t.j. davis

Someone wrote an article about me and my personal issues


So I got this email from Lifehack yesterday titled "20 Things To Remember If You Love A Highly Creative Person."  Normally my thought process upon seeing such an article would be something like: "Oh they want people to click on this link because there are a lot of people (including me) who would like to believe that they're creative but I've read articles like this before and although some of the stuff is true and useful, most of it I can't relate to sooooo ... delete."  Yes.  Yes I think in horribly constructed run-on sentences.

Buuuut, for some reason I opened up the email and clicked on the link and without exception I saw myself in each of the 20 problems/issues/warnings etc that they listed.  It helps me to lay things out in front of my face and see the reasons behind what's happening and that's what this article does for me.  It shows me some of the things I need to work on and explains a little about why I have those issues in the first place.

Maybe I AM a creative person after all instead of the poser that I often see in the mirror when I'm try to do something unique.  (that's an issue for another blog post:)

Here is a link to the article.  I've also pasted all of the text below.  Hope it helps you or makes your world better in some way!
---
    There’s no argument anymore. Neuroscience confirms that highly creative people think and act differently than the average person. Their brains are literally hardwired in a unique way. But that gift can often strain relationships. I’ve seen it firsthand while working with New York Times bestselling authors and Grammy-winning musicians.
    If you love a highly creative person, you probably experience moments when it seems like they live in a completely different world than you. Truth is, they do. But trying to change them isn’t nearly as effective as trying to understand them.
    It all begins by seeing the world through their lens and remembering these 20 things:

    1. They have a mind that never slows down.

    The creative mind is a non-stop machine fueled by intense curiosity. There is no pause button and no way to power it down. This can be exhausting at times but it is also the source of some crazy fun activities and conversations.

    2. They challenge the status quo.

    Two questions drive every creative person more than any others: What if? and Why not? They question what everyone else takes at face value. While uncomfortable for those around them, it’s this ability that enables creatives to redefine what’s possible.

    3. They embrace their genius even if others don’t.

    Creative individuals would rather be authentic than popular. Staying true to who they are, without compromise, is how they define success even if means being misunderstood or marginalized.

    4. They have difficulty staying on task.

    Highly creative people are energized by taking big mental leaps and starting new things. Existing projects can turn into boring slogs when the promise of something new and exciting grabs their attention.

    5. They create in cycles.

    Creativity has a rhythm that flows between periods of high, sometimes manic, activity and slow times that can feel like slumps. Each period is necessary and can’t be skipped just like the natural seasons are interdependent and necessary.

    6. They need time to feed their souls.

    No one can drive cross-country on a single take of gas. In the same way, creative people need to frequently renew their source of inspiration and drive. Often, this requires solitude for periods of time.

    7. They need space to create.

    Having the right environment is essential to peak creativity. It may be a studio, a coffee shop, or a quiet corner of the house. Wherever it is, allow them to set the boundaries and respect them.

    8. They focus intensely.

    Highly creative people tune the entire world out when they’re focused on work. They cannot multi-task effectively and it can take twenty minutes to re-focus after being interrupted, even if the interruption was only twenty seconds.

    9. They feel deeply.

    Creativity is about human expression and communicating deeply. It’s impossible to give what you don’t have, and you can only take someone as far as you have gone yourself. A writer once told me that an artist must scream at the page if they want a whisper to be heard. In the same way, a creative person must feel deep if they are to communicate deeply.

    10. They live on the edge of joy and depression.

    Because they feel deeply, highly creative people often can quickly shift from joy to sadness or even depression. Their sensitive heart, while the source of their brilliance, is also the source of their suffering.

    11. They think and speak in stories.

    Facts will never move the human heart like storytelling can. Highly creative people, especially artists, know this and weave stories into everything they do. It takes longer for them to explain something, explaining isn’t the point. The experience is.

    12. They battle Resistance every day.

    Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art, writes:
    “Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.”
    Highly creative people wake up every morning, fully aware of the need to grow and push themselves. But there is always the fear, Resistance as Pressfield calls it, that they don’t have what it takes. No matter how successful the person, that fear never goes away. They simply learn to deal with it, or not.

    13. They take their work personally.

    Creative work is a raw expression of the person who created it. Often, they aren’t able to separate themselves from it, so every critique is seen either as a validation or condemnation of their self-worth.

    14. They have a hard time believing in themselves.

    Even the seemingly self-confident creative person often wonders, Am I good enough? They constantly compare their work with others and fail to see their own brilliance, which may be obvious to everyone else.

    15. They are deeply intuitive.

    Science still fails to explain the How and Why of creativity. Yet, creative individuals know instinctively how to flow in it time and again. They will tell you that it can’t be understood, only experienced firsthand.

    16. They often use procrastination as a tool.

    Creatives are notorious procrastinators because many do their best work under pressure. They will subconsciously, and sometimes purposefully, delay their work until the last minute simply to experience the rush of the challenge.

    17. They are addicted to creative flow.

    Recent discoveries in neuroscience reveal that “the flow state” might be the most addictive experience on earth. The mental and emotional payoff is why highly creative people will suffer through the highs and lows of creativity. It’s the staying power. In a real sense, they are addicted to the thrill of creating.

    18. They have difficulty finishing projects.

    The initial stage of the creative process is fast moving and charged with excitement. Often, they will abandon projects that are too familiar in order to experience the initial flow that comes at the beginning.

    19. They connect dots better than others.

    True creativity, Steve Jobs once said, is little more than connecting the dots. It’s seeing patterns before they become obvious to everyone else.

    20. They will never grow up.

    Creatives long to see through the eyes of a child and never lose a sense of wonder. For them, life is about mystery, adventure, and growing young. Everything else is simply existing, and not true living.

