I wrote a murder mystery dinner theater play.
It was performed at my church as a fundraiser.
It was so fun, funny and awesome....if I do say so myself!
The whole experience made my head all full of thoughts. I thought I would spill a few of them here.
First the negative stuff:
1. Whenever I saw pictures of the performances that people snapped, all I thought was....wow....I am really big, and by big....I mean....fat.
2. It is really hard to focus on your own "stuff" and feel like you are being a good mom/wife. But, sometimes, I really, really wanted to just focus on my stuff anyway.
3. Nobody from my family - near or far - got to see it. (My big girls got to see a bit of it, because they were helping as waitresses, but that is it. Rainman worked all weekend. D-man, piddled around and didn't get tickets. My little kids all turned down the chance to come because their other option was having a play date with the pastor's kids. They picked the play date. My mom, sisters and all of that family, live out of state...so...)
Now, the positive stuff:
This was really, really fun, even though......
Writing it took months, because I had to carve out little chunks of time either at a coffee place or in the basement. I tried to do some writing in my living room amidst my normal life, but I had a really hard time keeping my characters and their quirks straight when I had that many interruptions. Plus, I couldn't stop tweaking it. I would think of stuff in bed at night that I wanted to add or change. Honestly, I think I could have tweaked and revised it forever.
But, the deadline loomed, so, I had to, once and for all, finish it and send it to the head of the murder mystery night at my church to see what she thought. We had set our deadline early enough that if she hated it/didn't like it/didn't think it would work that she still had time to try and find one to buy for their performance
I was so nervous.
I really thought it was good. Funny even. At least, inside my head. But, would other people get it?
She got it and even said she loved it.
We moved to the point where we distributed the script to the members of our church that had agreed to be actors. (The casting process is a very hush-hush, secretive thing. You don't tell people that you are in the play, or that you were even asked to consider being in the play. You don't talk about the play. You don't talk about costumes or the script. You keep the secret and nobody gets hurt. You know?) Anyway, the list of people that had agreed to be part of the cast was varied - a judge, a librarian, a pilot, an engineer, an owner of a local company, an interior designer. You get the idea. Cool, smart, busy people were going to read my work and pass judgment on it. I nervously anticipated the first rehearsal. (Each step I took in this process brought more and more of my insecurities into the forefront.)
Oh my word, Christian people can be funny. Really funny.
Most of them took the characters from my head and added and embellished and made them just as funny, if not funnier, when they delivered the lines. A few weren't quite how I pictured them, but it was funny anyway.
And, let me tell you, these people went all out with their personally created costumes. I had given them ideas of what I thought would work for their characters, but they were on their own for shopping thrift stores in putting their costumes together. We had fake boobs, fake butts, fake pec implants, fake tattoos, fake piercings, and lots of lots of fake hair.
We had two performances and both nights, I got nervous all over again. What if people hated it? What if they didn't get my jokes? What if everyone had the killer figured out before the end?
But, I wasted all those nerves, because people liked it...even before it was announced that I wrote it. They danced. They laughed. They applauded. Most hadn't figured out the real killer until it was announced. Whew!
All in all, it was a nerve-wracking blast...top to bottom!
Want to see a few pictures?
I even wrote the play so I could have a chance to sing a little too. How cool is my guitar player in his pinstriped suit and fedora?!?
I was introduced to the crowd after the performances as...."local author".....blah, blah, blah. I tuned most of the rest of it out. All I heard was those ever important two words.....
I like the sound of that.