Opening Night

 

On Jo Adamson’s business card is Alfred Hitchcock’s statement: “Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.” While she is a published poet, short story writer, and essayist, she finds that the writing of plays is the most rewarding, and that creating drama fills life with meaning and purpose.

 

Her plays have been staged in Washington, Oregon, California, Florida, West Virginia , Victoria, B.C. and Hawaii.   

 

On Jo Adamson’s business card is Alfred Hitchcock’s statement: “Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.” While she is a published poet, short story writer, and essayist, she finds that the writing of plays is the most rewarding, and that creating drama fills life with meaning and purpose.

Her plays have been staged in Washington, Oregon, California, Florida, West Virginia and Victoria, B.C. and Hawaii.   

She is particularly excited that her full-length satirical play on technology and a dysfunctional family won the James Sunwall Prize for new comedy at the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre in Gainesville (FL), 2002.

 

Her play Doppelganger appears in an anthology entitled Great Short Plays. Volume 5. 2007, from Playscripts, Inc. Over a dozen of her monologues and scenes from her plays have appeared in collections from Smith & Kraus, Inc. Other publishers who have accepted her work are Applause Books, Meriwether Press Ltd, and Heinemann Books. She is listed in Women in American Theatre, Helen Krich Chinoy, Linda Walsh Jenkins (Theatre Communications Group).

 

Other Stuff:

 I've been a playwright for many years and have been fortunate to see many of my plays 

produced, available online (Playscripts Inc. and Dramatist Source) as well as  over a dozen monologues included in Smith & Kraus,
 Jac Publishing, Applause Books, and the most recent Singular Voices: Monologues from the International Centre for Women Playwrights, 2009,
and Mother/Daughter Monologues,  Babes And Beginnings, by the International Centre for Women Playwrights. 
 

 

 

 

Monocular Mind Set

  

When I lost my left eye

I lost that part of myself

I always took for granted

 

Staring straight ahead

No longer comforts

Me for I have a blind side

I didn’t bargain for

 

And that blind side makes

My anger constant

 

No longer ‘friends’ with all the cool

Kids who inhabit the binocular world

I’m an outsider

Surrounded by eyes in pairs

 

But like the sea captain         

Who scans the land

For a place to anchor

I go about the business of landing

 

And tell myself how lucky I am 

To have a ‘spare’ eye

 

But it’s cold comfort when the ire

settles over me like

An ever present virus

And wears down my resistance

 

But I adjust

I’ve no choice

If I want

Another shot at being the person

I once was

 

 

 

Writing Resume

Plays Performed

 

“Break a Leg! Tara Stage, Dragon Lady Players, Syracuse New York, 2009
“High Noon, Shoreline Center Readers’ Theatre Winner 2009

BREAK A LEG . LA Women in Film reading, North Hollywood, Ca. 2007

BREAK A LEG Shoreline Center, Readers’ Theatre Winner 2007

RHYME AGAIN LIVING, Shoreline Center, Shoreline WA

Mutilations, Teotwawki, Shoreline Center, Shoreline, Wa

SHE WAS THE KIND.  The James Sunwall Prize for new comedy, Acrosstown Repertory Company, Gainesville, Florida

WAX CRADLE, New Century Playwright Award, First Prize Burien Little Theatre, 2000, Burien WA

MUTILATIONS, ICWP Playwrights Festival, Portland, Oregon,  2001

TEOTWAWKI,  International Center of Women Playwrights, Mae West Fest, Seattle, WA

TEOTWAWKI, Playwrights Forum, Spokane Civic Theatre

LAST LIVE PERFORMANCE, Northwest Playwrights Workshop, Pentacle Theatre, Salem, Oregon 1998

LAST LIVE PERFORMANCE, DIALOGUE OF SELF AND SOUL, Shoreline Community College, Director’s Festival, 1995

PUTTING A LID ON MURDER ,  Mercer Island Arts Council,

Mercer Island, WA

A BODY NOT GREATLY CHANGED, WIPE, Acting Playwrights,  Seattle WA

ONE SPIRIT MORE OR LESS, Artist and Lecture Series, Shoreline Community College

VERSE BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD, Playwrights Forum, Spokane Civic Theatre

LAST LIVE PERFORMANCE, Director’s Festival, Seattle, WA

EARTHSONGS, The Women’s Theatre, Festival of New Plays  Shoreline Community College

BOUND IN SHALLOWS, KOMO TV Eight Decade Consortium with Ed Asner

TRANSFORMATION SCENE, New City Theatre Director’s Festival

THE ADAMSON FESTIVAL, a kaleidoscope of one-act plays, March  La Pensee Theatre, Seattle, WA , EARTHSONGS, BOUND IN SHALLOWS, GOBLIN MARKET,YOU ARE HERE, DOPPELGANGER