Bandito's life starting to mirror my own (again:)


This was my "office" on campus in the library today.  I like coming up here cause I get to  ride my longboard from my truck.  I got one for myself for Easter.  Random I know, but not boring or normal:)

I spent an hour in the car with Erin yesterday on the way to "Once" (which was incredible btw) talking more about this new story idea.  It's something I can write passionately because it's kind of a version of what I'm going through.  I told Erin yesterday, "Don't let me do this again.  Don't let me try to write another show.  It's too hard and I don't like what it does to me."  She was amazing as usual and reminded me that I've been through this stage before.  Many (too many) times in fact.  She reminded me to find what I love about the process and to look for ways to make it fun.  The next 6 weeks are gonna be he double hockey sticks on one hand but I have to make it fun for me.  I have to be able to get excited about what I'm doing.  Today I was excited about it in spurts.  I got the general outline of the story worked out.  There are still things that need adjusting and tweaked and a whole lot of the stuff in between that needs to be worked out.

I'm not sure if I was serious when I told her that I didn't want to do this anymore.

Bandito, in this story, has reached a certain level of success and competency and is regarded as someone very successful and unique, but he's bored with it.  It doesn't excite him like it used to.  It stresses more than it excites.  He feels a pull towards something else although he's not sure what.  Of course it ends up being rap music.  He was destined to pursue a  music career.  The details are certainly not the same, but that's what I'm going through.  Do I want to end up where this road is taking me?  Do I need to start creating a slightly different road?  Am I built for a truly entrepreneurial life where I start businesses and build them for a couple of years and then sell them?  Maybe.  I think I'm a pretty "stick to it" kind of a guy, but some of my life history would suggest otherwise.  Maybe I need a big change every once in a while.  Maybe my creativity is stifled by just trying to write musicals and even more boxed in by writing only Juanito Bandito musicals.  I have other ideas for other creative projects I want to try.  Things I would spend time watching/listening to etc.

Anyhoo, here is the outline as of this very second to document the progression of the show:

4-8-15

Juanito Bandito is at the top of his gang.  He lives in the middle of nowhere with his new business partner, MAGNUS Ankleburt III.  Magnus is his sidekick, waits on him, advises him etc.  He has worked all his life to become the baddest bad guy in the history of the world and his goal has been realized.  He wonders why it doesn’t feel more awesomer to be this awesome.  What if you work super hard to make something happen only to reach the peak and then realize that it’s not the peak you were meant to reach.  There is something else out there, but what?  What is this feeling inside telling me that there is a calling for em.  A great work I am meant to accomplish.  This is all spoken in a rap song at the beginning of the show, in the end he speaks with MAGNUS and asks him what he was meant to do.  MAGNUS says I don’t know but that was a really sick beat.  Ding!  That’s it.  I was meant to be a rap artist. 

Mentions that he dabbled in the idea in the early nineties.  I used to do mashups before mashups were cool.  A different take on popular songs.  Does a couple of them.

MAGNUS and he discuss the possibilities.  Scale of one to ten, how good of a rapper am I?  11.  But to really tip the scales and make a dent in the music world you need something special.  An “it” factor.  You need your own special “schtick” if you will.  I need a stick?  No not stick.  Schtick.  A gimmick, a stunt, some kind of secret weapon, ploy that makes you stand out in the world.  I mean seriously how many semi-fictional Spanish villain rappers are there in the world?  I dunno but probably a lot.  It’s so cliche.  You need to come up with something to help yourself stand out.  How many gun-toting, evil-minded, law-evading rappers are there in the world.  I dunno, how many?  A lot.  Really?  Really.  Former semi-fictional Spanish outlaw turned rapper, please.  You guys are a dime a dozen.

Think about it:

Eminem: whiteness
JayZ: wife
Gaga: meat dress
Miley Cyrus: the unnecessary nudity and random sticking out of the tongue
Pharrell: the stupid looking hat
Snoop:  the hair
Michael Jackson: the fact that you couldn’t understand a word of what he sang
What’s my schtick?

I was doing what I usually do on a tuesday morning, updating my fb and catching up with my thousands of friends when I came upon this youtube video and I found my stick.  Schtick.  Right, that’s what I said.  It was my gimmick, my way of standing out.  Check it out, I’ll play the video for you.  Can you all see?  Here I’ll come a little closer.  Can everybody see?  Check it out.

Plays an intro video that looks like it’s going to be about viagra but it’s about something entirely different.  20 seconds. 

Pause.  Okay are you ready for this?  No, that wasn’t my schtick, that was one of those ads that plays before the videos.  Here it is.

It’s a promo video for LINDSEY and AMOS.  At the end it says, call now to book LINDSEY in your town.  So I did, I booked LINDSEY and it was amazing!

Bigger number with LINDSEY and AMOS dancing.  Tuh duh!  Blackout.

