Sunday, November 29, 2009

"Mormon Artist" Contest Issue

Yesterday, the first Contest Issue of the Mormon Artist magazine was published, which includes my play "Adam and Eve" and my poem "Blind Man," including essays on each, and interviews with me. Several other great poems, essays, stories, and so forth are included as well, along with essays on them and interviews with the authors. I also did the illustrations for two poems and a series of short stories, and my brother Steve did the illustrations for "Adam and Eve." Enjoy!

Read or download the Mormon Artist Contest Issue here.

Also: I'll be posting a video of the latest performance of "Adam and Eve," starring the brilliant Becca Ingram and Tyler Harris, sometime in the coming weeks.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Video: "Much Ado About Nothing," Grassroots Shakespeare 2009

Video of a complete performance of our Grassroots Shakespeare Company touring production of Much Ado About Nothing is up on Facebook, if you'd like to check it out. Here are the links.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
You have to be a Facebook friend of me or someone else in the cast to watch it, but, if you're reading this, you probably are. Enjoy!

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, in a far-off kingdom, there lived a prince, the son of a great king and queen. When he was born, the stars shone brighter, and when he let out his first cry, the birds stopped their singing to listen.

Now, it happened that on the day of his eighth birthday, the king and queen had a wonderful banquet for their son. All the citizens of the kingdom brought food—the sweetest fruits and biggest vegetables and meatiest of meats. The men harvested their grains and the women baked them into rich, enormous cakes. The table in the grand hall was so packed there wasn’t room for another peanut.

When the time came for the food to be served, the king announced, “For the young prince’s birthday, he will eat of the first dish.” Four men dressed in four long, flowing suits appeared, and put on the prince’s plate everything he asked for: cucumbers, chicken breasts, ripe, plump tomatoes, raspberry tart—and the king, queen, and citizens of the kingdom watched as the prince devoured it all. When he was done, the young prince wiped his mouth with his napkin and politely asked for more. Again, the four men in the four suits appeared, and again they filled the prince’s plate with all his requests—long orange carrots, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, pudding, apple pie, chocolate cake, radishes, turkey, bread, gravy. And once again, the king, the queen, and all the kingdom watched as the prince licked every morsel clean. The same thing happened again: a third time, a fourth time, a fifth time, and still the prince asked for more.

It was well into the second day of the feast when the king called the court physician. “What’s wrong with our boy?” he asked. The court physician listened to the prince’s heartbeat, checked his pulse, felt his forehead. He didn’t get a chance to look at the boy’s tongue, as he normally might have, because it was too busy slurping plate after plate of the most succulent dishes. “I can find nothing wrong with the boy,” said the physician, and he was dismissed.

The king and queen gave the citizens leave to go home to their empty tables, for each of them had brought all their food for the great banquet. Four more men in long, flowing suits were brought to replace the first shift. And still the young prince kept eating.

Years passed. The good king and queen grew very old. Every day they would wake up at dawn and go to the table in the grand hall, where their son, now a young man, was still eating. “You must find yourself a princess to marry,” they would say, “So that together you can rule our kingdom when we are gone.” But the young prince would never answer, for he was swallowing a cantaloupe.

Then after many more years, one morning came when the good king didn’t wake up. The queen came down at dawn, as she had every other day, and found her son, still eating, and still as small and as thin as ever, for although he had been eating every moment since his eighth birthday, even eating while he slept, he had not grown an inch—indeed, he had even shrunk just a bit.

“My son,” the queen cried to the young prince, but he did not respond, he only shoved a slice of fruitcake into his mouth. “My son, your father the king has died, and still you eat!”

Through tears, the queen made orders that throughout the kingdom a special fast would be observed in mourning of the good king’s passing. No one ate or drank anything for three days—no one, that is, except the young prince.

“My son,” the queen cried. “My son, your father the king is dead, and all the kingdom is fasting in his honor, but still you eat! You dishonor yourself, and your father, and this kingdom that is to be yours, if ever you should stop eating—but you do not!”