TAKEN FROM MEN THIS MORNING, MUSEUM PIECE

THE WAX CRADLE, Women’s Theatre, Seattle WA

GOBLIN MARKET, MUSEUM PIECE, TWO FIGURES IN DENSE VIOLET LIGHT

Discovery Theatre, Seattle, WA

DOWNFALL, La Pensee Theatre, Seattle, WA

 

PUBLICATIONS

Singular Voices:  Monologues from the International Centre for Women Playwrights, 2009 

JAC Publishing, “Transformation Scene,”

“Transformation Scene”, Monologues from the

International Centre for Women Playwrights, 2007

“Transformation Scene”, One on One The Best Women’s Monologues for the 21st Century, Applause Book, 2007

“Doppelganger” Meriwether Press Ltd.  2002

“Doppelganger”  excerpted in “Even More Monologues For Women” in “Best Scenes & Monologue  collection, Heinemann Books 2000.

“Transformation Scene”, The Best Stage Scenes, 1996;  “Doppelganger”, The Best Women’s Stage Monologues, 1996;  “The Wax Cradle” The Best Women’s Stage Monologues, 1997  

“Dialogue of Self & Soul” The Best Women’s Stage

Monologues, 1997; “A Body Not Greatly Changed”, The Best Stage Scenes, 1997, and The Best Men’s Stage Monologues, 1999.  “Teotwawki”, “The Best Women’s Stage Monologues, 2000.

 

PUBLISHING COMPANIES ON THE WORLD WIDE WEB

“The Wax Cradle” (Full- length play on Lousia May Alcott)  Dramatist Source

“Doppelganger”, Great Short Plays, Playscripts Inc, New York 

 

EDUCATION

 University of Washington

Washington State University

CINE X450 SCREENWRITING (Fundamental, Intermediate, Advanced)

Hollywood Scriptwriting Institute

Advance Screenwriting, University of Washington

 

AWARDS

Henry Broderick Award for Playwrights,  “Downfall”

Pacific Northwest Writers Conference, Seattle, WA

First Prize Novel,  “WIND WATCH” Pacific Northwest Writers Conference

Grand Galleria Award for “Bread and Circuses” Pacific Northwest Writer’s Conference

First prize play,  THE WAX CRADLE, New Century Playwrights, Burien, WA

Listed in WOMEN IN AMERICAN THEATRE, Helen Krich Chinoy, Linda Walsh Jenkins (Crown Publishers, New York)and let your visitors know a little more about you.

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. I'm a great place for you to tell your story and let your visitors know a little more about you.
I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. I'm a great place for you to tell your story and let your visitors know a little more about you.

Writer's Group : Royce Roberts, Pam Beason, Pat Williams, Karen Brown, Jo Adamson

Bits and Pieces

On Jo Adamson’s business card is Alfred Hitchcock’s statement: “Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.” While she is a published poet, short story writer, and essayist, she finds that the writing of plays is the most rewarding, and that creating drama fills life with meaning and purpose.

 

Her plays have been staged in Washington, Oregon, California, Florida,

West Virginia  Victoria, B.C. and Hawaii.  She writes plays with strong women characters, and feels accomplished when something she has written resonates with a female member of the audience.

 

She is particularly excited that her full-length satirical play on technology and a dysfunctional family won the James Sunwall Prize for new comedy at the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre in Gainesville (FL), 2002.

 

Her play Doppelganger appears in an anthology entitled Great Short Plays. Volume 5. 2007, from Playscripts, Inc. Over a dozen of her monologues and scenes from her plays have appeared in collections from Smith & Kraus, Inc. Other publishers who have accepted her work are Applause Books, Meriwether Press Ltd, and Heinemann Books. She is listed in Women in American Theatre, Helen Krich Chinoy, Linda Walsh Jenkins (Theatre Communications Group).

 

 

 

 

 

Which eye is faking?

     Having An Eye For It    

          It was a once in a lifetime game. The first Super bowl win in the team's season.  The Sea Hawks were no longer the 'under dogs but in 2014 they were the 'top dogs."

            The Sea Hawk Fans---The 12th Man cheered so hard that they set a world record for the loudest crowd noise in a stadium.  I was so excited watching the game that I forgot about my painful eye.  I was blind in one eye due to the fact that I lost vision when my cataract surgery went wrong.  After sugery, I’d developed a bad case of bacteria in the eye---the worst I’d ever seen!, my surgeon said--- and nothing could be done about it.  The bacteria spread like wild fire until it had consumed my sight in my left eye. Ten being the worst pain, I was experiencing about a five on Super Bowl Sunday.   I was determined to watch that game even if I had to keep opening and closing my good eye to get it to focus correctly.  No one paid me the slightest attention as we sat glued to the TV screen.  After the national anthem, my brother-in-law---a dyed-in-the wool Seahawk fan,  said if they start to lose he wouldn't be able to handle it.  He'd leave the room; yes that’s what he’d do.  My response the black humor kind—my favorite color of late-- "No problem, I'll just close my good eye and turn a 'blind eye' toward the final score." 