BANDITO has invited AMOS and LINDSEY to his home.  PIETRA is serving them tacos and magnus is waiting on them.  BANDITO says the show is awesome but can I be frank?  It’s not what it could be.  What do you mean?  I mean, with a the right kind of vision from the right kind of person, you could be big time.  No more living life on the road from town to town, we’ll get people to come from all around the world to get a glimpse of LINDSEY and her special skills.  How much money are we talking?  Slides it across table.  Are you serious?  And that’s only gonna be in year number 1.  With the right marketing and the right angle, LINDSEY will be more popular than Wicked.  What do you mean angle?  Well, not so much an angle, but with the right person.  Which person?  This is hard to say, but can I be frank?  You’re holding the act down.  You need someone who can stand up next to Lindsey’s star power.  Someone who has already created a name for himself in the world, albeit illegally.  You?  Okay, I accept.  Wait.  If you insist.  You want to take over my act.  Don’t worry, you can open for us.  And we’ll give you a cut of the profits.  How much?  What do you say we split it right down the middle 80-20.  80 20?  80 for me, 20 for you.  If you don’t mind, how did you come up with those numbers?  Basically I took an objective measure of our own individual overall awesomeness and that’s what it comes out to ... roughly.  80-20.  Wait a minute.  Or we could go by height?  80-20.  You are not 4 times taller than me.  Overall quality of facial hair?  However you look at it, 80-20.  What do you think?  My associate has drawn up the contract (something going on with LINDSEY), all you have to do is sign on the line.  Mr. Bandito I appreciate your hospitality but I’m going to have to decline.  I don’t think you understand.  Nobody “declines” on Juanito Bandito.  This is a take it or lose it kind of an offer, do you understand?  What? I’m the fastest gun in the world.  Are you threatening me?  Does this answer your question?  Fake gun shot thing with MAGNUS or someone offstage.  Improv funniness.  Thanks but no thanks.  Magnus: well that didn’t go as planned.  Magnus that’s something that’s taken me years to understand.  It’s something my grandmother used to say to me:  Bandito, she would say, stroking her mustache, sometimes things don't go as planned and when that happens, the weak people just give up and don’t try anymore, but if you want to make it happen you have to keep trying because if you don’t keep trying it probably will not happen because nobody is trying to make it happen anymore so it probably isn’t going to happen... anymore.  That’s what she said?  Word for word.  Profound. 

Yes. ... I don’t know what that word means.

Profound? 

Yes.

...... It means ... I’m not really sure what it means either.

The plan is that MAGNUS will be his manager. 

Scene with LINDSEY HILDA and AMOS.  Get in your cage you useless bag of hair.  She makes noise.  You’re hungry are ya?  Here.  Goes to give her food and then eats it himself.  Laughs at her maniacally.  He’s just a big bully.  She whimpers and he slams the cage.  Quiet you worthless sack of fleas!  You think you’re so great don’t you?  Oh, look at me, I’m LINDSEY the dancing monkey, I’m the star of the show, nobody cares about the genius that taught you the steps, the man that choreographed the dance, that put the act together.  No, it’s all about the monkey.  Oh look mommy, a dancing monkey.  But what about the man?  What man?  I only see the monkey!  Can I be frank Mr. Moody, go ahead frank.  Your act is mediocre at best.  LINDSEY needs someone who can stand up to her star power.  You’re useless.  You’re second best.  etc!

He suddenly gets notification from Lord Wilkshire that he agrees to the price and he would like to arrange a meeting to finalize the deal.  They’re super excited cause they’re gonna be rich.  Maybe they sing a song about no more monkey business.  We don’t learn what Mr. Wilkshire will do with the monkey but we get a sense that it is not good.

She whimpers again about the food.  Quiet!  You’re hungry?  Well you’d better enjoy that sensation while it lasts because sooner than later you won’t be feeling hungry anymore.  You won’t be feelin’ anything.  You’ll be feeling d-!  Who goes there?  Checks around.  BANDITO has heard part of the rant.  Not another word.  You’re nothin’ without me, you hear me?  Nothin’!  Beds down for the night. 

BANDITO sneaks in and opens the cage and LINDSEY escapes.  AMOS wakes up just in time to see BANDITO running off.

Next day, BANDITO has been up all night with MAGNUS trying to find LINDSEY.  No luck.

AMOS enters with DARCY.  She’s the prosecuting attorney in the fed’s case against BANDITO.  I advise you to return the man’s gorilla and the court will be more likely to give you a plea deal that does not involve a short drop and a sudden stop.   

You and what army?  The united states army to be exact.  What?  The president decided that this monkey kidnapping was the last straw so he dispatched from Washington his most trusted US marshall at the head of 100 armed cavalrymen.  They’ll be here within the week.

I’ll face them head on, how many are there?  100.  I will not face them head on.  I will run.

Run wherever you like but these men have been instructed to bring you back dead or alive.  Preferably dead.  Run or hide, you’re finished.  Your days of outlaw freedom are numbered Mr. Bandito.  I’m sorry to tell you.

MAGNUS and BANDITO discuss what to do.  MAGNUS has a plan that is ridiculous.  BANDITO says let’s find the monkey.

DARCY has invited BANDITO to dinner at PIETRA taco truck.  BANDITO asks for a second plate.  PIETRA says this is the last of the beef, I’ll have to kill another cow.  DARCY is fascinated by BANDITO.  Completely different than before.  Hair down, glasses off.  She’s genuinely interested in his story. 

BANDITO says but what about you.  You’re pretty good at this prosecuting thing?  I’m the best.  Really.  Yes.  I’ve never lost.  I can’t lose, I’m too good.  I could get a jury to convict mother teresa.  Says that there’s always been something more she feels like she should be doing. 

Song about how she convicts the criminals, some of the baddest outlaws of the west and as they go off to prison she kind of wishes she could trade them lives.  Not for the robbing and the cheating and the killing, but for the freedom.  For once I wanna wake up not knowing what I’m going to do that day.  I want to run from the authorities with the wind at my back.  She feels like there’s adventure out there to be had.

BANDITO says I’ve got a business proposition for you.  Help me out with this teeny weeny plan to get me out of Peligro alive and I’ll offer you a spot on his creative team for his rap career.  She will replace MAGNUS because BANDITO doesn’t trust him.  Whispers the plan to her.  She says that’s crazy but genius.  Would it work?  Says there will be some illegalities involved but it will be an adventure.  She thinks about it but declines.  I have to honor my commitment and then I’ll think about it.  You mean after I’m convicted and dead.  Yes.  Once your dead I will consider your offer.

DARCY leaves.  PIETRA comes running out chasing LINDSEY the cow!  BANDITO calms him and says this isn’t a cow, it’s a unicorn. ???  You can’t eat unicorns, it’s very bad luck.  Takes LINDSEY from PIETRA.

