Lifting Others – Supporting Fellow Artists

I’m all about supporting our community of fellow artists. It’s important to celebrate their Star 2visions and creativity. Lifting others up make the world a better and more beautiful place. One of Golden Ginger Productions long time supporters, basically the beginning is Star Johnson. Fun fact she is one of the wingwomen muses for our 2016 Capital Fringe show How To Be The Perfect Wingwoman. Star is also a huge advocate of new works and aspiring artists and we love her for that. She has a show in the 2017 New York Musicals Festival!!! It’s called NYMF #BlackGirlJoy: Star Johnson in Concert, which will be presenting her visionary hip-hop, soul and pop infused musical theater productions.

We are thrilled that she is a step closer to Broadway, but she needs our help. Please click here to donate to her gofundme, anything will help.

Check out some of her work here!

Trust me, you’re gonna want to be a part of this journey to Broadway!!!

BE a part of her big break, donate, and let’s show NYC what #DCTheater is all about!!!

#FindYourJoy #BroadwayhereIcome #Everybitcounts

Splendid Springtime Shows!!!

Want something awesome to do in D.C. in March and April!?
Well, we’ve got THE answer for you :D.

Links to each show:

Poem Power

Yesterday on Facebook I encountered one of those chain posts from a friend, but this one was different. I think it’s called Occupy Facebook with Poetry – or something like that. It had a purposed I admired, there are no catches and participation is 100% optional and not thrust upon you. And it was arts related, specifically poetry, which I love as a writer and lyricist. The post said:

“The idea is to occupy Facebook with #poetry. Whoever “likes” this post will be given a poet and has to post a poem, or a part of a poem, by that poet, along with this message. I was given NAME OF POET by OF FRIEND who brought it to my attention. So, I liked their post and was assigned the poet Derek Mahon. I had never heard of him, but I was excited to learn about a new poet. I ended up finding this amazing poem, which coincidentally had similar themes to A MidSummer Night’s Dream and the parody I had written. The poem was beautiful, smart, thoughtful, and witty. I love it! For your enjoyment I’ll post it below.

“The Dream Play”

What night-rule now about this haunted grove?
The spirits have dispersed, the woods
faded to grey from midnight blue
leaving a powdery residue,
night music fainter, frivolous gods
withdrawing, cries of yin and yang,
discords of the bionic young;
cobweb and insects, hares and deer,
wild strawberries and eglantine,
dawn silence of the biosphere,
amid the branches a torn wing
— what is this enchanted place?
Not the strict groves of academe
but an old thicket of lost time
too cool for school, recovered space
where the brain yields to nose and ear,
folk remedy and herbal cure,
old narratives of heart and hand,
and a dazed donkey, starry eyed,
with pearls and honeysuckle crowned,
beside her naked nibs is laid.
Wild viruses, Elysian fields —
our own planet lit by the fire
of molten substance, constant flux,
hot ice and acrobatic sex,
the electric moth-touch of desire
and a new vision, a new regime
where the white blaze of physics yields
to yellow moonlight, dance and dream
induced by what mind-altering drug
or rough-cast magic realism;
till morning bright with ant and bug
shines in a mist of glistening gism,
shifting identities, mutant forms,
angels evolved from snails and worms.
~~ Derek Mahon

After going through this exercise I was inspired to write my own. Not to become a song, just for the sake of writing a poem. It had been a while since I have written that way. Lots of my friends do poetry, spoken word, and open mics, so time to re-give it a whirl.  So this was the result:

“Push Past Burn Out”

I can feel stress in my face
That I didn’t know existed

Must I have eternal exhaustion
And neck pain?

It goes on regardless
And for days
No matter how I twist and turn
No matter how comfy my bed may seem, whether my mind is restless with nightmares or good dreams

But as long as I have balance
Have happiness, have friends,
Even among work and giving back
I can make time for my passions

It’s all worth it.