            With the entire world looking on, the Seahawks didn't disappoint. They won by a large margin upsetting the Denver Broncos with a 43-8 final score.

            The Seahawk victory makes the month of January more bearable and was an inspiration.  If they could accomplish an event that many claimed was impossible, I sure as heck could cope with my situation. 

            I began to look at every day as a challenge.  Sometime in February I noticed that I could perceive dimension.  I had only to turn my eyes to see people to my left, or to the side, provided they were not directly beside me.   I  could get out of the car, and cross the street without a full-blown panic attack when I asked myself,  will I be  be hit by a car?,  stumble over a curve, bring undue attention to myself?  All these worries went through by mind as I realized I could no longer take simple movements  for granted.

 By this time, there was a significant weight loss; I went from a size 14 pants to a 9.  I was getting some of my energy back and took on the tasks I used to do before I lost my sight in one eye:  Cooking meals and cleaning the house.  At my eye doctor’s orders, I stayed away from harsh household chemicals,  and my husband, Frank, had to clean the tub and shower.   But I was making progress.  I stopped bumping into people in crowded restaurants and could fill a coffee cup without out spilling on the counter.

            I also began wanting things.  New clothes.  I went shopping at Macy's for new pants.  I took several pairs in, in tweleve and fourteen---old habits die hard, and had a hard time convincing myself that the pants did not reflect my current size. I took home the size fourteen.

            The next morning, I put on my new pants and they were five sizes too big!  My weight had vacillated over the years, but I never got down to my pre-menopausal weight.   My goodness, I weighed the same as I did in my thirties.  Because the pants were too large,  I wore the pants belted, but I didn't like the baggy look.   I should have returned them before I wore them, but I was feeling so good about my smaller waist, butt, and thighs,  that I reminded myself how far I’d come by trying them on a couple of times a day.  When I got my new jeans in a petite nine,  I gave the old ones to the Services for The Blind. (I need not mention the irony of that donation.)

            I had always taken the "old" me for granted. That is to say, the "me" that assumed I might have health problems down the line, but I'd always have my eyes. Like thousands of others, I assumed that I'd have my eyesight until I died. I'd have the average seven operations a person has in his  lifetime, but it didn’t even occur to me that I would lose one of my vital organs.  

            What happened to me wasn't real. It was just a nightmare. I was convinced that  I'd wake up in the morning the same person I was when I went to bed. Everything would be normal, my husband and I would do all the things we did before, like swimming, and hiking.  My favorite place to visit, The Grand Canyon, would remain the same and I'd have all the depth of field it had when we had vacationed there ten years before.   But it wasn't a bad dream that I could awake form.  It was a waking nightmare. Every morning, I had to adjust to one eye and  I was sick as a dog.  Why was this happening to me?  Did my surgeon screw up during the cataract surgery and use unclean instruments?  Could it be infected eye drops?   Why had I done to deserve this?  They day I went into surgery I was excited;  I had faith in my eye surgeon. Cataract surgery is said to be one of the safest operations, and the risk of infection of the eye is was very low.  I was certain the cataract surgery would restore the vision to my left eye.  The surgeon would take out the cloudy lens, and replace it with a new one. A walk in the park, or so I thought.   Not exactly.

            I celebrated my 72 birthday by lying on the couch, curled up in a fetal position, and feeling sorry for myself.   Why did this happen to me?  I thought of the book of Job and his suffering. Why was I even identifying with Job, for God's sakes? I'm not particularly religious. Maybe that was it.   God was punishing me for not being pious enough, faithful enough, loving enough; not something enough.  Maybe I was too caught up in my comfortable world and unaware of the plight of man? Maybe I needed a reminder that in many parts of the world people go to bed hungry. They have no health care, no medicine...maybe...maybe.  No, it had nothing to do with that.  I just happened to get an infection that only happens to one half of a percent of the people who have cataract surgery. I got an infection that causes complete blindness in the infected eye.  I drew the wrong card, and because of the  added complications of Diabetes two and Glaucoma,  I was a high risk for complications.

            If you can’t change something change the way you look at it, someone one once said.  Well, good advice or not.  It just didn’t work for me.  I couldn’t change the say I looked at it, because   I couldn’t see the way I used to--- without turning my head---and I resented it!  Every time I switched on the television and saw all those two-eyed people, I wanted to give them a black eye.  No, not really, but I wouldn’t discourage someone against throwing a pie in their face.