Shows LINDSEY his apartment and tells her that tomorrow we will be off on a great adventure.  Speaks to her like a normal human and she responds in such a way that BANDITO isn’t sure if she understands or not.  Pretty sure not, but just in case he includes her anyway.

BANDITO gives LINDSEY food cause she’s been starving.  She likes the stuff in his room.  Skateboard, basketball hoop, trumpet, guitar.  MAGNUS comes in and BANDITO says I’ve got the monkey.  Now what?  I don’t know.  That’s your job.  You’re the manager.  Do you have an airplane?  No.  Dang.  A motorcycle?  No.  Those little ice cream dots that are frozen and delicious?  Dippin’ dots?  Yes.  What does that have to do with anything?  Sorry I’m a little hungry.  Let’s sleep on it and I’ll have a plan by tomorrow.

Time for sleep now.  She steals his cot when he gets up to get something.  She points to the guitar and BANDITO plays her a lullaby that he used to know.

He falls asleep and she gets up and runs away again.  Takes something funny with her.  Little funny joke at the end and blackout.

INTERMISSION

Same night.  MAGNUS comes to AMOS.  They’ve obviously met before now.  Yes, the monkey is in his house right now.  Let’s go get it.  No, it’s not that simple.  He is the fastest gun in the West.  You can’t just walk in and take his gorilla.  MY gorilla.  Yes of course.  I’m just saying it will require a touch of finesse if you will.  What did you have in mind?  Kill BANDITO.  Kill him?  Song about methods of killing BANDITO.  MAGNUS has fantasized about it for years. 

HILDA comes in and reveals to MAGNUS that they plan to sell LINDSEY to the collector and he’ll skin her and put her in a museum.  MAGNUS is conflicted.  Wait, he’s going to kill LINDSEY?  Yes.  Is that a problem Mr...?  Ankleburt.  Really?  Yes really.  Let me get this straight, you want us to help you kill BANDITO and that’s okay but you have a problem with us killing the gorilla?  She’s so cute.  You’re messed up.  But I like it.

Reprise of the song when they convince him to heck with it, let’s get it done.  You can have BANDITO’s money and go down in history as the one who killed the infamous BANDITO.  Woohoo!  Does DARCY overhear???

The next morning MAGNUS comes into BANDITO house telling him he has an amaaaaazing plan.  An incredible plan.  A plan so perfect it couldn’t be more perfect.  We’re talking super duper perfect.  What is it?  I’ll tell you but first you must drink your morning tea.  Tea?  I don’t drink tea.  Wait, where’s the monkey?  The monkey?!  DARCY comes in and tries to get BANDITO not to drink the tea.  I need to speak to you in private.  Regarding what we spoke about last night.  MAGNUS can you give us some privacy?  He covers his ears.  She’s not convinced.  MAGNUS we know you can still hear us.  If you can still hear us don’t smile.  Don’t smile when I make this sound.  Silliness.  Magnus please can you give us some real privacy?!  Of course, I’m sorry.  Covers his hears and says nah nah nah etc.  BANDITO turns to DARCY as if that’s thee way it is always done and she says, do not drink the tea.  Says it in a smiley way laughing so that MAGNUS doesn’t know what she’s saying.

Should Darcy overhear and have a part in this scene or should she just end up in the next scene?

MAGNUS accidentally drinks the drink and dies. 

Transition quickly to the end of MAGNUS’s funeral.  There’s some sort of argument about the monkey, AMOS is about to kill BANDITO but LINDSEY jumps in and saves him.  Standoff between AMOS and BANDITO and DARCY unexpectedly shoots him in the back.  He falls dead.  That takes care of that. 

GARRETT enters looking for BANDITO.  He’s dead.  Good.  one more problem, what bout the murder?  She frames AMOS for MAGNUS’s murder.  Flatters GARRETT into believing her.  He exits with AMOS as his prisoner.  PIETRA and HILDA finally get together.

They're gone and we learn that BANDITO was faking.  DARCY and her were in on it together.  You’re going to live the life of an outlaw now, are you tough enough?

MANAGER enters and offers BANDITO a contract based on his first silly mashup videos.  Says he wants just BANDITO and not the monkey.  You don’t need a schtick.  You’re all the schtick you need.  Maybe a joke about how he’s an outlaw with no moral compass etc kind of joke.  You’re a perfect rapper.  Sign here.  Signing bonus.  How much?  Slides paper across to DARCY. BANDITO declines the offer.  Says he’s gonna schtick with LINDSEY.

Man is upset.  You’ll never make it with a monkey on your back.  For the record I thought you were smarter than that. 

DARCY asks if he has this money with him.  He says yes, she pulls gun, how would you like to become the first investor in BANDITO rap career?

Now you’re getting it!

Big ending rap number.  Do the monkey with a specific dance move and a catchy hook.

1 Hr with the Diesel

So I spent one hour on Skype with Derek today and we decided that the outline was unclear.  We need to be able to see what Bandito wants at the beginning and see him either 1. accomplish his goal, 2. not accomplish his goal, or 3. realize that his goal wasn't worthy and that he should focus on something else.  This is the general idea I have today:

Outline 4-7-15

BANDITO has reached the pinnacle of his outlaw game.  He feels like there is nothing left to accomplish.  Nowhere left to go and he’s bored with it.  Yes I’m awesome at being a bad guy, no duh, but there is a voice deep inside me that tells me I was meant for something else.  Time has come to turn the page on this chapter of my life and start doing what I was meant to do.  I was meant to be a rap artist.

Sees a youtube video of AMOS and LINDSEY and at the end it says, contact us to book LINDSEY and AMOS in your town today. 

