Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by mavjade, Mar 14, 2014.
Would you sell your body to science?
What are the joys and frustrations of working in children's theater?
I understand and empathize about the natural beauty of where you live! Even though the hockey-hating will never cease amusing me.
And, speaking of the theater, what drew you down that path into first place? When did you make the switch to script writing over prose, and what are the pros and cons you see in each?
What playwrights do you most enjoy reading (and performing)?
Have you ever done a Shakespearean play? Particularly Hamlet
None of the above. My passion is for crêpes. Dinner crêpes stuffed with broccoli and cheese, dessert crêpes stuffed with fresh strawberries and fruit and drizzled with maple syrup and whipped cream... Seriously, if you ever have the chance to visit Old Montréal (or Québec in general), go to a crêperie. They are well worth the time!
I know they're near-human (so not technically non-human), but I have always found Zeltrons fascinating because of the whole pheromone thing. In the hands of a really good author, having Zeltron characters can make navigating Galactic sexual politics really interesting.
I've always found Naboo really interesting with the whole elected queen thing (especially elected queens that are so young). Plus, the planet is pretty.
Nat! I know, I'm bummed I missed Mira's, too...
Probably Star Wars or Harry Potter or Doctor Who - something with such a huge 'verse that I would never get bored because there's always new things to explore!
Standardized patients are actors hired to work practical clinical exams for students in health care programs (med school students, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, physio/occupational therapist assistants, paramedics... even pharmacists). Instead of working with a dummy or with another student, actors are hired to play a role opposite the student for whatever exam they are doing. For example, I've done everything from more complicated scenarios, such as a patient coming into the emergency room complaining of pain in the stomach (for that scenario, I was required to memorize all of my character's medical/family history and react accordingly to a physical exam) to something more simple like just giving a brief history to the doctor (I did a character who was at her family doctor's and suffering from pneumonia). I've done roles where it's just a straight physical, but most of the time they're combined with some kind of character history.
My family likes to joke that I get paid to be a professional hypochondriac.
Not every school has an SP program associated with it, but they are slowly becoming more prevalent as professors and instructors realize the benefit of having their students work opposite a real person before going out into the field. We also give feedback on their professional manner and how they interact with the "patient" - whether they talk too fast, use too much medical jargon when explaining things, phrase something inappropriately (I had a male student once ask me to manoeuvre my shoulder as if "you're adjusting a bra strap" - that was something both I and his instructor immediately flagged).
The funniest thing about being an SP is that there are some scenarios that I have acted during a role that I have later had to experience in reality when I was having a particular health issue.
Oh my goodness, where to start?
I have a love/hate relationship with villains. It's so easy to make them evil for the sake of being evil... sometimes that's even incorporated into the character's backstory (*cough* Voldemort *cough* - with the whole "can't ever understand love because he was conceived under a love potion" thing). I love anti-heroes, anti-villains and characters who choose to do horrible things for perfectly understandable reasons. But then I also love characters who are just so despicable that you love to hate them. Dolores Umbridge is one of those characters for me - she was a fabulous villain for Harry.
That being said, I do enjoy the slimey villains as well. I find Palpatine intensely fascinating because of his political side introduced in the PT, but I also really enjoy his maniac side in the OT as the Emperor...
I love villains.
For the record, Hamlet is totally a villain in my mind.
Sell? Most likely not. I am registered for organ donation, though.
Oooh...that's a very good question.
Joys - seeing the kids learn and progress from the beginning of a program to the end. They can learn SO much from the process of putting on a show. They have to learn how to deal with jealousy (because kids always get jealous of each other's roles) and disappointment (when they don't get the role they want). They have to learn how to work together. They have to learn how to support each other and have everyone come together to put on a show. Theatre teaches so many valuable lessons, and when you get to see them learn something, it's an awesome feeling. Also, I've seen so many kids have so much fun and have such positive experiences from doing theatre, and that's really rewarding.
Frustrations - Kids are kids. Kids, by nature, can be frustrating to be around. There's the ones who complain about everything, the ones who never listen, the one who are show-offs and want to prove that KNOW everything, the ones who are constantly coming you with every little problem... but all in all, I don't really find those all that frustrating. It's the parents who are truly the frustrating ones. "My daughter doesn't have enough lines!" "Why can't my son have a major role, see how good he is?!" Parents who try to sweet-talk me into giving their child a starring role drive me crazy, especially since when I cast shows, there are many, many layers to consider and I have to make a lot of judgements based on what I think the child can actually achieve and accomplish from a particular role. And my number one frustration will always be parents who don't pick their kids up on time (and I'm not talking about the ones who are 5-10 minutes late, it's the ones who are 45 minutes to an hour late) and use the theatre programs specifically as glorified, cheap daycare, even when their child doesn't even LIKE theatre or drama.
