or Dare. Here’s the plan I’m going to whip out about half-way up the Pacific Coast:

Me: TRUTH or DARE?
Steven: Ummmmm… Truth.
Me: That’s the wuss answer.
Steven: Okay, dare.
Me: I dare you to steal the World’s Largest Holstein Cow! Pride of New Salem, North Dakota!!
Steven: Crap.

That should get the job done.

Oh, and I’ve declared myself the Winner of the Cookie Self-Portrait Contest. My Secret Mystery Prize is not having to come up with a Secret Mystery Prize. Thanks for your votes/nitpicking (Brian).

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