Then, for the first time in twenty years, struggling between bites and chews and swallows, the young prince spoke: “I’m just so hungry.”

“Hungry?” the queen responded. “But my son, you’ve been eating every moment of every day for the past twenty years. Many hunters have had to journey to far-off lands to find food for you, for you have swallowed our forests clean. Farmers from ten kingdoms have had their crops stripped bare trying to feed you. You have drunk two oceans, sixteen lakes, and four rivers, and you have made the unicorn, the griffin, and the dodo all extinct, but still you eat! How can you want more?”

“I don’t know,” said the young prince, tears streaming down his face and into his mouth, which had grown so tired from so many years of chewing. “Each day I eat more than the day before, and each day I wake up with an even greater hunger rumbling in my belly.”

The prince stayed at the table in the grand hall eating for many more years. The good queen remarried, and with her new husband she had a daughter, who grew to marry a prince and, when her mother was gone, they ruled as the new king and queen. The young prince, meanwhile, grew older, and hungrier, and then, one day, his jaw stopped moving. When four more men in long coats came the next morning, they realized he was dead.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Grandma & Grandpa Sonderegger's 60th Wedding Anniversary

A little montage I made for my grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary a couple years back.
video

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Poe movie

A former seminary teacher of mine recently asked me to help him out with a project for his Master's degree in education--he was putting together a 9th grade unit on Edgar Allan Poe short stories, and wanted to introduce it with a movie with an eerie vibe and an emphasis on different kinds of phobias. Here's the result. (The music is the best I could find at the time on Creative Commons--one of the few things that didn't sound like a 13 year old sitting in his parent's basement and looping stuff on a synthesizer for eight minutes. I would've preferred some dissonant classical something or other, but we can't have everything.)


video

Monday, June 22, 2009

Fishmongers; Tomfoolery







Friday, June 19, 2009

Richard Dutcher interview

I recently had the opportunity to catch a private screening Richard Dutcher's film Falling (you can read my review here, and check out links to other reviews, essays, message boards, etc. on the much-talked-about film here), and then had the great honor of being able to sit down with Dutcher himself (one of my heroes) for about an hour and talk. You can read the full interview here, and soon I'll be editing the audio into a podcast version.

The Show Must Go On! (Grassroots Shakespeare Company)



Last Saturday night we had the first (and, I hope--and fully expect--only) performance of our run canceled. Here's a brief timetable:

Late Friday Night: Wes sends out a message to everyone informing us that he was feeling ill, and Without Voice.

Saturday Morning: The clouds gather--both literally and figuratively. Several of us debate via Facebook the pros and cons of going on with the show, and feel like Wes should probably make the final decision whether or not he feels up to it.

4:00PM: After an afternoon of uncertainty, a verdict is reached--we'll do the show, with our stage manager, Daniel Whiting, on book as Wes' characters.

4:30PM: We congregate at Wes' place for our pre-show barbecue, as planned. Wes decides he'll play Borachio, while Daniel will read The Messenger. The skies clear figuratively, if not literally.



7:00PM: It's time to ship out, and, two-and-a-half hours later, we still haven't generated enough of a flame for any of the hamburgers to cook (except for one lone, medium-well-done burger right in the middle of the grill, which may or may not have actually ever been eaten by anyone). We load everything up (including the grill) in the back of the truck and head over to the park by Springville High School where the Art City Days events are going on, to appease the Muse with our theatrical passions and our unfilled bellies.



7:15PM: Joel and I arrive first. We head on in to the festivities, and, after scouring the premises for twenty minutes or so, conclude that this thing is contained within practically a square foot--there's absolutely no place to set up and do the show, except, perhaps, on the perimeter by some parents enjoying a peaceful chat on a bench by the playground as their wee ones frolicked. That, or on the edge of a parking lot, with our audience sitting in the street, a chain link fence between us, and competing with a classic rock cover band.

7:30PM: We return to the Springville High parking lot, and report the bleak news to our comrades-in-arms. The more enthusiastic rally us round and convince us that the show must indeed go on.