I actually didn't do my first proper show until I was seventeen. Up until that point, I was a musician, fully intent on studying music performance at university. I was taking drama classes at high school, fell in love with acting... and decided to go to university for it. I wasn't so much drawn to it for any particular reason, I just had a gut instinct saying "This. I like this. Do more of this."
I used to hate writing plays. Up until my third year of uni, I refused to write anything but novels and short stories, unless it was a play for a class project. And then one day I realized that I was spending most of my time working on dialogue when I was writing prose... and then a love for playwriting just kind of snuck up on me. I officially made the jump when I co-wrote an adaptation of Nikolai Erdman's comedy The Suicide with one of my mentors. I wanted to do more of my own work after that production and it just clicked in my head one day that I had the skills to create, write, produce and direct my own work.
Pros of writing scripts - getting to see your work come to life onstage. It is such a blessing and an incredible experience to see your story brought to life and shaped by actors. It's something that you don't really see with novels, unless you're a really famous author with a really famous book that's adapted into a film. Plus, I love what actors bring to the process. They have such an insight into the characters they're playing and I love bouncing ideas off of them to create more depth for the characters. Actors are REALLY good at developing character arcs because a character arc is essentially the series of actions/consequences a character experiences and the tactics they use to get what they want... and that's the basis of acting work. I've been applying acting techniques to writing characters since I started my actor training and it has helped SO much.
Cons of writing scripts - as much as I love working with actors, sometimes they think they know everything and start fighting your vision, forgetting that their character is created by YOU, the writer, and interpreted by THEM, the actor. That's always difficult. I've worked with some actors who can be very stubborn at times, especially since my process includes actors much earlier than the norm and I take my actors comments and thoughts very seriously. I had one actor on a project tell me, "I feel like we wrote the script together". She meant it completely genuinely and with kindness, but comments like that lead to actors forgetting and undermining how much work goes into writing a script, which can be very frustrating for the writer.
Deadlines are also a challenge. You don't have as much flexibility as you do with writing prose. Plays are meant to be performed, not read, and it is incredibly common to invite a cast/director into the process before you have a finished product. Suddenly, you have a whole host of other people who become crucial to the process and you have to start working to their schedules. It takes time to bring a show to life and eventually you will hit a point where if the script stays unfinished, you just won't have enough time to throw a production together. I've run into that problem a couple of times in the past and it's not fun to work through since it adds a considerable amount of stress to the writing process.
Pros of writing prose - I love being able to work on a project for as long as I want to. Most of the time, I have the ability to write to my own schedule and I can stretch out my deadlines if I want to. I find writing prose to be very relaxing, which is why it's my hobby and not my profession. I love being able to describe things in full detail and play around with phrasing and narrative styles in a way I can't in theatre.
Cons of writing prose - I rarely ever finish anything. It takes me MUCH longer to write a novel than it does to write a play. I also have a tendency of planning out long epics and trilogies and series and when I step back and look at all I have planned out, it becomes extremely daunting. I'm so much more familiar with the process of writing a show and then producing it that I KNOW I can do that. I have never finished a novel and the process of becoming a published author (instead of playwright) is something that is still a tad mysterious to me because I haven't done it yet. I have no idea if that makes any sense...
My immediately first answer is Shakespeare. I LOVE performing Shakespeare because the language is so much fun to speak. Actually, I am a HUGE fan of dramatic texts from the late 1500s to the 1800s because of the heightened language. A lot of my favourite plays were written in Europe during those centuries. The only era/genre I'm not a fan of is neo-classical theatre (the French went through a period where they adapted as many Ancient Greek plays as possible), and that's just because I don't like Ancient Greek plays. Too much standing around talking, not enough doing, especially in the tragedies (major plot points in classical texts tend to happen off-stage, and then characters come back onstage to discuss them).
Other playwrights I love reading and performing are Samuel Beckett (particularly Waiting for Godot), Tom Stoppard (particularly Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, which is my favourite play ever), Judith Thompson (Lion in the Streets), Caryl Churchill (Cloud 9), Tenneessee Williams (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Orpheus Descending), Ann-Marie McDonald (Goodnight Desdemona, Goodmorning Juliet). I find the Russian dramatists from the 1920s (like Nikolai Erdman) to be extremely interesting since many used their art to create political satires as a form of commentary on the political turmoil in the cpuntry. Many had very unhappy endings (Erdman was arrested and exiled by Stalin for his work. His friend Vsevolod Meyerhold, who directed his comedy The Suicide, was arrested and executed).
