Friday, August 06, 2004

Fan-Boy's Top Five

I’ve been away from cyberland for a little while; sorry ‘bout that. I’ve been up to my eyeballs in getting ready to move, looking for jobs and crying like a sissy after riding the pussy-ass choo-choo train kiddie roller coaster at Six Flags.

In other words, my mind has been about as far away from theatre as it can get.

This isn’t really surprising, since I’m not really a “Theatre Person.” Pete is always perplexed as to why I write plays, since theatre isn’t my favorite medium. I mean, it’s in my Top Five favorite media, but it’s at the bottom of the list.

So, what is on my Top Five List of Favorite Media, you’re asking? Well, as it stands now, in descending order, it’s:

1. Music
2. Film
3. Comics
4. Prose Fiction (novels, short stories)
5. Theatre

Now, from time to time, the 2, 3 and 4 slots get rearranged, but slots 1 and 5 are always the same. I love writing plays, but I’d almost much rather read “From Hell” or listen to the Old 97’s (or, joy of joys, both) than go see a play on any given day.

I also realize that most of my inspiration for writing plays (besides my own life) comes from the top four media rather than other plays. It’s actually quite rare that I get ideas from other plays. Usually, any given script I write will be a kind of hodge-podge, Frankenstein’s monster: a Weezer song meets Henry James meets some weird shit that happened to me last year.

For anyone who knows me, this actually makes sense. There’s a wide rift between what (I think) I’m good at and what I enjoy. Perhaps that’s due to having a slightly masochistic side (in case you hadn’t noticed), but also I think it’s because if I’m too immersed in something, I can’t be objective about it. When I was in college, the classes I did best in (and the term papers I got the best grades for) were on subjects I was kind of “schmeh” on. I’m too much of a music fan to be able to write music that’s any good. I’m too much in awe of certain comic book authors (stop snickering, assholes!) to feel comfortable writing comic book scripts. I’m too busy being a fan.

I also don’t think this is rare. I do know some directors whose strengths and talents do not necessarily coincide with their favorite styles. Hell, even Gene Simmons doesn’t listen to rock music (he has an extensive classical music library).

Maybe we’re all just masochists.

Wait. There’s no “maybe” about it.

Why the fuck else would ANY of us be making theatre?

Bringing out the whips and chains,

James “Bring Back the Pain” Comtois

August 6, 2004


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