            It’s been three years now since I lost my sight in one eye.  Everyone says that I’ve adjusted well, and no one, really!,  can tell which is the blind eye.  I look just the same, they say with a happy lilt in their voice.  I thank them, and say it’s good (as in it’s good to be rich) that  they think that, but (I do not say) it is an adjustment that has to be made from the time I get up in the morning to when I go I retire at night.  I never forget that I have to work harder to see the world as they do, but I’ve come to terms with it.  And I’m happy. 

 

  

 

                                               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Few Thoughts On Eye Loss

Enjoying my one-eye view of the world

 

How can you explain what it’s like seeing with one eye to another---especially someone who is close to you and knew you before you monocular.  Well, I tell them the truth, seeing with one eye is not that much different than seeing with two eyes.  You make a few adjustments, like turning your head more often, and watching that “last step” when you go down stairs, but other than that it’s a piece of cake.

Their loving concern always makes things worse when they tell you how sorry they

are that you lost your sight in one eye.   

 

 It I were to suggest the correct response to a person who says they’re  sorry that you don’t see the way they do, I would say, that’s not true, I do see things the same way you do.

It’s just that I have to work a little harder at “seeing.” I have to turn my head more often, but that is more than an inconvenience than a trauma, and I can live with an inconvenience now and then.

  “If I didn’t know any better, I’d not even know that you had only one eye.”  Mean it or not, that is the response most people with monocular vision  want to hear.

 

 

 

Ocean Shores WA

Tell me

 

Why water around the stars

 Black Holes in deep space?

I crave to know.

But first

Tell me about

The body of water--Me

And why it

Slackens my thirst

 

 

WON POETRY ON BUSES 2016

 

 

 

Transportation Scene  Audition Pieces for Actors

Jo J Adamson    Playwright

A BODY NOT GREATLY CHANGED

Gale---25 Female---Serious

Gale tries to get her husband to understand that she has lost her will to live.

This morning when I started down the stairs,

I came to the landing and stopped. Stopped, Robert..

because I couldn't think of one reason to continue.

It was frightening.

I just stood there trying to figure out why I should bother to come down.

Bother, Robert.

Concern myself with the automatic process of walking

down a flight of stairs. I couldn't think---it was as if my brain was dissolving inside my head and running out of my eyes. I was sweating so much I couldn't see. I just stood there, paralyzed---twenty minutes or

maybe thirty. At some point, Lady came up the stairs and nuzzled my leg.

I started to move. I had a purpose. I would feed the dog.

 

IALOGUE OF SELF AND SOUL                           

An n tells what it's like being interned in her own home by her father.

 

 

We camped there, my mother and I. Busied ourselves with books and magazines and when we tired of that, we listened to the serials on

the radio. We slept a lot. I don't remember relieving myself, what I ate, or whether my basic needs were met. I learned not to ask

questions. When the pains came, Mama left

me for awhile to have the baby...I hardly knew she was gone. Sometimes I told time by the different radio programs.

I was listening to Jug-Genie when mama

sneaked the baby in. She showed me all the cute baby clothes and let me hold her. I was afraid to breathe because I had been eating saltine

crackers and I thought my breath would form

 

saline crystals on her delicate skin. Mama told me that daddy was sick...he was suffering from nerve gas exposure. Exposure to war was what he suffered form, and that was enough to make anyone mad.

It would embarrass daddy, mama said to have

people learn he had to hide his wife and daughters... I said it didn't make any difference because I had disappeared for him about six months ago...faded like the grin off the Cheshire Cat.  

EARTH SONGS

 Opal---17 Female---Serious

 

Opal tells why she perpetrated the literary hoax on the Atlantic Monthly. 

Why?---why? why? I'll tell you why Mr. Newspaper man, compiler of facts. The

diary is my only way out! The forest is thick

in this part of the country. A person can get lost here. Buried alive. Especially a skinny, half-breed daughter of a sawmill worker. I have something inside me that needs open sky to blossom, and we're in late

summer Mr. Meriwether; time is running out. If I don't leave now, the leaves will block the sun

and I'll decay in the forest dampness. The trees, flowers, shrubs, they all know this. It's written

in their cells. It's only the people; the mean little people of Sugar Pine who don't understand.

(Vehement)

You ask for truth Mr. Meriwether. Look up into

the branches of that tree. There's your truth Sir. 200 feet straight up. And that truth whispered the poetry in the diary, and directed me out of the forest. I listened to it from the rust day I climbed into its branches, bleeding from the

birch cane mama applied to my back, and crawled in the only arms that ever offered love. I listened real hard to that truth Mr. Meriwether.