8:00PM: After lugging my 40 lb. accordion for what seems like (and could possibly have been) a half a mile, we set up in the field just outside the festival, where our stage may or may not be invaded by either, a) some kids playing soccer, or b) some kids in a Shetland pony-drawn carriage. We struggle to find a spot that isn't either overshadowed by the giant glowing rollercoastery circle-of-wonder, or made up entirely of mud (since we also have an audience to consider--we hope), all while trying to make as much use as possible of the limited foot traffic we have.



8:15PM: Against all odds, the show begins.



8:30PM: Cue torrential downpour.

8:45PM: Our audience of ten-or-so stalwart souls cowered under umbrellas, the guitar getting soaked, the accordion having fled into its plastic case, those of us wearing glasses now rendered blind either with or without them (covered in obscuring droplets of water as they are), all of us freezing and those in dresses ultra-freezing, the tambourine incapable of producing a decent jangle because the head is so saturated from the moisture, we have, after a hard day's night of fighting the good fight against the anti-Shakespearean gods, finally been defeated. We gather behind the scenes and discuss the best plan-of-attack, and, at the conclusion of Wes and Joel's evil conspiracy scene, step out and thank the audience for their gracious weather-enduring--as we struggle to laugh in spite of the buckets of water being poured down our lungs--then let them know about our next show and where they can find our schedule online (i.e., here).

9:00PM: We retire to the parking lot, bruised, battered, beaten--and, by golly, very beautifully bonded by the shared experience of doing our darndest, by gum. Never has the phrase, "The show must go on" meant so much; and, oddly enough, never have I felt closer to all those in our wonderful little cast.







9:02PM: I search my drenched pockets frantically for five minutes, thinking I've lost my keys.

9:07PM: Phew. I drive home.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Grassroots Shakespeare Company


Some friends of mine from "As You Like It" decided to put together a Shakespeare company this summer, in the spirit of "original practices," as it's known in contemporary Shakespeare lingo. That means:

- We don't have a director, we just have a troupe--it's pure democracy, or pure anarchy, depending on how you want to look at it. Casting was a wild experience, with fourteen actors trying to cast each other. We'll block ourselves in our own scenes, and create our characters without the help of a director.
- We don't have any designers. We come up with our own costumes and any props we may need--and, as in Shakespeare's time, it will wind up a hodgepodge of styles and time periods.
- We don't have a "concept"--the script is the concept.
- We don't have any lighting, except for the sun.
- Many of us will be playing more than one role.
- There will be lots of audience interaction.
- None of us has a full copy of the script. Instead we have "cue scripts"--our lines, and our cue lines. I know the play fairly well--it's one of my very favorite Shakespeare comedies, and one of my very favorite Shakespeare plays in general--but I'll really have to be on my toes to figure out where my entrances fit in.
- And we only get a week of rehearsal (which is probably a bit more than Shakespeare & Co. had, so we're sort of cheating).

Should be an adventure, to say the least! We'll be performing "Much Ado About Nothing" throughout Utah during the month of June, for anyone that cares to watch us (if that's you let us know, especially if you think there's a group--school, FHE, whatever--that would be interested)!

Monday, May 4, 2009

You Rustle Me

you rustle me as long grass,
stirring and scattering
me to grow
in places where I otherwise
would not.
I want to grow a garden for you,
to teach you the beauty of your
nurturing,
to put in colors and leaves and
petals and
fibers
the sunlight-directedness that from
you I have learned,
that perhaps,
when your roots are plucked
and your flowering withered,
you may look to me,
remember the springtime,
and together we might cycle.

______________
This post is an installment in a continuing series of content coordinated by theme or motif with posts from Enoch Allred of Chiltingham, John Allred of clol Town, Jon Fairbanks of Funkadelic Freestylings of Another Sort, Eli Z. McCormick and Miriam Allred of Modern Revelation!, John D. Moore of Whatnot Studios, Davey Morrison, Joseph Schlegel of Sour Mayonnaise, Sven Patrick Svensson of Sadness? Euphoria?, and William C. Stewart of Chide, Chode, Chidden. This week's theme: Symbiosis'.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Longboard Shmongboard


I was asked to paint a pirate longboard by my friend's uncle for some guy's birthday, so I did.

