Theatrical Tuesday – Writing Exercises

TuesdayIn the class where we write for the stage, we often have writing exercises. Yesterday’s exercise was to draw inspiration from one of four photos presented to us. None of them inspired me at the time. The concept is solid though.

I chose the photo involving a kiss, not knowing we’d end up working in pairs on the scene when presenting to the class later.

I learned that it’s really hard to write a kissing scene for stage and if I had to do it again, I would take a page out of Daniel MacIvor’s play and have the dialogue be funny descriptions of the kiss and everything that surrounds it. I may rewrite it later for my portfolio just because.

Today, I’m off to learn more about film/media in Canada and writing for television. We had a mix up on an assignment for one of those classes and I had to redo mine. I think I’ve done it properly now. We had to write an episode of currently running show. There are only a small handful I keep up with because I’m often too busy to watch them when they’re airing.

I chose to write a 2-part South Park episode. I think I handled the material in a respectful way while keeping true to the South Park style. I guess we’ll see how it goes. I’m not usually a fan fic type of author.

I hope I have time to see IT this weekend.

Anyway, I’m off to shower and catch a bus.

Guid cheerio the nou,
R~

Theatrical Tuesday – Game of Thrones *No Spoilers*

TuesdayI’ve caught up on Game of Thrones.

The finale was awesome in so many aspects. And I do mean awesome, not just really cool. Points literally struck me with awe. I felt myself cheering at parts, cringing at others, and in shock by the end.

I can’t believe I have to wait until . . . Who knows? One friend said he heard Season 8 might not come until 2019! I REALLY hope he’s wrong on that one.

I suppose it’s good that it ended before school starts. It’s one less thing to distract me from my studies.

I’m also caught up on South Park, so I’ve been trying Bob’s Burgers. South Park returns in about 2 weeks and I guess a few other shows will too, but I can’t believe GoT is over again already.

Wait, I think I’m behind on Supernatural and perhaps Archer. Maybe it’s also a good time to rewatch something like Lord of the Rings?

I’m sure I’ll have no shortage of films to watch for my Film and Media in Canada course soon. It’s a Tuesday class and I won’t have the first one until September 12th because of the way the schedule falls with Labour Day and the first Tuesday being orientation instead of actual classes.

Lots to do in the coming weeks.

There are other things, but I seem to have a pulled quad muscle, so I’m relegated to lighter tasks right now. I do have many things to read, so that is mostly my focus.

I need to finish reading The Glass Castle so I can go see the movie and find out how it stacks up against the book. Judging by the trailer, I might be disappointed. Maybe I’ll do this as I catch up on laundry.

Guid cheerio the nou,
R~

Theatrical Tuesday – Doctor Who’s Recent Casting Choice

TuesdayA lot of people are divided about the latest regeneration on Doctor Who. Some would have you believe that it’s nothing more than males being stupid, but I think jumping to that conclusion is wrong and it’s harmful to what the feminist movement was supposed to be about. I, like Camille Paglia, believe this male bashing crap has to stop. Feminism was supposed to be about equal treatment and rights like being able to vote and work in traditionally male jobs. It wasn’t about tearing men down, feminizing them, or declaring female superiority.

The Doctor shouldn’t be female just because ‘it’s time’. The Doctor should only be female if the actress blew them away at auditions. It should be about selecting the best candidate by demonstrated ability regardless of sex, race, or sexuality. The BBC has said they have done this.

I’m a fan of the show. My first Doctor was Tom Baker, though I was quite young and don’t remember those episodes clearly. I’ve seen many other arguments in many comments sections against the selection that have nothing to do with sexism. Many have been from women as well. Here are a couple of points:

1. Out of Character

For 50 years The Doctor has regenerated as male. One might assume the being has a preference and to suddenly change genders is out of character after 50 years. The fact that Missy was a thing doesn’t matter. The Master has always operated differently and assumes whatever form best fits whatever devious plans its brewing. Not so with The Doctor. He is also shown as male as a child, which could suggest that’s his natural state since birth.

2. Tradition

Some people balk at the idea of tradition, but others love it. Tradition has been broken and for some it might feel like the first Christmas after their father has died. But The Doctor has already been female. Given that was a comedy special, maybe it’s not really part of the canon?

3. Acting Ability

Several have suggested she is out of her league in this role. I haven’t seen her act, so I don’t know if this is accurate. Again, the BBC said she did an amazing job at the audition.

