I was engaged in a very necessary and daily routine earlier...let's just say this is a sitting activity that usually I try to accompany myself with some reading material of some sort.... You get it. Anyway, I found myself without any reading material. Not a problem there's always my trusty BlackBerry with it's handy Twitter and Facebook applications...but, oh, my phone's battery is dead. So, now here I was with nothing to occupy my brain for these next several minutes and I realized that this was going to be a difficult task for me. The very idea that I was nervous about spending some alone time with just my thoughts did not settle well with me (at least no better than the Mexican food I'd had for lunch. Hey-oh!). Could I really not stand the thought of not occupying my mind with twitter or Facebook or something to keep my mind elsewhere.
So, I decided that I would think of a problem that I had to deal with and figure it out over the course of the next few minutes. And, that's just what I did.
The problem: The play that I'm directing for the UIL One Act Play this year is a play called August: Osage County by Tracy Letts. The play is in three acts and there is an unwritten rule in the UIL OAP that you shouldn't have blackouts in your play. The play is only 40 minutes long and you don't want to have to stop the flow of your story with a blackout. It's not always a bad idea, but there are some judges that think it's a no-no. So, I try to avoid blackouts at all costs. Well, many of the scenes in this play would normally call for a blackout to change scenery. One of the main problems I've been having is how to effectively change scenes without a blackout. While sitting in my my throne I began thinking. The play is set in Oklahoma. Oklahoma is on the plains and know for it's America Indian culture. Part of the play actually deals with Native American culture. Perhaps there could be Native American music over lighting effects that try to elicit a feeling of sweeping plains? Well, one of the characters, the housekeeper, is a Native American. Maybe, we can show her throughout the house during the changes. That's it! Johnna, the Native American housekeeper, will be seen working in the house, fixing something, or organizing or moving or doing some type of proactive task during the scene changes to signify both that she is constantly moving in the house, that she is slowly repairing the home and tying the idea back to location of the play.
Then I was done. It is probably the best idea I've had for a play in a very long time and I wouldn't have had it had I been looking at my BlackBerry.
I'm starting to think that these bits of technology that we think are making our lives better aren't actually preventing us from being and creating and thinking. I'm actually pretty sure that this can happen. And does happen.