They come, do their show, BANDITO invites them to dinner.  Offers to take over 70-30.  AMOS declines.  BANDITO threatens. 

BANDITO goes to steal LINDSEY but she’s gone.  AMOS blames BANDITO and calls the authorities.

DARCY comes to investigate.  She’s good.  Is sure it’s BANDITO and tells him to turn in the monkey and his sentence will be lessened.  Otherwise he’s toast.  Can’t run.  He’s doomed.

MAGNUS says let’s get out of here and BANDITO says ok, but first we have to find that monkey.  I’m not leaving without LINDSEY.

DARCY reveals that she’s not super happy with her job either.  Has always thought there was something more exciting out there.  Yes, I’m good at it, but there’s got to be something more...  You work super hard to achieve a goal and then once you get it you realize that it’s only a stepping stone.

BANDITO offers DARCY a cut of his business plan.  80-20?.  She considers it and then refuses. 

BANDITO finds that PIETRA has the monkey/cow.  He buys the cow from PIETRA. 

BANDITO takes LINDSEY home and says that tomorrow they’re going to run away.  AMOS barges in.  He’s heard that BANDITO has the monkey.  BANDITO denies it. 

Magnus convinces him that running away is a dumb plan because they’ll be caught and even if they do get away, he’s got a monkey.  What’s he going to do with the monkey?

DARCY suddenly shoots BANDITO in the back.  She frames AMOS for murder and the others leave.

BANDITO and DARCY were in on the plan together.  DARCY has the monkey and they’re going to be business partners.  Aren’t you going to send in a resignation?  They’ll figure it out.  I’m on to more exciting adventures.  Business manager for a brand new Rap artist.  El Bandito.  Sounds cheesy.  He’s got a monkey backup dancer that’s incredible.  Right now I just need to find a place to stay.  You can stay next door.  As long as the neighbors don’t have any weird pets.


In the end:
BANDITO saves LINDSEY from a terrible fate
DARCY leaves her job for a more exciting life
BANDITO learns that you don’t need a shtick.  Juanito Bandito is a shtick enough by himself without any dancing monkeys.
AMOS gets his justice for his bad intentions
MAGNUS dies because he poisons himself trying to kill BANDITO.
DARCY uses her skills as a negotiator to negotiate the COLLECTOR being an investor in BANDITO’s career.

idea: DARCY spends her time catching the bad guys.  Every once in a while she fantasizes about being the bad guy.  Not to do bad guy kind of stuff, but for the adventure.  Riding through uncharted territories.  Living on the land.  New places, new people, excitement.


-I have a testimony of Derek:)  What would I do without him?!

Frustrating day

Today was another rough one.  Days like today make me want to give up and never try to write a show ever again.  Pretty frustrated and trying not to panic.  This "trying not to panic" is a feeling that I am used to.  It is easier now because Erin understands that things are about to get crazy and I will essentially have to "check out" of life for a while in order to birth this show.  She's seen it before and she's been through it.  I have confidence that she will still love me when it's all said and done.  Still having said that, it makes me want to never do it again.

I have tried my very best since January 1 and even before then to come up with a story that I liked with characters that are interesting, but now, several months closer to the deadline, it seems sometimes that very little work has been done.  Here's to a better day tomorrow and an awesome week of writing miracles.

Below is the outline and letter I just sent Derek.  Hoping that he can skype with me tomorrow and help me come up with some solutions.  He's a good psychologist for me as a writer.

Subject: Outline

HeyDies,  so I am struggling with this outline.  The overall story doesn't seem clear to me.  I've got good, fun ideas for each of the moments in the show and maybe that's all we need, but I keep asking myself, "What is the real story I want to tell here?"  Is there a meaningful message?  Does there need to be one?  Can you extract a meaning from what we've got here?  Ahhhh... #scriptdoctorneeded #that'syou
--
Outline 4/6/15

SCENE: preshow-3
-BANDITO meets the audience-
-A little bit about this show you’re about to watch ... it’s  ... it’s pretty good.  Definitely above average.  And the reason I say that is because of the end what happens.  I don’t want to give anything away, but it’s ... it’s not good for me let’s just say that.  I get chooted, okay?  There I said it.  I get chooted with a gun and it’s not pretty.  So just try to forget about that during the show but when we get close to the end, just don’t be surprised when I get chooted.  Okay?  Be prepared.  The army motto.
-Have to somehow make it okay for him to be shot at the end so that people aren’t disturbed from the story.  So the story doesn’t end when he dies.
-He alludes to the existence of LINDSEY.  Maybe some strange animal noises coming from offstage.  Not now, it’s not your turn to come on yet. etc
-These things get them anticipating some events in the future.

SONG: WELCOME TO PELIGRO-4
-The characters are introduced quickly (the ones who live in Peligro which are MAGNUS (kicked out of royal family, 27th in line to the throne, apprentice to BANDITO), PIETRA (1/4 goblin, 3/4 man, runs taco truck) and HILDA, they sell exotic meat fish tacos, no not fish today, chicken, the fish is all gone.  The meat keeps changing.).  The premise of the town is set up.  They’re an outlaw town where the authorities don’t dare go. 

Peligro, where the king makes all the rules.  Hail to the king, hail to me!

-They’re not even recognized by the country.  They’re a self-governed community of thieves.  BANDITO is the king!  Freedom.  No laws!  Bandito loves it so much!  Every man for himself.  Only the strong survive.  This is the life he’s always dreamed of and he loves it cause he is in charge!!!  Yaaaa boy!


