I think I’ve done a silly thing.
Admittedly, my history isn’t short of silly things done, said, or apologised profusely for. But this is a case of knowingly ignoring reservations and that tiny voice saying “Don’t do it, you fool!”, but signing up all the same.
It’s the Blak Yak 24 Hour Theatre Project, and after previous involvement as an actor, this time I’m taking it on as a writer.
So what does it involve?
A whole bunch of theatre types turn up to be randomly assigned to groups – one writer, one director, then a random number of actors – and given a common random topic. A brief get-to-know-you ensues, where the actors tell the writer all their brilliant ideas, to which the writer nods their head, smiles, and completely ignores them.
The writer then toddles off home to subject his or her self to 12 hours of frantic terror, handing in a script for a 15 minute play early the next morning. The director and actor then block, rehearse, and finally perform the piece that evening.
So, no pressure then.
This Friday it begins. And just to complicate things, I’ll be stepping straight out of the car from a long distance trip.
Tactics? Well, I considered swotting up on the volunteered topics so far and devise something in advance, but there’s about twenty-odd, so that’s more trouble than it’s worth. Alternatively, I could find some old half-finished piece then massage it to vaguely approach whatever topic is picked. But nah, all the fun is in testing yourself.
I feel reasonably able to hit the ground running, given my writing group’s weekly sessions start with a 5 minute free-writing exercise to a random topic that often gives surprisingly usable results. There are a lot of 5 minutes in 12 hours, so something decent has to crop up surely. Surely.
I’ll attempt to blog during the 12 hour writing process to give an “in the moment” perspective on the ordeal, then again after the completed performance when the wine and/or recriminations are flowing.