"Coring the Apple" Illustration



An illustration I made for a poem called "Coring the Apple," by Sarah Page, to be published in the upcoming issue of "Mormon Artist" (which will also feature my play "Adam and Eve" and my poem "Blind Man").


You can see one of a few illustrations my amazing brother Steve made for my play "Adam and Eve" here. It'll be fun to see it all in print! (Also, kudos to Bianca, my beautiful hand and foot model.)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"As You Like It"




I'm currently performing in "As You Like It" at the Hale Center Theater in Orem (now through May 23, on most Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays). If you'd like to come see the show, you can get tickets here. Here's a review and a couple articles on the show, which has been a lot of fun:

Sharon Haddock at the Deseret News liked it
And the Daily Herald decided to write about it not once,
but TWICE!

There was also a really positive review in the UVU Review, but I can't seem to find it, or figure out how to properly search their archives, if such a thing is possible.


Tanya and Hailey as Rosalind and Celia. They're brilliant and awesome, even if they're usually in the other cast.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

LDS Film Festival Review: Short Films

You can read the article as published in "Mormon Artist" here, or download the PDF of the entire issue.


I was able to see ten of the twenty short films in competition at this year’s LDS Film Festival. Having been a regular of the short film programs at both Sundance and the LDS Film Festival the past several years, I can say without hesitation that I think the level of production values and the substance of the majority of the shorts at Christian Vuissa’s festival have been superior to that of the Park City competition. The shorts this year were a wonderfully eclectic group of very fine films from genuine LDS artists.

Some of the standouts of the festival were the pieces that broke from the conventional narrative structure of the average student short film mold. “Do or Die–08” was a South American import (the only international work that was screened among the shorts), and a visual and aural collage along the lines of “Baracka” or the “Qatsi” films (though with an even more experimental and modern aesthetic, blending narrative with documentary). Some of the audience laughed at the very serious twelve minutes of layered images, music, and sounds, some of the audience was baffled, and some riveted. It was hard for me to find any real thematic thread in director Ragnar Go’hjerta’s film (listed in the program as a trailer for a feature-length work, which might explain that), but it was made with the confidence of a filmmaker with something to say, and many of the individual moments were electrifying—ultimately, a film like this succeeds when it allows its audience to slip into a state of hypnotic, meditative celluloid transcendence, and in this Go’hjerta was very successful. It was a work to be experienced, and, for me, perhaps the most spiritually moving of the shorts.

The first-place winner was the very, very deserving sixteen-minute “Mind the Gap” from director Kristal Williams-Rowley and writer Marcy Holland. It followed the emotional turmoil of a teenager (Sara, played by Teagan Rose) dealing with the death of a high school peer who threw herself in the way of the train Sara’s father drives. The film follows Sara’s emotional journey and makes great use of voice-over narration; as the very powerful premise was developed, the film never felt contrived or unfairly manipulative, and the journey towards hope, forgiveness, and redemption rang gloriously true (it’s rare for a contemporary independent filmmaker to take a chance on optimism, and rarer still to see it pulled off so well). The low-budget cinematography and sound actually added rather than detracted from the film, giving it an honesty that might well have been lost in a glossier production. “Mind the Gap” is, quite simply, one of the best “Mormon movies” I’ve seen.

As in past festivals, there were a number of BYU student films showcased this year—“The Teller’s Tale,” “dirt,” “Best Wishes! Love, Adele,” and “Unhinged” were all final directing projects for a number of my film student colleagues. Of these, “Unhinged” was definitely the standout—a lovely story about the importance of authenticity and humanity in art, and about finding a healthy balance between personal creation and personal relationships. The acting was strong, the photography of the beautifully-designed sets was luminous, and director Nick Stentzel fused all these elements naturally and effectively. It was an exceptional little movie. Tim Hall’s “dirt” was often beautifully photographed and well-acted, but some slow and rhythmless editing hurt the film and its story, and both “The Teller’s Tale” and “Best Wishes! Love, Adele” suffered from a combination of poor performances and heart-on-sleeve moralizing, however sincere (and having seen “Teller’s Tale” in an earlier cut, I can say that the score did nothing but hurt it). More than anything, however, all four of these pieces represented a technical polish lacking in most of the other shorts—BYU is producing some very fine craftsmen and women.

