The Second day of Writing/theatre workshop

Yesterday’s workshop went so WELL! I think my largest fear is that the kids are going to think the prompts are boring, and wont want to write, but they were all very engaged. I had about seven youth. I’m not sure their ages, it can be really difficult to gage the ages of youth sometimes. These kids all felt like they were older than teenagers but I’m certain, just based on the program, that the oldest would be around 18 or 19, still in many ways they had the energy of thirty year olds.

The writing was creative, and well crafted. They seemed to really get into the exercise of “my life as a performance”. This one guy didn’t read but he did explain that he felt his life was like Romeo and Juliet because he loved his girl and everyone was trying to keep them apart. His girl would sit silently next to him in the workshop. She never shared but she wrote every time. Later he told me that he writes poetry, all love poems, about his girl. Another guy came in late sat down for the perspective writing, wrote a slam poem based on a photograph and then left. It was great. A young woman who joined for the last writing exercise on writing conflict, came in and wrote a touching story about a young white woman in love with a black man during the turn of the century. It was written in a 15 min timed writing exercise but it is definitly the type of story that would make me want to read more.

Tim DuRoche from Portland Center stage gave us some photo’s from turn of the century Portland. Damn, I guess we just had a turn of the century, so I should say turn of the 20th century. We used those photo’s for our writing exercises. Today we went to see the musical Ragtime and we were able to see the characters we wrote about hanging up in the lobby of the theatre. The show had a large cast all with stunning voices. The play interwove the lives of middle class white Americans, black Americans and new immigrants as they all crowded into New York looking for the American dream of the time. There were also famous figures portrayed like Emma Goldman, Harry Houdini, JP Morgan and Henry Ford and Evelyn Nesbit. I will not lie, I shed a couple of tears. The kids all seemed to really enjoy it. I sat between two kids, who also happened to be in the workshop yesterday, and they would laugh or react to the play. At the end one girl stood up whooping and hollering like she was at a rock concert. That was awesome, I must say, I think more theatre should be whooped and hollered at.

We have one more workshop tomorrow and then I move onto working with Playwrite.

In personal news my mother is cancer free, which is a relief. They had found cancer but were able to remove it so I can continue to put off moving back to California. As for now I will just make a trip out there in the second week of November. It has been a really long time since I have seen my mother so it will be nice to visit.

It was a beautiful fall day in Portland and I took they day off from the gift store. Generally after a workshop I head back to work. The bike ride sucks because it is all up hill riding from downtown into SE. Today it was nice to avoid the monster hill, I’ll hit that sucka tomara’. It was a good day to pick to have off since the weather is gorgeous. Fall is by far my favorite season and these warm clear days with the changing leaves can not be more beautiful, all I need now is the smell of wood and candy. Mmmmm…fall.

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