Friday, June 19, 2015
Today I am grateful for writing play. Not playwriting. Writing play. Many of the sessions at the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference are some fun, but intense because the learning is like a run-away roller coaster. One board member, Jim, held a session that was a blast.
If you’ve ever heard of the game Cards Against Humanity you will have some idea of the madness in the writing exercise. A large crowd of writers played it with a twist, with Jim pulling a card and giving us a clue and us writing like crazy people for five minutes while others in the session screamed odd stuff at us. The pressure! The writer’s cramp!
The first clue was something like Forty Billion Dollars. I, of course, wrote what I’d do with it, not the least of which was to purchase the US government and elect officials who didn’t have their heads up their butts. Profound stuff. I panicked, okay? Another guy, wearing a fantastic Hawaiian shirt, wrote he’d get a different shirt, which cracked me up so much I’m still thinking about it, so I felt somewhat validated. He’s a comedian in New York clubs. Good. He should be. But others wrote actual stories. Real stories. Earthy, emotional, poetic stories. Wow!
Hawaiian shirt and I, along with all but three of the others, were voted out very quickly, leaving three writers for the last question and the chance at winning the crown or tiara. I was never so glad to lose! Their question was, “Here is the church, here is the steeple, open the door and. . ..” We, the losers and rest of the audience, started shouting totally inappropriate stuff at the writers. Nothing is more fun than being inappropriate! After five minutes they had to read their missives.
When Todd read his piece, about a gay son and rainbows and wait, no, it’s a Schull, “Oy Vey!” and I’m paraphrasing badly, so I hope he posts the entire thing, I was rolling on the floor, alternately laughing and trying to explain “Oy Vey” to the woman next to me how didn’t know what it was. How do you explain “Oy Vey”? Especially when you’re hysterical?
Clearly it was one of the best writing play sessions I’ve ever been part of. . . even if I didn’t win the crown! Oy vey!