SCENE: after the opener-5
-BANDITO is messing around on his phone.  Needs money for something ridiculous.  Magnus!  Why is there no money in my paypal account?  I’m the king of this kingdom and I have no money in my paypal?  You spent it all.  Also Peligro is not really a kingdom.  The land where my family lives is a kingdom. 
-Super-frank convo between MAGNUS and BANDITO, be honest Magnus, you wish that I were dead, do you not?  No.  You don’t wish that right now I would jump off a cliff to my death?  No.  Magnus, be honest with yourself.  I’m just trying to prove a point.  Okay.  Yes I wish you were dead.  You’re the basis of all of my life problems.  If you weren’t around I would be happy.  I could be king. 
-Magnus keeps trying to remind BANDITO that it’s not so much kingdom as a village/township.  You’re at best a mayor and at worst high priest group leader.  Totally bums BANDITO out by the end.  He’s  a king without a kingdom.  A show without an audience, etc
-My kingdom is small.  Bring me the census records.   4.  Population of 4.  It’s lonely at the top.
-Bandito wasted the taxes.  I do not waste it, I invest it.  Online gambling is not investing.  The yes hawks were supposed to win.  You mean the Seahawks?  Si I mean the yes hawks.  Seahawks?  Whichever language you choose it is the same. 
-No offense, your kingshipt, but why don’t you go and do something for a change?  I can’t.  I’m the king.  Rules say that I have to do king stuff all the time. 
-Where has everybody gone?  Captain hook?  Valdemort?  That crazy guy from ...?  All moved on to find a more exciting place to live.  More exciting?  What can be more exciting than a town governed by the people where all of the people have the same values?  What values?  No values at all.  Every man for himself!  Something must be done. 

SONG: peligro reprise- 2
-BANDITO explains how he needs to come up with a plan fast to preserve his way of life.  This dream of Peligro is fading and if I don’t come up with cash, it’s over ...  The town isn’t much, but I built it with my own two hands.  Okay I stood and pointed my gun and made other people do most of the work, but  you get the idea.  It’s called delegating.  Laments: I’ve created a kingdom with no subjects, a play without an audience, etc  His goal is to have people do whatever he says.


SCENE: AMOS enters-3
-Welcome to El Peligro.  El what?  Peligro.  Pelihgro?  No Peligro.  It means Danger in Spanish.  I came up with it myself.  That’s cute.  No it is not cute, it’s awesome.  Awesome with a capital awes.
-he is a trustable, friendly, charismatic showman who invites the town to his traveling spectacle.  What is it?  It’s something you’ve never seen before, I guarantee.

SONG: MEET LINDSEY-5
-we meet LINDSEY, the star of AMOS’s show.  She can dance like a crazy person, but is a true blue gorilla!

SCENE: BANDITO tries to buy LINDSEY-6
-In BANDITO mancave.  BANDITO pitches to AMOS the idea of staying in Peligro and setting up camp. We’ll be the disneyland of the west.  Let’s use my name for marketing power and we’ll split the profits down the middle 70-30.  70-30?  Yes 70 for me, 30 for you.  According to our own individual levels of awesomeness as indicated by the quality of our facial hair. Height.  Stretchiness of our individual pants.  
-Moody says no thanks.  BANDITO grabs his arm.  I’m warning you Mr. Moody, this is a take it or lose it kind of a deal.  Are you threatening me?  Does a quick draw to scare him.  (maybe a messed up one that we improv off of).  Bully him.  Last chance.  No thanks.
-MAGNUS has written up the contract.  Has some funny business with the monkey.  BANDITO says, last chance.  Say yes or I will be taking your gorilla.  AMOS leaves in a hurry.
-Disneyland of the west!
-here we think at first that AMOS doesn’t want to sell LINDSEY cause she’s precious to him as a friend, but that’s not the case.  BANDITO looks like the bad guy.
-Magnus comes in and funny business with the monkey.  Maybe magnus is the money guy.
-we get a small hint that AMOS is mean to her.  Maybe the bit about him offering taco to her and she goes for it, but AMOS says no.  BANDITO insists, AMOS takes it and LINDSEY won’t accept it from him.  BANDITO tries and she accepts.

SONG: MY LIFE IS TOO AWESOME REPRISE-2
-says that LINDSEY is his quest revealed to him by the universe.  Something inside of me is compelling me to kidnap that gorilla.  It says go, go BANDITO and kidnap that monkey. 

SCENE: LINDSEY is missing-2
-AMOS kicks the covered cage.  Speaks rudely to LINDSEY.  Beds down.  BANDITO sneaks in and pulls off cover.  The cage is open, AMOS thinks BANDITO stole it.  Leave magnus out of this scene so that he is a suspect. No need to show that the monkey was stolen.  Leave it up in the air.  AMOS threatens to call authorities.  Go ahead.  The authorities have no authority here.

SCENE: DARCY enters-5
-she is sent to investigate.  BANDITO is surprised that she actually came.  Once the president found out you were here, I was dispatched immediately.  She knows of BANDITO.  What’s this place called?   Peligro.  It means Danger!  Named it myself.  That’s cute.  The government wasn’t staying away from peligro out of fear, they just didn’t know where BANDITO was.  Now that they know, they sent 100 armed cavalrymen to apprehend him. 
-not intimidated by BANDITO and the other outlaws
-says a US Marshall and 100 armed cavalrymen have been dispatched and will be here within the week
-BANDITO says ‘you’re bluffing’ she says, as a rule I do not bluff.
-DARCY knows of BANDITO reputation and she knows he did it.  She’s sure of it. 
-The cavalry will be here in a matter of days.  You can’t outrun them.  Your best bet is to return the gorilla and turn yourself in peacefully.  (How many men?  100.  I could take 100 men.  No actually you couldn’t.)  Otherwise the cavalry will burn this township to the ground and you will die.  You mean this kingdom?  Not so much a kingdom.  They’ll be here in a matter of days.  Think about my offer.

