WWSP's "The Alternate Boot!"

Friday, July 16, 2004

I'm learning my lines for, 'Free Henry Goodbar, Telepath.' Strange and freaky. I'm sometimes amazed by the things that I choose to write. It's best when the subject and form seems to choose me.

Memorizing lines is all about breaking down the text into 'beats' and learning the 'music' of the words. This is slow, step by step, brick by brick, work. It can really clear your head.

In the play, I have set up an opposition between those I admire: Lennon, Harrison, Sean Flynn, 'the creative kids,' against Nixon, Kissinger, Hoover, men of power and arrogance. 'The Dreamer,' Henry Goodbar is a combination of qualities from the two camps. A man with his head in the clouds, but with an illusion of power and money. Kind of based on Howard Hughes, he's so rich and powerful, he never needs to leave his bedroom. He doesn't live in the world like the rest of us.

Then there's Rashid, a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay. He is another Dreamer, also in isolation, a man with no power, no wealth, who, in effect, lives only in his head.

I've been thinking lately of my influences, my 'precursors.' If I go back to my 'formative years,' I'd have to say that the most profound influences I can trace would be Robert Louis Stevenson's 'Treasure Island,' and Kurt Vonnegut's 'Slaughter-house Five.'

Vonnegut was the one who really fired up my imagination, freed me to experiment. I guess I should credit, or blame, Vonnegut for my inability to tell a story straight.

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