Yes, I have done Shakespeare plays. I actually spent three weeks training at an intensive with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario while I was at uni.
And yes, I have done Hamlet. When I was in fourth year, I co-produced a gender-bent version of Hamlet. Our project was mainly about discovering how the text changed when the words were delivered by women instead of men, and if we "queered" the world. The character of Hamlet is seen as the epitome of acting for male actors and I wanted to find out what happened if this role that is seen as being someone for men to play was played as a woman. We didn't genderbend every single character, since we wanted to play around with different gender dynamics. I actually played Hamlet, as a very grunge, punkish lady who was openly bisexual. We kept Ophelia as a woman - she didn't change too much, but the actress playing her gave her a very strong backbone. Polonius became Polonia (who became very passive-aggressive and aware, instead of bumbling, as the character is usually interpreted). Rosencrantz and Guildenstern became a brother/sister duo. Laertes was also a woman, which gave her and Ophelia a sister dynamic. Claudius (and King Hamlet, as they were played by the same actor) and Horatio remained as men.
What fictional culture would you like to see used as an inspiration in SW and how?
What real life culture would you like to see used as an inspiration in SW and how?
Have you worked as a SP for firefighters?
When you first started writing fanfiction, what characters drew you in, especially in Star Wars? Since then, what other fandoms inspire you to write?
Wow, that Hamlet production sounds great! I always love gender-bent interpretations of classics, it's so interesting to explore.
Of all the fic you've written, which are you most proud of?
What would you like to see in Ep7?
What is your favorite play that you've written/worked on/etc.? (Apologies if someone has already asked!)
Sorry for the delay in answering my final questions, everyone. I had a very busy week of work and then my sister got married.
Two very good questions, of which I have very poor answers to. I could say something like Ancient Norse of Ancient Greek culture (as I love their mythologies) or the various elven cultures from Tolkien's works, but in truth, I really don't know - the Star Wars universe is already so vast and multi-layered with so many fascinating cultures, I think I would like to spend more time delving into ones that have already been established, but are rarely seen, than creating new ones.
No, I have not. The closest I've gotten is for paramedics. I did a full day (8 hours) for a paramedic exam. It was possibly both the most tiring day of work, but oddly, also the most relaxing day of work, ever. We were running 10 minute scenarios, but my character fell unconscious within the first 30-60 seconds, so there wasn't much for me to do, other than to focus on not actually falling asleep.
For Star Wars... it was actually Jaina Solo and Kyp Durron, primarily. I hadn't even read their canon appearances yet, but I was reading a lot of (very good) fan fiction on the Beyond board that featured them. Jaina's personality always clicked for me. Kyp... I think I had an idealized image of him, from a lot of positive fan fiction portrayals. It wasn't until much later, when I actually got around to reading the full body of works he appears in, that I realized that he was an extremely conflicted character and not really a viable romantic option for Jaina. It's rather odd, looking back - I was much more inspired by other fan fic authors than I was by canon authors, which probably contributed to my penchant for AUs, especially for post-ROTJ EU characters of whom I rarely read the canon works they appeared in. I did a lot of characterization based off of what I saw other fan fic writers doing and what I could gather about the character from Wookiepedia.
I have a pretty odd relationship with canon EU characters.
Several years ago, I made the jump to NSWFF. Since then... anything has inspired me, pretty much. It really depends on my mood and what kind of media I am currently reading or watching, regardless of how obscure it is, or how well-suited it is for fan fiction (some works just click better with fan fic than others - although I can successfully say that I have written a vignette for the film Blood Diamond ).
Hamlet was pretty interesting. I'm still surprised we pulled it off. It wasn't a perfect production by far, but we learned A LOT by doing it and I think it was pretty well-received all around.
The fan fic I'm most proud of? Aye... I really don't know. Hmm... I would like to say This Time Around, because that piece went through multiple re-writes and followed me from the end of grade nine to the beginning of my university degree; however, I never did finish it and I probably never will since my writing style has changed so much and it is so difficult to return to a piece you began in high school when you're now in your mid-twenties. Things change.
I am very pleased with my Hamlet short stories and vignettes. I was writing them around the time I was in pre-production for my own version, and I had a huge interest in Ophelia. The vignettes and short stories turned into great character development and style exercises for me (my scriptwriting prof read them and gave them a stamp of approval), and I'm very pleased with the way they turned out. For some of them, I may have even considered submitting them to short story competitions had I not already published them online.