Now who wants to give me a massage?
~~ Dara A. Gold

The Fruits of Accidents

Stoked to share that the long time coming parody to Shakespeare’s A MidSummer Night’s Dream came to fruition in it’s beginning steps. It happened in January at Openstage in Eastern Market Washington D.C. I wanted to share the pics with you all so you can share its journey with us as the show progresses. The show is titled “A Puck Up: An Unofficial Ending to a MidSummer.”

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Here’s a brief synopsis: In the show the faerie associated with the flower (who the play names Tasheena) Puck used to spell the lovers calls Puck out on the motives of Puck’s “so-called mistakes and mix-ups.” Through flirtation and witty banter, Tasheena calls Puck out on his B.S. and explains the insider knowledge she has on Puck. Puck and Tasheena rewind to key parts of the plot and to some “behind the scenes” even the audience of a MidSummer will discover for the first time to see the “real” story and  intentions of Puck, our mischievous jester of the night. The show ends with Tasheena taking in Puck’s infliences and re-writing the play within the play – Pyramus and Thisbe, now within a third play cause she has some thoughts on this so-called Wall. 😉

Writing Round-Up Catch Up/Coming Soon!!!

Yes, it’s been awhile. This may happen from time to time when in the midst of writing and editing and searching for a day job to ensure the art can go on.

So here’s a quick catch-up of what’s been happening and what to look forward to:
1) Helping recurring actor Sir Harvey Fitz with his 1st ever Photo Exibit titled “The World Is Your Stage.” It’s gonna be epic! Click here for info –> https://www.facebook.com/events/655552037978944/

2) Play in D.C. “The Future is Female Festival – Night Of New Play Readings,” https://www.facebook.com/events/1009399285859727/ 

3) A sci-fi sketch in a sketch-theater hybrid festival
– more deets to come

4) Other plays in the works like some new musicals 🙂  and hopefully at least one web series heading into planning stages

5) We has a successful stage reading w/light blocking of “A Puck-Up: An Unofficial Ending to a MidSummer; the play from the “Accidental Tragedy” Post …plans on what to do with the full length in the works.  Will post photos soon.

6) Submissions to summer/fall play festivals — fingers crossed 🤞

Dreams (the sleeping kind)

Most of the time I cannot remember my dreams. But, for some reason I am remembering

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them more. I always love it when my friends tell me about theirs and the rare occasion when I do. I also love it when I just wake up, the moment between half asleep and half awake, where I want to return to my dreams like it is the climax episode of a TV series. I guess inadvertently, I am the writer and director of said episode.

 

A lot of the time, when it comes to dreams, especially recently I think, you just cannot make this Sh***t up! Well apparently something colorful in your brain did. And AMAZING artists like Antoni Gaudí and Salvador Dalí certainly held nothing back. I am not sure whether to be inspired or just weirded out yet by the idea weaving of the subconscious.

  Photo is of the sculpture titled Portrait of Joella by Salvador Dalí – taken from my 2011 trip to the
                                                       Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid Spain.  

But for fun I am tempted to take the inspired route ;). Let the dream journal commence for every scrap of dream I can muster via typing or pen, before it fades away into the universe. Sooo….future scripts and stories of this route…TBD.

Belated Awesome News!!!

nanowrimo_2016_webbanner_winner_congrats

Successfully Completed NaNoWriMo by writing over 50,000 of a draft novel. Somehow playwriting, especially monologues steered the path 🙂

Now it is editing time alongside working on other pieces. Ahhh…the struggle between writing more, delving into the existing, and reading/watching other works for mere enjoyment and to become better. Happy Writing!!!

Accidental Tragedy

Lower image is Scene from A Midsummer Nights' Dream 'Titania and Bottom' by Edwin Landseer. Top is an edited "darker" version.

Lower image is Scene from A Midsummer Nights’ Dream ‘Titania and Bottom’ by Edwin Landseer. Top is an edited “darker” version.

Timing is everything and the craziness of this week in America has definitely played a key role in the multiple mistakes of the present. While I cannot change the one glaring mistake that has brought a doom atmospheric cloud to many people I care about, I can channel it into the direction of my once 100% comedy. But in the script’s case it is not bad, just unexpectedly different. While I wish current events did not shape the direction, perhaps its new form can still aid audiences in how they are feeling.