(Softly)

Why won't you?

TWO FIGURES IN DENSE VIOLET LIGHT

Red Twin---middle thirties Female---Serious

Red Twin tells Black Twin why she has resented her for so many years.

Let me tell you something, Black. Something I've never been able to admit before, not even to myself.

I'm not much. My only "claim to fame" as they say in the cheap tabloids,

is what I can preserve for a few more years. Ten at most. Until that time, I'll continue to "tan indoors or out" and settle for men who look for packaging and ignore content. I'll settle for that, because women like me filter reality

through false eyelashes and lighted makeup mirrors.

I can live with that because the alternative is to exist in a place where you monitor your rate of growth and determine age by your rate of decay.

Turns to Black Twin

You, there on the other side of the moon, prefer to live in the "real" world. A world of real lives and real deaths. It is your duty you say, to make an inhospitable environment habitable.

Sorry Black, it won't work anymore. Turn your violet light on someone else. I've surveyed your landscape and found it sadly lacking in creature comforts. Go there yourself, forge new pathways, find new trade routes, discover the mother lode, but for God's sake, leave me out of it. For your sake, leave me alone. 

THE WAX CRADLE

Louisa May Alcottt---33                                                                     Serious

Louisa's birthday letter to her father in which she tries to write her

true feelings.

November 29, 1865 Vevey, Switzerland.

Dear Father: Today we celebrate our mutual birthdays--- your 66th and my 33rd. As I write this, I cannot help

but think of the great distance between us. A far country of disappointed hopes and sorrows separate us.

How is it? Father, that I am so lacking in the qualities of mind you indoctrinated...

Crosses out indoctrinated, writes:

...imbued in your daughters from the moment they

came into the world. You celebrated our birth with little Birth Day notes in which you referred to us as your "little Alcott plants" growing out of the fertile

soil of your spiritual guidance. A fanciful, though inaccurate metaphor. I am an over-ripe tomato rotting- brown in the noon day sun. Unworthy of the banquet table, but nutritious nevertheless.

A good fairy must surely have attended your birth 66 years ago. She smiled favor on your sleeping form and blessed you with good deeds and fine thoughts. I fear she turned her back on my fitful slumber. I was a cross brown baby crying out at the moment of my birth. No, before, in my mother's womb. I infected her with my dark moods.

You write that you enjoy my photographic pictures and that you are charmed by my powers

Of description.  I am happy… Crosses out happy, writes:

...gratified that I give you pleasure with my travel

impressions. May I think of my descriptive correspondence as my special birthday gift to you. I am painfully aware, however, that my greatest gift would be that I be of humble nature and deny self. You once told

me that it is not enough to yield; I must love yielding Louisa presses so hard on her pencil that it breaks. She picks up another and continues to write.  I am homesick, Father and  if the old religions  are right in calling homesickness  the truest test of our virtue, your scribbling spinster  is the most "virtuous” plant in the Alcott garden.

 

 

 

TRANSFORMATION SCENE

Sissy---30's                                                                 Female---Comic

Sissy explains to audience how Geraldine is able to achieve metamorphosis.

You want to know how she got into such a pitiable state of inactivity. Adaptability. Ever since she was a tiny one, Geraldine got along by getting by. When

Papa was angry and focused his eagle-eye on her; she could do the most marvelous impression of music

Box dancer. Geraldine would stand on her little toes as dainty as a butterfly and whirl around the room in a blaze of color. It was really quite a sight. When

she finished her dance, papa forgot why he was angry with her in the rust place, and he would take her in his arms and give her a big squeeze.

Turns to Geraldine. She gently shakes her. Remember the dancing? Geraldine.

She danced a lot in those early years. And

when she began to grow, she had to develop other

talents of diversion. Papa had an immoderate fondness for tobacco, and Geraldine, in some strange way,

was able to...well, "manufacture" that scent. Papa

Tolerated her on the days she was able to smell like Old Velvet pipe tobacco.

I

To Geraldine

How did you manage that? And she grew...a bit. But she never did achieve full height. And her basic

body structure didn't change. Geraldine looked pretty much the same way now as she did when she was in swaddling clothes. As I think of it, she didn't

change so much. She just darkened like an apple in the sun. 


Molly-Ann--Late Thirties                                                                   Serious     LAST LIVE PERFORMANCE

Molly-Ann recalls the shooting of her husband, Buck.

Buck wanted to know what I did all day. That is when I wasn't listening' to records or starin'

In space. Back in '76', he started to drink. Buck. When I was clear---that is, when I wasn't thinkin' of how I could save money to catch a  train to Seattle or Vancouver or Spokane---where- ever He was playing. I told him that the mill would start up again. Just like it did last time. And he said it would never start up again 'cause there was no need for sawmills anymore. We had to move, he said. I think that was last week he said that.