4. Loss of a Male Role Model

People really like to laugh at this one, but The Doctor is an important one since so many leading males in programs are rather brutish dicks. The Doctor shows males it’s cool to care about people and have feelings.

I don’t feel like I need The Doctor to change genders. There are plenty of other shows with strong female leads. And this move isn’t revolutionary. I watched Night of the Living Dead, which is quite old and the leads were a black male and a white woman. Mad Max Fury Road has another strong woman. Orphan Black, Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica and more all have strong female leads. Game of Thrones is chock full of strong females. Maybe I’d care more if I lived in Britain, but it’s not like it was stopping women and girls from cosplaying as The Doctor.

Yes, there is lore and history of other Time Lords switching things up. That’s one of the main arguments that it should have happened by now. Perhaps that is  one thing that gives more weight to that argument. In all of the posts I’ve read, I found this one to be the best on why we needed a female doctor. I’ve been that female subject matter expert in the room with all males who’d prefer me act as a secretary while they talk about the important things that are too complex for my tiny female brain to possibly understand.

A small group of people think it should have been a black transgender female. To which many have suggested to write a pilot for a Sci-Fi show with a black transgender female if you feel it’s important. That’s not really a far fetched idea. Hell, you could even take a page from BET and make your own television network. You could crowdfund it too.

On the change of race element, there are white Klingons if you want to look at other TV shows. I don’t know about the history of Gallifreyans having other races. So far they have only been depicted as white as I’ve seen. I’m not sure if there is canon somewhere to change that. But I suppose the writers decide what is canon and if they write it, it will become canon.

People love to highlight the “outrageous” comments by men, but I’ve seen plenty from men who have said they care far less about what genitals The Doctor has and far more about the acting ability and the writing on the show. They’ve said its purpose is entertainment, so it better continue to be entertaining. They were white males too.

To some degree, I don’t enjoy that The Doctor changes at all. Theoretically it’s awesome, but it took me about half a season to accept that David Tennant was gone. I still miss him. I liked Capaldi until the most recent season. Perhaps it’s the companion, Bill Potts. I mean, she could except that he has a time travel machine that is bigger on the inside and that he’s an alien, but couldn’t believe he has two hearts? Really?

Anyway, it will take a couple of episodes before I can tell if Jodie has potential and likely a few more for me to like her. People have been saying that if you can’t accept this change, you aren’t a true Whovian. Bullshit. True Whovians nearly always hate the new doctor until something awesome happens that convinces them the new actor is, “THE BEST DOCTOR EVER!”

And there are a bunch of people saying it really doesn’t matter since it’s a TV show. Entertainment can have wide impact on people though. If that wasn’t true, people wouldn’t still be mourning Alan Rickman or Robin Williams or Kurt Cobain, Elvis, and many more.

Also, for thousands of years change meant death. That instinct is still in humans just like the instinct for cats to eat their dead owners. You might not like it and think it’s silly, but it’s part of who we are as a species. It’s why LEAN practitioners know to make very small changes in office environments.

There are a bunch of women against this change too. Yes, there are a ton of jerk males as well, but they aren’t the only people upset by the change. I even saw some LGBTQ+ folks saying the change was the wrong call to make. The world is a mosaic of views and when you decide to look at an issue like this and ignore all but one demographic that fits the crap you want to write about, you become part of the problem.

Did you know male suicide rates are higher than female rates? That was in Canada. The same is true in the US. The UK. Australia. Much of the rest of the world shows a similar 3.5 to 1 ratio, though some places have little to no suicide at all. Those are older stats, but interesting nonetheless.

If you don’t care about that fact, perhaps you need to work on your humanity.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that people are going to disagree on this thing and jumping to name calling won’t make anything better. Assuming one element tells the whole story is willful ignorance. Trying to see beyond the knee-jerk reaction and understand where others are coming from is what makes things better.

Get out into the world and interact with real people. Especially those that have differing view points. Echo chambers are sick places to live in. If you have to put others down for you to “progress”, maybe you’re not really as progressive as you think you are.

And no, I haven’t been brainwashed by the patriarchy. Most men simply aren’t evil. And a lot of them died so you could live to call them all assholes today.

The Doctor will be played by a woman for at least this season. We might not be sure of the choice yet, but many of us will come to love her anyway.