“Face to Face,” written and directed by Spanky Ward, featured an admirable performance (or two) from David H. Stevens, and some very nice lighting in its very limited location and camerawork. Unfortunately, the concept was a bit clich├ęd—a man comes home and finds himself (or, more accurately, his black-leather-jacketed self) sitting at the kitchen table, and what follows is a sort of good-angel/bad-angel conversation with two parts of his damaged psyche. There were a few moments in the dialogue that were powerful for their brutal honesty, as the villainous alter ego mocked Stevens’ meek protagonist for being a loser, not getting any dates, etc., but there were probably even more moments of unintentional humor. The film was well executed but could definitely have used some rewriting—and would really have benefited from playing up the dark comedy inherent in the situation (the film was taken a little too seriously by itself to be taken seriously by its audience).

“The Skeleton Dance” (named and modeled after the classic Disney short of the same name) came from East Hollywood High School (a private school in Salt Lake City) and was one of my absolute favorite films of the set. I’m a sucker for any kind of stop-motion animation—there is a texture and a reality and an energy to handmade films that you just can’t get with a computer—and “Skeleton Dance” was really just an excuse to make some cool clay creatures do some funky things (and I confess a delirious delight in seeing a crudely-rendered skeleton rip off a cat’s head at the LDS Film Festival—there is nothing like the sheer joy of kids and movies and violence to lift the spirits). Sometimes as filmmakers we can get so caught up in trying to say something meaningful and trying to make something look professional that we lose sight of the absolute magic that is at the heart of the cinematic contraption, an art form built on optical illusion. “The Skeleton Dance” was a wonderful breath of fresh air.

My own film, “Medicine Man,” also made for a BYU (documentary) class, was a profile of David Hamblin, a medicine man for the local Native American church, whose Mormon beliefs and background inform his practice as a spiritual healer. With the film, I tried to allow Hamblin to express his beliefs and experiences with as little a degree of overt commentary or censorship as possible—his understanding of certain aspects of The Book of Mormon and Mormon doctrine is certainly outside the world of mainstream Mormonism, but I feel there is a sincerity, a conviction, and a real beauty to his story that deserved to be seen by others. I hope I was successful in presenting it.

“The Edge of the World,” by E. R. Nelson, followed the journey of an animated Everyman to fill the emptiness in his life. It was clever, funny, very engaging, and the animation (Flash?) was creative; it’s very exciting to see the virtually one-man films that are being made. The view of God and theology, however, had a curiously a-Mormon flavor to it—neither a strength nor a weakness in the piece, but something that struck me as I watched it.

In fact, the breadth and variety of religious and spiritual voices represented in the festival was both exhilarating and a little troubling—where were the specifically Mormon stories? Certainly not every Mormon film need include explicitly Mormon-related content, but there is an infinite number of fascinating and engaging and honest stories to be told within our culture and within our own set of beliefs, and they are not being told. Every artist exists within a specific cultural context—what would Martin Scorsese or Woody Allen be without New York City, and why should Dostoevsky set Crime and Punishment in Paris when he has a perfectly marvelous grasp and understanding of St. Petersburg? Latter-day Saint filmmakers would do well to follow the old-as-dirt screenwriting-class maxim, “Write what you know.” In between the proselytizing of the institutional Church films and the outsider perspectives of Big Love and Latter Days, we are missing an important and substantial body of honest and authentic stories not about Mormonism, but told from within Mormonism. The 2009 short films continued to demonstrate remarkable growth within the Mormon artistic community, even as it begged the question, “Why aren’t we growing even faster, and even larger?” In the Doctrine and Covenants we are told to “meet together often,” teaching one another, each member speaking and each member listening, that all may be instructed and edified together. In the lay ministry of Mormonism, the teacher becomes the pupil and the pupil becomes the teacher, and all voices are heard; our conversations may at times lack the presentational polish of a trained minister—but, as any Dylan fan knows, not every voice need be classically trained in order to be beautiful, to touch the heart, to engage the mind or move the soul or make history. In the age of YouTube democracy, anyone with access to a camera, a computer, and the Internet has the tools to make a masterpiece and broadcast it to the world. This is exciting! We should all be instructing and edifying one another, engaging in global cinematic conversation with those who share our beliefs and with those who don’t—speaking to them and listening to them—building the kingdom of God by developing and sharing the pure love of Christ within ourselves even as we receive it from others. The power of the Spirit is gentleness, meekness, quiet persuasion, and love unfeigned—not propaganda, but the personal anecdote, the autobiography, the individual testimony. Let us bear our testimonies. Let us instruct and be instructed. Let us tell our stories.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