SCENE: magnus vs BANDITO
-MAGNUS vs BANDITO - MAGNUS wants to return the monkey and run.  No that’s just what they want me to do. Also, I don’t have the monkey.  Ya right, wink, sure you don’t.  Why are you winking at me?  That is making me very uncomfortable.  AMOS overhears their conversation.  MAGNUS still thinks BANDITO has it.  AMOS says, Magnus, can I buy you a drink?  They go off to conspire.  

SCENE: BANDITO and DARCY bond-4
-DARCY has invited BANDITO to tacos at PIETRA’s taco stand.
-PIETRA says that this is the last of the meat and that he’s going to have to kill another cow, good thing I’ve got one now, I do.
-she’s completely different.  Glasses off.  Hair down.  Asks for his autograph and is a pretty big fan.  Totally different than when she’s “on the clock”.  Says this is all off-the-record.
-She’s quirky and fun and becomes friends with BANDITO
-He admits a desire for a more normal, less awesome life, and she tells him about how she always sides with the villain

SONG: INSIDE I SORTA SIDED WITH THE VILLAIN-4

SCENE: AFTER DARCY SONG
-DARCY exits
-LINDSEY comes running out of the kitchen with PIETRA chasing her with a knife.  Come back here cow!  I’m sorry to do this to you but people have got to eat, you know?  PIETRA this is not a cow.  BANDITO takes possession of LINDSEY.  PIETRA, you can’t kill this monkey.  Tricks PIETRA into getting  distracted.

SCENE: BANDITO brings LINDSEY home-5
-AMOS bursts in.  LINDSEY hides.  Where is she?  She’s got to be here somewhere!  BANDITO denies it, bullies him out. LINDSEY is afraid of AMOS.
-BANDITO sings LINDSEY to sleep with his guitar.
-As she sleeps he says, “siri, how much money can you make by selling a dancing monkey on craigslist.”  Siri says, “I found 237 burger and fries restaurants near Garden City, Utah.”

SONG: MONKEY LULLABYE-3
-the song indicates that BANDITO has found a true friend that will stick with him and support and love him no matter what.  Kind of cheesy, reassuring LINDSEY that he’s there for her.  This makes the reveal more surprising that he wants to sell her online. 

INTERMISSION


SONG: GOBLIN TACOS-3 Quick hitting opening number, cute and fun - sung to the audience
-features PIETRA and HILDA and maybe LINDSEY.

SCENE: AMOS and MAGNUS team up-
-AMOS reveals to MAGNUS his plan to take LINDSEY back east and sell her to a COLLECTOR that he knows of (a memorable name).  He was heading there when he decided to stop in Peligro.  This traveling stuff is small beans.  You think I enjoy playing second fiddle to a dancing monkey?  This is not my life.  It’s a means to an end.  I’m gonna be a star and step one is getting rid of that monkey.  AMOS plays on MAGNUS’S insecurities and inner desires.  Takes advantage of him.  MAGNUS wants to be the king of peligro.  He’s destined to be king.  It’s in his blood.  AMOS and he say that if they can knock of BANDITO then both of their goals will be accomplished. 
-They decide to kill BANDITO via poison in his cake at the celebration later that night.  MAGNUS says that tonight is BANDITO birthday party.  Oh, is it now?

SONG: HOW TO KILL JUANITO BANDITO-3
-They spitball a bunch of ideas and methods to kill BANDITO.  Every once in a while they say, let’s just shoot him when he’s not looking and then pause and they say naaa, that’ll never work.  PIETRA and HILDA jump in.  What are you planning?  Killing BANDITO.  Oooh fun!  Can we play?  Sure!
-DARCY comes out of hiding, having heard it all, and sings a little reprise of the song, clever.
-BANDITO comes out of hiding with LINDSEY and sings another reprise of the song, even more clever:) He knows that everybody knows. 

SCENE: A dangerous party-4
-Every Thursday the town has to pretend that it is BANDITO birthday party.  Thank you for coming.  Special welcome to our new and temporary friends, AMOS and DARCY.
-BANDITO keeps almost taking a bite of his birthday cake but not quite.  He makes AMOS and MAGNUS sing the second verse of happy birthday before he’ll eat it.  Maybe get someone from audience to join him as special guest.  Invite her to eat the cake, have fun.
-DARCY is trying to protect BANDITO, telling him they need to talk.  She’s been looking all over for him.  He ignores her.  They’re all trying to get him to eat.  He takes several fake bites. 
-Everyone on the stage at once.  A great time for some craziness and improv.

SONG: birthday surprise-2
-with dialog in between clever little verses.
-they come on edge several times as BANDITO almost takes a bite several times.  He’s playing with them.
-Right at the end of the song, MAGNUS falls dead in his cake.  DARCY is appalled.  Says, someone, one of you will pay for this.  BANDITO and AMOS both look confused.

SONG: MAGNUS’S FUNERAL, who killed magnus ankleburt III?
-a reprise of an earlier tune

SCENE: Marshall Garrett enters, BANDITO gets shot
-At end of funeral AMOS is about to shoot BANDITO and LINDSEY appears, saving his life.  It turns into another standoff.  Everyone pulls their weapons on BANDITO and DARCY is behind him.  Totally unexpectedly, she shoots him in the back and falls dead.
-AMOS grabs the monkey forcefully.  Thank you, we will be off now. 
-A bunch of spotlights and horse sounds and sirens.  They drop their weapons.
-Marshall Garrett enters
-They explain that BANDITO has been taken care of.  I’m sorry, but do you have a monkey on a leash?  Wow.
-DARCY tricks GARRETT into believing that AMOS killed MAGNUS.  Has him look in the coffin.  Wow, that is one ugly sucker.  Fell out of the ugly tree kind of joke.
-Health code inspection scares away PIETRA and HILDA.
-After everyone leaves, we find that DARCY and BANDITO were in cahoots
-DARCY is going to move in next door.
-The collector, played by Jordan, comes into town to answer BANDITO craigslist ad with a briefcase full of cash to buy the monkey.  BANDITO turns him down.  I came all the way from Connecticut to buy this gorilla.  Okay, I’ll double the money.  Monkey is not for sale.  COLLECTOR is a super jerk, rich.  BANDITO and DARCY go off to rob him to end the show.