Guid cheerio the nou,
R~

Theatrical Tuesday – Orphan Black

TuesdayI started watching this show because it’s on the list of Aurora Award nominees. I’m thoroughly enjoying it. The premise is complex, yet the casting is simple because one actress plays many roles. As a writer, we can see how many different ways we can go with a character, just from watching a couple of episodes. While it is science fiction, the science isn’t so complicated that it takes over the story. The story comes first and the technical details second. It is firstly a story about people and relationships in a strange situation.

With a cast full of strong female characters, it may not appeal to all viewers, but I like it. There’s the soccer mom who enjoys theatre, drugs, and the shooting range; a criminal; a cop; a religious zealot; a transgendered male; a science nerd; a woman who desperately wants to be a mother; and more.

Every time I think I know what’s really going on, they put a twist in.

The production value is decent. It errs on the side of showing less. This may relate to budget as Canadian television programs have to do more with less.

Shows like this may be particularly relevant in a political atmosphere continually focused on identity and what is right or wrong.

If you have time, check out this action-packed story.

Salut,
R~

Theatrical Tuesday – Game of Thrones

TuesdayOver the past couple of years, there has been some negativity following this show because of the sexual assault scenes depicted. Among my author peers, I have an unfavourable opinion when it comes to this. I think the scenes were indeed horrible, but depicting them was the right thing to do.

Why do I feel this way? Well, largely for the same reasons that the actress herself feels: “The more we talk about sexual assault the better, and screw the people who are saying we shouldn’t be putting this on TV and screw the people who are saying they’re going to boycott the show because of it,” she said.

Think about how much discussion on this subject has happened since.

Yes, we’re still struggling to get rapists appropriately punished, but discussing the subject and showing how horrible it is help people see why it’s wrong and bring us closer to appropriate punishments. Not everyone can simply intuit things. Not every person has parents that are actively involved in teaching them right from wrong, but they can get that marriage is supposed to be based on love and there’s no question that what Sansa experienced was not love.

Moreover, this reached people who don’t even watch the show. I’m speculating, but it’s possible that whoever caught Brock Turner in the act was more equipped to know when they were seeing something that wasn’t consensual because it was on their minds having heard about this episode online or at school. But I also wouldn’t be surprised if Brock’s father was like Lucius Malfoy and advised Brock to get some action whenever he could. Not that I’m in anyway excusing Brock for his actions, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he has had a life rather like Draco in Harry Potter.

Regardless, only when highlighted and brought into the open can a festering wound be healed and Hollywood has the power to influence more than any other industry.

Sansa Stark has been through a lot of crap. She began as a shallow girl who cared about nothing more than marrying a prince. She got her wish. She was sent off with Joffrey, who was a whiny and emotionally abusive shithead among other things. Then she was given to Tyrion. When Sansa was married to Tyrion, they also showed what respectful treatment of someone who doesn’t want to have sex can look like and he cared enough to get her away from King’s Landing. She had more bad crap happen to her and it gave her agency. She rose like a queen and handled her rapist by turning one of his favourite tools against him and ensuring he couldn’t hurt anyone else ever again.

Anyway, it’s ludicrous to think that a novel series set where and when this one is wouldn’t have true evils that were prevalent to the point of being acceptable in human history. If we’ve paid attention though, the public outcry shows that this behaviour is far from acceptable today. Maybe someday we won’t need to discuss it because the problem will be resolved, but we haven’t got there yet. There are still judges making bad calls and the rare female who lies and both things are detrimental to the legal side of this issue.

 

Something that causes a disturbance in North America may not rate as newsworthy on another continent and I think everyone should be aware of that. Your fire is not someone else’s fire. Your methods of living are not someone else’s and trying to force them to live in a way that appeases you isn’t right. We don’t live in a dictatorship. Everyone has free will and a different story to tell for reasons you might not understand.

As a writer, I can choose to pretend it’s not happening or I can choose to discuss it. How I discuss it is debatable, but simply preaching leads to people feeling ostracized rather than allowed to talk about an issue. That creates festering wounds.

I personally prefer not to fully show such scenes in my work, but if it’s a necessary story element, I want to get as close as possible so there’s no doubt what is happening. Some things shouldn’t be explained through metaphor. If you’re looking for an author who plays it safe, you won’t like my work whether it’s in film or novel format. I never was the kid who cared about fitting in.

And Game of Thrones has so many wonderful things going for it. The acting, CGI, and musical score are some of the highest quality out there. The fight scenes are also excellent. The writing is too. There are many strong female characters in the show as well. I look forward to its return later this month.

Salut,
R~