Molly-Ann takes the teddy bear. She holds it close to her heart.

I really can't remember. I can't seem to keep track of time anymore. I told him that I didn't want to move. "Move or die" he said. There's nothin' for us here in the coulee. I started to cry. I didn't want to live nowhere else. I'd lived here all my life and I was afraid. He accused me of being in a rut. "You know what a rut is? he asked. A

shallow grave he said, and then he raised his fist as if he would hit me. I ran into here, and slammed the door. He started to pound on the door until I thought he would break it in. I opened the door... he ran in here like a crazed animal..."Look at this junk! This place is a goddam mausoleum." And then he started to take down my pictures.

of him. Throwing them on the floor as if they were garbage. And then he went over to my vanity and started to throw the souvenirs of twenty years

in the waste basket. I screamed for him to stop. I got down on my knees and begged him, but he continued to throw my things away---tearing up pictures, place mats. napkins, magazines---everything that had his image on it. And then he went over to where I keep my 45's...1 have them stored in my hope chest, and he opened it, and grabbed a pile of them... he held them above his head---like Moses with the tables of stone...and I guess I just went kind of crazy...all I could think of was if he broke those records he would break His voice and I'd never be able to hear Him again. The next thing I remember is reaching into the dresser and taking out a service revolver...he keeps it by our bed in case of burglaries...1 had that in my hand and all I could see was those records above his head threatening to come crashing down any minute.

 Teddy bear slips out of her arms and unto the floor.

He went down...just kind of collapsed at a heap at my feet. It reminded me of the time daddy took me deer hunting...1 spotted a doe in the

forest...one minute she was standing up looking

at me with wide eyes; I could see myself reflected in her pupils, and the next minute she was a crumbled pile of flesh and blood on the pine needle floor...1 don't pay no attention to doe season no more.

 

 

Maren---Middle Thirties Female---                                                     Serious

                GOBLIN MARKET

Maren tells Nell that she is a writer.

I write for the little mag's; special fourth class manuscript, return postage guaranteed. Thank you for thinking of us. sorry full-up. Sorry, over-stocked, over-done. Sorry. Sorry Sorry.

Maren addresses Marsh as if she (Maren) were a psychiatrist counseling a patient.

But write you must, dear girl. For writing is the only way out of the labyrinth. Write your

thoughts into poisonous mushroom clouds falling

out inside your head. Write and perhaps some day

your writing will have value to others beside yourself. Write down the page, up the page, center page,

upper right, down left, right's right, right on. Write

it right. If you get my drift. My meaning's meaning. Eeny Meeny Miney Mo/Catch a Tigger by its toe if it squeals

 

Turns to friend 

 

My God Kid. Let it go.

 


 

 Darlene---30's Female---                                                                    Comic      YOU ARE HERE

I never wanted kids. But then I never thought about not having them. Getting married and starting a family was the thing to do in Coulee City in

1958. Also I wanted to quit my job checking groceries. I got awfully sick of ringing up other peoples groceries. I had to remember to put the eggs and bread in last. I never could get that straight. Jeepers, I'd like to

have a quarter for every time someone would walk in the door with a loaf of crushed Wonder or a carton of half-broken eggs. I got so I could tell just by the

way the women approached that I had screwed up. They would walk in with the bread held out in front of

them like a banner or something, and when they got

next to me they would shove the bread under my nose

and ask if that was something I would serve my husband. I told them that I wasn't getting married. I would never marry and that all my sister could show for

ten years of marriage was stringy hair and a house

full of snotty-nose kids. I was planning on going to Hollywood and getting in the movies.

Her husband Buck wants to know what stopped her.

The back seat of a Chevie convertible and the front seat of Mama's livingroom. She couldn't imagine, she would say, a girl that "looks like you" wasting her

time in a food store. She would ask, seven times a

week, why didn't I marry young Buck Wharton? He had

a good job and would able to give me a nice home and kids of my own. Hollywood, she pointed out, was chock-full of pretty girls, and once a girl gets "ruined" no decent man would have her. I asked her what "ruined" was and she said sleeping on satin sheets until ten o'clock in i the morning.

I

Darlene pauses and reflects.

Don't know about the satin sheets, but I sure

would like to sleep in mornings.

God, when I think  about it, I would like to

sleep ill the rest of my life.

 

Serious  

Woman, 30’s   BOUND IN SHALLOWS

Woman tries to find her real face behind the one she

is making up.

My mouth is considered my best feature. "Only when you keep it shut", he jokes. "I didn't marry you for your beliefs."