-Ending bit ideas:
-we allude to the fact that she killed MAGNUS
-the funny bit about neighbors with strange pets
-monkey shoots off stage and comes running on with gun
-something clever with the monkey (unexpected)

April 1st 2015 - here it is ... for real

No, this has nothing to do with April fools day although it does have something to do with the date.  Today is April 1st.  April 1, 2015 2:23pm to be exact (see photo:)

I am posting this as a preemptive attempt to prove that miracles do happen.  At the bottom of this post I will post everything that I have written in a document I call "atcd script 20150401."  "ATCD" is short for "A town called danger," which is the name that I chose for this summer's all-new Juanito Bandito production.  The name was chosen almost exactly one month ago, long before the script was written or even before a single note of music had been composed.  Back then, the only thing I had was an idea and a few of my good friends who had agreed to star in the show (Jordan Brown, Tony Carter, Ray Seams and my little sis Kenzie Davis).

Granted I do have a little black notebook (no not that kind), and around 100ish note cards full of ideas, character descriptions, scene outlines and such.  None of these things are exactly, or nearly right at the moment.  Today as I sit down to try to put the entire story together in my head, I feel completely frustrated and am wondering whether I should start over completely new.  I wonder if there's any chance I will be able to produce something quality in time to rehearse it, costume it, etc by opening night on June 11, 2015.

I have enlisted the help (via Skype sessions) of my brother, Derek, who is currently living in NYC and is always there with an organized mind to help dig me out of my mental hole and give me useful ideas.  He has so many of those mental talents that I lack.  I've also set up sessions with Tony and Jordan so that they can have input mostly in their own characters' development, but also in the story itself.  I've contacted another talented friend, Luke Shepherd, who played piano at Pickleville for 2 summers and who has performed in a couple of our Christmas productions.  He has agreed to help with the music when I need inspiration.  He is a musical genius with a wealth of musical ideas.

It will take a creative miracle to write, rehearse and mount an entire musical in just over a month.  It will take an even greater miracle to make it something worth seeing.

Here it is.  I've never had the guts to put it out there like this.  Please don't call the box office and ask for a refund.  Give it a chance.  Believe in its potential.  Trust in the power of Juanito Bandito miracles!!!

Click here to see the script as it now is.  (WARNING: it is not pretty.  Nothing but a bunch of different outlines and a few really poorly written scenes.)

Let the Gods of comedy and musical writing awesomeness smile down upon me!

My little black book and notecards:)

Why do we do it LIVE?



I'm starting this post with a picture of the Phantom for a reason.  No, it's not my favorite show of all-time although, yes, I'm a mild Phantom fan (Phantom was the first 'real' show I ever saw).  No, I haven't seen it 50+ times. Only 3 times live in LA, SLC, and on Broadway.  And no, I'm not here to promote "The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall," although yes, I own it and it's friggin' amazing.  The reason I'm starting with the Phantom is that it has one of the answers to the question I'd like to pose ...

Why do people spend money to see LIVE shows?
And by LIVE I mean, in person, at the theatre.
Why not go see a movie instead?

That's a pretty important question for a person like me who up until now has made a living charging people a certain amount to sit in a theatre with 300-2,000 strangers (depending on the venue) to see a show we've put together.

There's an argument that claims that LIVE performance, especially LIVE theatre is dying because film is a far more effective means of telling a story.  So, seriously, why don't people go to the movies instead?  The sets are better.  The costumes are more expensive.  The actors are more trained.  :) Etc etc etc.  You get the point.  Why spend $22 to see a live show produced by T.J. Davis when you can spend $8 and see a film produced by Steven Spielberg?

The Phantom is the longest running show in Broadway history and hundreds of people from around the world shell out $100 or more each night to see a cast full of people you've probably never heard of put on a show that over 50% of the audience has already seen before.  It's been made into a full-on motion picture starring Gerard Butler.  There are clips galore of various Broadway and touring companies on youtube.  And now, an actual stage performance is being distributed via BlueRay and DVD around the world.  Why do people still flock to see it LIVE when they have all these other options to see the same exact show?  Do you know why?  I think I do.


Every producer, director, choreographer, musician and actor should ask themselves this question at the beginning of each new LIVE project.  Why are we doing this LIVE?  The answers to that question will vary depending on your situation.

A community theatre might say something like, "We do our show LIVE because it gives the community actors a chance to showcase their talents and grow as people."
A musical act might say, "We do it LIVE to further engage our audience of listeners and convince them that we are as awesome as they think we are."
For a comedy troupe it might be, "We do it live because LIVE is the best way to experience comedy." (A very true statement btw:)

For me and for the shows that I've been involved in creating, I don't know that I have the complete answer to that question, but I think we've figured out at least a portion of it.  We do it LIVE because of the magical, inexplicable interaction that happens each night between the performers, the audience, the playwrite, and the unseen spirits in the theatre.  Those people who have come to see our shows in the theatre and sat in the seats on those magical afternoons or evenings will have at least an idea of what I'm talking about.  There is something really exhilarating about the back-and-forth energy between the key players during a high-quality a LIVE performance.

Next time you go to a show, ask ... was it worth it?  Did I have the LIVE experience that I deserve to have when I go to the theatre?  Do I feel like I was really a part of what happened on that stage?  If not, then no offense, but why bother?  Why not pop in a DVD or go to the movie theatre?  It's cheaper