PERSE: OK, this is a little complex, so just, you know, but when I walk by this boy, we cut to him, and he’s totes like OMG who is that girl, like stunned, and then back to me, and my hair, which was down, is now, slightly braided, and I sing-
(She sings a line, and then explains the camera shot)
“the way my legs walk”
cut to my feet
“the way my fingers cross”
cut to my hands behind my back
“the way I make you talk”
the boy, like, unable to talk
“you can tell I’ve got you braided”
and now, I like throw my hair again, and the boy starts following me, cause he’s caught in my braid, right?
While the past few weeks have been impossibly busy, with several weekends out of town; last weekend I had the opportunity to write 11 new pages of Persephone. I’d been worried, because two weeks away is more than enough time to lose the trail of a play; plays untouched long enough can leave your body, and it can be hard work to call them back.
Thankfully, that was not the case, and the characters felt almost painfully present, eager to make up for lost time. Part of it was the section I was writing; these are the scenes where Melinda shapes Perse away from her conventional song “Braided”, (lovingly excerpted above), with the more truthful and disturbing song, “Six Steps”. The thrill Perse feels in creating the first, and the discovering the second, was thrilling to write; and felt to me a little like the brainstorming session between Jeff and Terry in Other Bodies (one of my favorite parts of that play).
There is something about writing characters in the midst of creating something themselves that taps into a primal energy for me; it’s strangely intimate, and Perse and Melinda’s hooks are in me now, more than ever. I was also lucky to have Anna LaMadrid back again to read Perse – she’s done so for almost every scene, and she understands how Perse’s mind works in a really effortless way that allows me to see clearly what’s working.
Also, writing pop songs is surprisingly fun, as it turns out.
Not sure when I’ll be able to work on this play again, as rehearsals for Ajax in Iraq loom, but I really I hope I can. This play is ready for me to finish it.
I should sing about wanting to burn my Mom? No one wants to know about that.
I’d want to know about that.
Well, you’re a weirdo who likes sad shit.
So are you.