"Story Problem"

PAM
You want to know the way to my heart? Chocolate. What can I say, I’m a Halloween and Valentine’s kinda gal. Dark or milk, no white. Once the chocolate’s gone, I’m gone. Which is too bad, because I’ve dated some really nice guys, some really great guys. I just lose interest. The excitement. The thrill. The energy. All gone. Once the chocolate goes, it all goes. I go. Once the chocolate goes I’m just going through the motions.

MARTY
I’m in love with a woman who’s nine inches taller than me. A girl can date a guy who’s nine inches taller than her, but a guy can’t date a girl who’s nine inches taller than him. That’s wrong. That’s injustice. That’s un-American. That’s why we have affirmative action.

NORA
I’ve never told anyone I’ve loved them. No one. Not even my mom. Not even when I was three. Sure, I’ve loved a lot of people, and I think I’ve even expressed that to them in different ways, but I’ve never said, to anyone, “I love you.” In fact, that may be the first time I’ve ever used those words in that order. “I love you.” Funny. They all sorta come out all at once like that, like it’s all one word. It sort of makes me feel like I am three years old again. “I love you.” “I love you I love you I love you.” Like baby talk. Ha. Ha ha. Ha ha ha. Weird. Huh.

INGRID
I fell in love today. I didn’t want to, I’d been fighting it, but I knew it was going to happen sometime, sometime soon, I was going to cave. It happened today. We had lunch together and he was licking something out of his teeth, trying to do it real quick and sneaky so I wouldn’t notice. He licked something out of his teeth, and that was it. I was in love.

WALT
There she is. The girl of my dreams.

Not what I was expecting. I was expecting a brunette, and she’s a redhead. Her nose is kinda big, I always liked little noses. She wears glasses, also a surprise. Funny how that works out. But no doubt about it, that’s her all right. She’s got great teeth. I love that in a girl.

INGRID
Damn it. Damn it damn it damn it. Damn him for being so adorable.

WALT
Small, white. Great shape. Teeth can be very sexy.

INGRID
I don’t want to be in love. Love is a biochemical reaction to the way someone smells. Which is ridiculous. Ridiculous and gross and I don’t want it. Even worse, it’s unsustainable. It’s ridiculous and gross and unsustainable—and I don’t want my heart broken anymore.

PAM
I can’t believe you said that.

A.J.
Yeah, me neither.

Well, I’d better get to Albertson’s before they close.

PAM
When do they close?

A.J.
I don’t know.

PAM
I think you’re OK. It’s, what, nine o’ clock? I think you’ll be OK.

A.J.
Yeah, probably. I just want to make sure I’ve got milk for my cereal in the morning.

PAM
Right, well, I’m pretty sure you can go later. Grocery stores stay open pretty late.

A.J.
OK…

PAM
Look, if they’re already closed let me know, I’ve got an unopened gallon of milk, you can have it.

A.J.
What kind is it?

PAM
Two percent.

A.J.
All right…

You hot? I’m hot. It’s hot in here.

PAM
No.

A.J.
Oh.

PAM
So.

Do you want to talk about that?

A.J.
What?