Marilyn Monroe was told to smile downward. A

smile that would bring the eyes to the pink sugar body down in the dark regions that shape the wet dreams of thousand celluloid-weaned youths. Tired old men who masturbate their way toward absolution. Your nose,

the dream merchants claimed, is a trifle too long. An upward smile would bring attention---orgasm comes best without knowledge of brain.

Woman puts lipstick on her mouth

M. M. an initialed toy she died. Even the scarecrow's request was not denied on the M.G.M. fantasy farm.

"If I have one vanity" my mother often said, "it's

 my little girl's hair. Every morning the long, soft,

-~: sausage curls were brushed gold around her determined ~~7 finger. I sat the ordeal, statue-like as your preened me for the men who waited to squeeze my arms, scrape raw, prickly skin against my own. And your women. Cushion breast, mouth pursed in mock tenderness,  

lavender scented hands, patting,

smoothing, stroking.

I recoiled under those caresses.

but the fingers

continued to seek out, until I grew

deep under those demanding hands,

and reached beyond my roots into

the neutral black.  Then one moist

June day, you feared I'd smother, I rose 

to his requirement, dropped one

play thing after another to take on the 

role of a wife and then mother.  You see, 

mama, it's as clear as the nose on your

face, I was born before I became this 

woman-face.

 

 

 

Nelly Bly (Elizabeth Cochrane)                                                                     Serious

BREAD AND CIRCUSES

 

Nellie Bly explains why she no longer  dreads the thought of marriage.

I was seventeen when I dreaded the thought of being supported by well-meaning friends and relatives. In a few short months I'll be thirty.The age when a woman becomes a joke. A pathetic burden on society. No, the thought of being supported is no longer odious. Perhaps I've reached a saturation point. I'm sick to death of meeting deadlines, running after trains,

 

sleeping in strange hotel rooms. I'm tired of interviewing men who dislike me merely because I'm not of their gender. Of the women who feel I betray them because if am of theirs. I'm sick of the pressures of the job; of feeing like a machine that grinds out words to feed a stunt-hungry public. This morning I asked myself a question that had been nagging me for the past year. What are you doing here? Nellie Bly. I had no answer. I knew only that I didn't want to be in a railroad station in the cold dawn light. I wished for all the world to be back in my mother's house. I wanted her to feel my head for a fever and ask where it hurt. I wanted her to call me Pinky once more.

Softly.

Pinky, how strange, yet warmly familiar that name is to me.

 

 


 

 

Sally--40 Female---                                                                       Serious

 

 HIGH NOON                                                                  

Sally tells what it's like to be an aging entertainer.

I went from playing the star's best friend to playing someone's mother. Over night!

 

"Do I look different to you?," I demanded of my agent. "Where on my face am I told enough to have a 23 year old kid?"

 

He mumbled something about our "national

obsession with youth." I said that Mrs. Patrick Campbell played Lisa Dolittle well in her ilfties and he said that I wasn't Mrs. Pat and he wasn't George Bernard Shaw. And did I want the part or not?

 

Sally picks up make-up brush. She lightly strokes her cheek with blusher.

I quote George Eliot to him.

 

"A woman can hardly choose...she is dependent

 

on what happens to her. She must take meaner things, because only meaner things are within her reach."

"I'm not him either", he says.

 

I point out that George Eliot was not a him but a her.  He said that he don't care if it's a speckled mongoose. He's scheduled an audition for ten o'clock and if I don't go home and get some sleep, I'd be able to read for the part of the grandmother.

 

 

 

 

 

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. I'm a great place for you to tell your story and let your visitors know a little more about you.

A Think Tank In Film Making

In the early 1980’s I took a course at Bellevue Community College called “A Think Tank in Screenwriting”.  The course was taught by Stanley Kramer who had retired to Bellevue, Washington and was writing a column on movies for The Seattle Times.

 

The course was very popular and a diverse group of people signed up for it: actors, writers, film buffs, fans, young people and seniors drove out to B.C.C. every week to hear what this man had to say about film making. 

 

Jesus Christ himself (that is to say the actor James Caviezel who was to play Christ in the 2004 “Passion of the Christ”) attended Kramer’s course.

 

From the outset Stanley Kramer made it clear (regardless of the course description) he was not teaching a writing class but rather a class in about film making. Some of the things he would cover would be how the director works, working with writers (Kramer worked in MGM’s research department and worked his way up to editor and screenwriter) and how it felt being an independent producer in an industry dominated by conservatives and reactionaries.  He ruffled a few feathers when he gave work to blacklisted screenwriter Nedrick Young in “The Defiant Ones.”  

 

He explained what we could expect from taking the course---we’d be privy to some  of his  ‘war stories’, learn about the people he knew in his many years in the business, and he would bring in some of his best friends to share their expertise and experiences with the class.

