PRODUCTION CONSULTANT?

Despite being somewhat prolific, I don’t considered myself a “writer” by any stretch of the imagination. Correction: I don’t consider myself a GOOD writer by any stretch of the imagination. I write for myself, not for other’s to scrutinize or perhaps, enjoy. My journal would need some serious decoding; I make endless lists; I write nonsensical two person scenes with a Harold Pinter-esque swagger, but not nearly as well. Words turn me on; the thesaurus makes me wet, but linking them together with flow and cohesiveness is not one of my natural talents.

However, I do fashion myself as a creative, artistic person who needs an outlet more frequently than not. In terms of words, I excel with ones other than my own. I possess the uncanny ability to interpret and enliven text (I’m also really modest). The analysis of a scene and/or song brings me about as much pleasure as the actual performance of it (I’m involved in theater, google me!). I love to edit. I love to simplify. I love calling bullshit on arrogant writers who infuse their text with superfluous words for the sake of sounding smart. I was/am the master of this crime, and I’d like to bitchslap all the English teachers who praised me for it.

I feel similarly with regards to my passion: the theater, particularly Musicals (Exit any straight dudes reading). I’ve tried my hand at playwriting/librettist, directing and choreographing with little success. My capabilities are not as creator, but as one who evaluates and critiques creations not my own (There, I said it). I want to use my understanding of dramatic structure and character development to enrich the art, instead of commenting (often bitterly) on it.

Within the past 3 years or so, several producers, production creatives (i.e. directors/choreographers/music directors) and performers have invited me to readings and workshops eager for my feedback. Knowing this, I take notes and expect a discussion over ”coffee” (Cocktails). This is something I really enjoy. I get to see theater (for free) AND figure out ways of improving it. Which leads me to an idea. Ah-Ha Moment #1: Why not hire me, or a group of me’s (frightening) to help develop and improve upon a production. Kind of like a consultant…for a show… a… wait for it…”Show Consultant” or even better, “Production Consultant” (has a more professional ring to it, eh?).

(Cue Theme song. Enter from Stage Right)

Alec Trebek: “The term used for person, or group of people, hired to analyze a piece of theater in various stages of development and give constructive advice on how to enhance it.

Ken Jennings: “What is: Production Consultant.”

Alec Trebek: “Corrrrrrrrect!”

Think about it! Shows usually take an average of six years from pen to stage. That’s a long-ass time! Frequently, many of the creatives are involved from very early on in a production’s inception. They lose a sense of objectivity. Furthermore, the intensity and repetition of the rehearsal process will continue to cloud one’s ability to envision the piece as an audience member for the very first time. Rehearsals are consuming. Its like living in a bubble, and its nearly impossible to see past said bubble. An outside eye, unattached to the day-to-day operations of development is a necessity. 

Last night for example, I saw “The Irish Curse” at the Soho Playhouse. The show has been boppin’ around for years. I first caught wind of it in ‘05 when it played the Fringe Festival. It ran at the Edinburgh Fest, moved around Europe and ultimately came back to downtown Manhattan this March. While entertaining, “The Irish Curse” is flawed. To me, these problems seemed so blatant, and more importantly, repairable. To someone involved, maybe not. The production went on way too long only to affirm its lack of depth. Also, the quantity and rate at which jokes (often one-liners) came darting at us, lessened its comicality and rarely served the plot. Yeah we all love dick jokes; I get it, but as with most comedy, less is often more (even IF we’re talking about cocks!). For the sake of not turning this into a review of “The Irish Curse,” I will shut up now. Cue Segue.

Speaking of turning this into something else, what the fuck just happened? I slumped onto my couch with intentions to elaborate on why I suck as a writer and how writing for a greater audience makes me feel rather exposed. However, I ended up creating a new profession WITH its own Jeopardy question! Can I get a what-what?! How do you like them bananas? Heh, I’m starting to dig this blogging shit.