PAM
How you just told me you loved me.

A.J.
Oh. That. No.

PAM
Fair enough.

A.J.
Sorry.

PAM
No. It’s fine.

A.J.
OK.

PAM
OK.

A.J.
Well.

I better get that milk.

PAM
Yeah. OK.

A.J.
See ya.

PAM
See ya.

INGRID
Falling in love is what they call it because it feels like you’re falling, with your stomach, your heart, your small intestine feeling like they’re up in the top of your torso trying to break through your lungs and fly up and pop out of your mouth onto the floor.

PAM
It’s an addiction. You betcha. You bet I’m addicted.

NORA
Like a drug. Overdose on love.

PAM
And chocolate.

INGRID
I am sure he wouldn’t date me if my small intestine popped onto the floor.

MARTY
Hi, is Nora there? Oh she’s not? Oh this is her boyfriend? Oh hello, this is a friend of Nora’s. Well no. No. No, not really a friend. A sort of acquaintance, really. Oh. Well not even really an acquaintance. No. No. No. I mean, we sort of ran into each other once. On the bus. Once. Well she didn’t give me her number. No. She didn’t, no. Actually, no. I found it. Yes. I found it. Well I found it in the phone book. Under her name. In the phone book. Yes. Alphabetically. No I didn’t. I don’t. No, I don’t know her. No, I don’t. I didn’t. I never said that. Did I say that? I didn’t say that. I didn’t mean to say that. No, I don’t know her. I’m sorry, I’m not a stalker, I don’t know her, I must have the wrong number.

He’s probably very tall.

NORA
Where are the scissors?

A.J.
I have beaten up 63 men in my life. 22 men have beaten up me. Of those 22, 19 were taller than me. Based on this information, if I got in a fight with a man who was shorter than me, how likely is it that I would beat him up?

The answer is 95.23%.

NORA
Who was that?

A.J.
Just some dumb-bum jerkwad.

PAM
Also, two-timing.

NORA
I once said “I lung you.” That was very close. I said that to A.J. on our half-anniversary. If people know their half-birthdays they should know their half-anniversaries. This is my philosophy. I celebrate them. A.J. doesn’t, but I do. He doesn’t know why he’s getting a present and being taken out to dinner and treated so nice, he just thinks it’s any old day, when really it’s our half-anniversary. It makes it more exciting when it’s a secret. But it makes a lot more sense to do something on a half-anniversary than a half-birthday. I don’t remember the day I was born, but I do remember the day we started going out.

WALT
Walt, Ingrid, A.J., Marty, Nora, and Pam are friends. Each of them is in love with someone else, and one of them is in love with no one. Pam does not love Ingrid. Nora loves A.J. If A.J. is in love with Pam, but dating Nora, and if Marty is in love with Nora, who does Walt love?

INGRID
Not enough information.

MARTY
You are…?

NORA
Nora.

MARTY
Marty.

NORA
Cool.

MARTY
Cool.

Yeah. I mean, cool.

NORA
Yeah.

OK I better go.

INGRID
There is nothing more adorable than watching the man you secretly love get rejected.

WALT
If she doesn’t love me I will cry for ninety-six years, and then I will be OK.

PAM
Since I was hired full-time at Lawson Lawson Smithy Poindexter Zapfino & Lawson I have had a very fine salary. I have had a very fine salary since I was hired full-time at Lawson Lawson Smithy Poindexter Zapfino & Lawson. And now I can buy my own chocolate, whenever I want, which is all of the time. I need no one. I am an island unto myself, and here in my gluttonous palace on the sea I shall grow fat and aged.

MARTY
She’s very tall.

NORA
He’s very miniature.

MARTY
And lovely.

NORA
I love A.J., but I can only say that in an aside to the audience.

A.J.
I love Pam, but I am dating Nora, who once insisted that I wear only denim.

INGRID
I love his teeth, when he picks things from them.

WALT
I love her teeth, when she picks things from them and when she does not pick thing from them, always, and forever.

A.J.
I could probably beat up the majority of the people in this room.