Interesting, well-developed female characters, a John Williams' score, GOOD dialogue, and compelling heroes and villains that take us outside of the traditional dark side/light side dichotomy. To be honest, I'm not that excited for Ep. 7. I miss the days when Star Wars was less complicated, less grandiose... it's getting out of hand again, and I feel like the series is going to stagnate and become the butt of a joke (it already is the butt of many jokes in many regards). I'm crossing my fingers for a decent film, but I find it difficult to be excited. Filmmakers in Hollywood these days just don't know when to quit and stop poking at a story and/or universe.
I'm very proud of and very pleased with the adaptation of Robin Hood I wrote for the children's theatre company I work for. It was produced as their spring mainstage this past May. It's a solid script with a solid story and I somehow managed to pull of writing decent, fulfilling characterizations for 27 characters with only an hour of stage time for the entire play. The kids had a blast performing it, the audiences responded well... it's a good play. And I always enjoy working with the kids and seeing them grow on a personal level and on a theatre level.
I never said that it had to be for any new cultures.
Lets re-state the questions -
What fictional culture would you like to see used as an inspiration in SW to expand on something that already exist and how?
What real life culture would you like to see used as an inspiration in SW to expand on something that already exist and how?
Sorry all, I thought I said in here that I was going to be on vacation and therefor not around that much and we'd take a few weeks break, but I guess I didn't. (My brain was already on vacation apparently). We'll start up again next week.
What a relief -- I mean I almost thought that we'd run out of participants
We're getting close to running out of people who have volunteered.
Sorry, folks, just catching up to this thread.
If questions are still going to Idrelle_Miocovani, I'd like to add one.
First, I love Shakespeare, too. Although, I've never been a part of any production, reading him is always a challenge. The What a piece of work is a man is one of my favorite passages from Hamlet (until, of course, Hamlet denounces man in the same breath. Depressing fellow with some issues!) Amazing how many different interpretations there can be of the same play. Never thought of gender switching the roles. That would be interesting, indeed. I always get raised eyebrows when I tell people I read Shakespeare for fun. WHY? is always the shocked reply I get. I DO live in Kentucky. There you go...Hamlet: The Redneck Version! If you think about it, Star Wars does have some Shakespeare-esque ideas embedded into the story. Don't know if you are aware of the Star Wars Shakespeare:
So there's that seque.
My question is, how would you tackle a stage production of Star Wars, if it is even possible?
@mavjade, if you do run out of folks, how about recruiting from among those who first went through the...process?
*meekly raises hand...
I'd be willing to repeat.
LOL I guess we shouldn't nominate folks
OK, I'm not sure if nominating people is something we will decide to do (per
@Nyota's Heart's post above), but in case we do, we've had some very interesting new arrivals here in Fanfic recently—including
@K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku's daughter. Might we want to extend an interview invitation to any of them?
That would be a great way to pull new arrivals into the community here. I'm sure
@Charity Rose would be game for an invitation. Whether she will have time for one given that school started today is another matter entirely. Given her choice, I think she would rather answer questions here rather than do homework.
Well, if mav doesn't mind, I'll answer my two last questions--
Apologies, I inferred new cultures from the way the questions were phrased. Regardless, my answer still remains the same. I enjoy Ancient Norse and Ancient Greek culture and mythology, so I would probably look to and enjoy SW stories that use them as inspiration in any way.
Speaking "What a piece of work is a man" when one is a woman is interesting. As is "Frailty, thy name is woman" - my version was condemning Gertrude and herself in the same breath. Playing with gender is interesting, and provides a great way of interrogating gender roles, especially in traditionally structured theatre. Gender bending is currently rather popular in certain theatre circles these days, especially for Shakespeare. After all, his work already has some basis there, historically - women weren't allowed to act during Shakespeare's time, so young boys cross-dressed into female roles. It adds some interesting metatheatrical layers when you consider character archetypes like Viola (Twelfth Night) and Rosalind (As You Like It), where it would have been a cross-dressed boy playing a woman who was cross-dressing as a man.
Funny that you mention Star Wars Shakespeare - my boyfriend has a copy of it, and yes, we have done our own staged reading of it (because we're actors and we're tremendously silly people) and discussed what we'd do if we staged a production. While it would be tempting to do a large budget production (provided you could secure a large budget) and have a wider variety of special effects and costume pieces available, I think it would be more interesting to pull the design elements back and stage it as if it were produced in Shakespeare's day. Minimal set, minimal costume and prop pieces... my one request is a proper thrust stage. Give me a thrust stage (especially one with a trap door) and I am happy.
Thanks for hosting this thread,