 

Hopefully, he continued, through all this mishmash, some of us might pick up a few pointers about what to expect when we worked in film and avoid some of the more common mistakes of the screenwriter.   

 

At the time Stanley Kramer was in his early seventies, and he made many jokes about his ‘hardening arteries”----he warned us that  we would be getting his point of view of moving making and his living in Bellevue took him out of  “loop” on what was happening in the film industry today.

 

In fact, the entire film business had undergone a sea change from the time he was making movies in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. .

 

He pointed out that his controversial and message driven films of the  like “Home of the Brave” (a film that dealt with racial prejudice during WW11),  “The Men”  (about disabled second world war veterans, and incidentally marked the  film debut of Marlon Brando)  were not being made anymore;  indeed were not even relevant in today’s world.  

 

The film he was most proud of was one he released in l967 when he released the movie  “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner” the critics claimed that its upper-middle class setting was out of touch with a reality  in which black neighborhoods in America’s inner cities were  burning to the ground.

 

 

For me A Think Tank if Film Making” was like getting a ‘peek’ into a world that I’d only read about----his ‘gossipy’ stories about how Katharine Hepburn who was known for her independence, (people quaked in their boots around her) turned into a marshmallow when she was around the love of her life, Spencer Tracy.  On the set of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” she was at Tracy’s every beck and call and was downright subservient to him.  

 

He said that the film he had the most fun directing was “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World” (a film about American greed), it was quite a thrill he said to be able to work with virtually every comic in the US at the time: to name a few: Milton Berle, Don Knotts, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Mickey Rooney, Phil Silvers, Jonathan Winters, Joe E. Brown and Buster Keaton!

 

In spite of his denying that he was not teaching a screenwriting course, I learned a good deal about writing from him.  

 

I learned by listening to all the stories of the people ‘who made it’ that you must really be dedicated to your craft in order to be successful at it. You must have an armadillo hide (for the inevitable rejections) and you must want to write (direct, act, etc) more than anything else in the world or you’ll not be able to survive the sacrifices that a career in the arts will demand of you.

 

Saying you want to write does not make you a writer.

 

At one point in his lecture Kramer asked a show of hands on how many of the 300 attendees wanted to be screenwriters?  About three quarters of the class raised their hands.  How many of you have started a screenplay?  About half of the class raised their hands.  How many of you have finished the screenplay? Embarrassed laughter, and then about one eighth of the class raised their hands.  How many of you are on your second screenplay?  Ten people held up their hands.

 

Writers write, Kramer said, they do not talk about what they want to write, what they’re going to write, what they might write, the just write. And write. And write.  It never gets any easier, and you never really ‘learn’ it.  If you’re talented, and tenacious you might have a shot at ‘the big time’.  Probably not, being that the odds are against you, but if you’re talented, and persistent, you will be eventually be recognized.  If you’re very lucky, and in the right place at the right time, you might be able to make a livable wage out of something you love to do. 

 

The week that Kramer had ‘the show of hands’ was also the week that his friend Robert Wise was a guest.

 

Robert Wise (Academy Award winner for directing (The Sound of Music and West Side Story) talked about his life in the film industry and he ended his talk with a quote from his favorite author, Carl Sandberg.  The poem is called “A Father to his Son”and it is about a father’s advice to his son upon nearing manhood. 

 

The father tells his son that that he must be both strong and gentle,“…a tough will counts.  So does desire. So does a rich soft wanting. Without rich wanting nothing arrives.”

 

Without rich wanting nothing arrives, was the line that Robert Wise quoted, and that was the line I entered in my notebook as a reminder to have continued passion and desire in my work as the years go by.

 

Stanley Kramer died on February 19, 2001 in Los Angeles at the age of 87.

 

I feel grateful that I was privileged that I was in the right place at the right time and was ‘lucky’ enough to have been able to take his class.   

 

Well, me and Jesus that is.

 

http://oldpoetry.com/opoem/56523-Carl-Sandburg-A-Father-To-His-Son

 

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. I'm a great place for you to tell your story and let your visitors know a little more about you.
I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. I'm a great place for you to tell your story and let your visitors know a little more about you.
I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. I'm a great place for you to tell your story and let your visitors know a little more about you.
I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. I'm a great place for you to tell your story and let your visitors know a little more about you.
I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. I'm a great place for you to tell your story and let your visitors know a little more about you.

With kind regards

Jo J. Adamson
I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. I'm a great place for you to tell your story and let your visitors know a little more about you.
I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. I'm a great place for you to tell your story and let your visitors know a little more about you.
I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. I'm a great place for you to tell your story and let your visitors know a little more about you.
I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. I'm a great place for you to tell your story and let your visitors know a little more about you.