INGRID
Perhaps I will marry him when he sees that I am small like he, and we shall produce smallish offspring and live happily ever after in a low-ceilinged dwelling.

MARTY
But I cannot see the forest for the trees.

WALT
And I cannot see the trees for her teeth.

NORA
I cannot see the trees for the forest.

PAM
I can see neither the forest nor the trees, for I am underground on my island of chocolate, where everything is underground, so I can only see roots, from which I may, if I choose, imply a forest.

A.J.
I see what I want, yo.

NORA
He makes my heart feel gooey.

INGRID
Gross.

WALT
If I love Ingrid.

INGRID
And we all love someone else.

PAM
And I love no one.

MARTY
And here’s another fine mess.

INGRID
But isn’t he adorable?

NORA
I love you.

A.J.
Oh.

Friday, March 20, 2009

"Tree little peak to"

This is "The Three Little Pigs," as told to my old computer's speech recognition program thing. It's awesome.


Was, time they were three little pieces they lived in a house with their mother coordinator Michael of the Dolby houses of their own sump own days when still does houses a first little peak built his house commerce from Strom Beach eye it was vastly do it in an a second little peak found a person stakes selling to his stakes and build a house audited by the third little came the was a smart little peak so he built his house outbreaks so it was very strong audited the battle fatigue and he said to Island peak and for lunch solve bloom down the first little peak discounts on extra and eight balloons he got so he went to second little peak discounts and blew the house native stakes and an allocate a team the then he went the third little peak discounts and tried to float down but the house was too strong and because it was made a break seafood while down so he was very mad up peak was very happy so the band will find out, house and when oxygen is laid down the month luckily third little peak and I how to believe boiling water hundreds of under the she and debate by pools, will not and third Little League was happy and that's CNN's story the end

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Star Stricken


This two-minute play of mine is being produced by the New Play Project, with Danica Anderson directing, and Dane Allred and Amber Hurley starring. It will run from February 19-23 at the Provo Theatre Company (105 E 100 N) as a part of the short play set, "Do You Love Me?" (I'll also be assistant directing Eric Samuelsen's terrific script, "The Exact Total Opposite" in the same set.) Buy tickets here!


JERRY
Aren’t you…?

PATRICIA
No.

JERRY
You are.

PATRICIA
I’m not. I’m not. I’m really, really not.

JERRY
You really, really are! I can’t believe it. I love your work.

PATRICIA
Leave me alone.

JERRY
You’re… you’re on that one show, the one with all the doctors. What is it called? Man, I can’t believe I’m forgetting the name. I watch it every night, I swear.

PATRICIA
OK.

JERRY
I swear.

PATRICIA
It’s OK, I believe you.

JERRY
No, really, what you do means so much to me. I just want you to know that.

PATRICIA
Thanks.

JERRY
I mean, I really want to act myself someday.

PATRICIA
Good luck.

JERRY
What you do just thrills me. I mean, it really connects with me, you know? I feel like we have so much in common. I grew up in Iowa, you grew up in Iowa. I want to act, you act. You just give me inspiration.

PATRICIA
Glad.

JERRY
Man, if I just had a piece of paper or something—can you sign my shirt?

PATRICIA
That’s OK.

JERRY
Please? I mean, I’m sure you get this all the time, I hope I’m not just another annoying fan, I just… man, I can’t believe I ran into you like this!

PATRICIA
Small world. Well, this is where I get off.

JERRY
Oh come on. Can’t I please have something to remember you by? I mean, it’ll really help me when I’m getting discouraged and all—you get so much rejection in this business, you know?

PATRICIA
Some do, some don’t.

JERRY
Something? Please. A lock of your hair?

PATRICIA
What?

JERRY
Ha, it was a joke. A joke. Ha. Ha ha. Ha ha ha.

PATRICIA
OK, I’m leaving. Good luck with everything.

JERRY
This is my stop too.

PATRICIA
No it’s not.

JERRY
Something. Anything. Please.

PATRICIA
Here’s my subway map.

(She exits. Silence.)

JERRY
She loves me.