Wed. Nov. 9 was like a blur. It was as if I was having hangovers without having consumed alcohol the night before. Many people I spoke to described it that same way and for those who did partake in libations, it was more literal. Except once the physical pain was gone, the pain of reality remained. I strangely also had the beginning of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” playing on repeat in my head.

Many people were expressing their opinions online, but I refrained until now, because  for myself, I wanted to create something out of my feelings beyond some posts. But I 110% think it is important that people access ways to express their feelings as they need and as they see fit without belittling the feelings of others.

Then I read an article by theater advocate Howard Sherman titled, “A Post-Election Plea, To The Theatre And Its Artists.” The article called for artists to keep creating and empowering people through expression and the telling of stories. This is especially important for peoples whose stories are not heard and are or will be oppressed. Maybe it was the fog of the shock, but I could not think of how to write a play about this tragedy. And I love it when activism and theater unite. I had theater-activism writer’s block. Yesterday, inspiration finally came. I picked up a draft of an incomplete comedy and accidentally and cathartically turned it into a darker tragedy. But while sad in nature, it does leave a window for hope because of the power of theater, literally because it is a play as well as from the dialogue commenting on this aspect.

Last year I started writing a parody to Shakespeare’s awesome play A MidSummer Night’s Dream, which alone is an absolutely hilarious show. It was initially for a Shakespeare play festival, but I sadly did not finish it in time. But I liked where it was going and kept adding to it over the past year. I picked up the script again yesterday, looked at random notes and let my frustration fly. It is now complete enough to perform logistics willing. I may lengthen it, but I am content that I was able to get my feelings of injustice out into a script. Small steps and more will be coming. 

Bracing for a New Challenge 

It’s almost November, crazy right!? 

This year I’m going to tackle National Novel Writing Month aka NanoWriMo hat happens in November. It’s like the 31 days playwrighting challenge but for novels. This challenge has writers attempt to write 50,000 words in 30 days. 

Hoping to bring some playwright flare into this first time ever novel writing experience. Also looking for award to how this will evolve future scripts and depth of writing skills. I shared the synopsis with one of my playwright friends and she instantly said, “make it into a play.” Tis definitely a possibility but gotta tackle through the 50,000 word count with a can do spirit! Also working in some web series/short film scripts simultaneously. 

Power of Silence

The anagram of “listen” and “silence’ is very interesting.

silence

Saw on the Pinterest of Emily Vincent

The words play into each other so well, in life, in friendship, and certainly in theater and playwriting specifically.

One struggle for Americans is the ability to appreciate silence. There’s a need to use the phrase, “well, this is awkward,” or some variation of it. There’s an inclination to fill the empty space with something anything due to the discomfort of our own thoughts or the worry of another’s. (This is not representative of every American, but certainly many from personal experience and observation.) It’s something I took personally at first when one of my friends from Europe pointed it out to me about the way I spoke and the amount of words I used. But I learned to appreciate the feedback as a gift.

But there is something beautiful and powerful about silence, whether it is a mutual silence or one’s own while listening to someone or something else. There is a special uniqueness that only subtext/reading between the lines can bring. So much can be learned by both what isn’t said and the body language that can accompany it.

While there can be a tug and pull between a Director and the playwright’s stage directions, many times there are intentional pauses and beats inserted with the hope of creating these special silent driven moments like intenseness and suspense – which can be applied to pure comedy, romance/sexual tension, reflection, secrets, growing anger, a lingering pain, the ability to almost hear when someone is looking in your direction, etc… Silence is a way of drawing the audience into the characters, emotions, and thus the world they are embracing in the dark of the theater. It’s a technique I hope to better learn, fine tune, and integrate going forwards.

I saw the spectacular use of this last week in the Woolly Mammoth Theater’s Production of Kiss. They exercised this technique in multiple ways, both for comedy and to provoke a deeper meaning in the political message and empathy I feel they were trying to relay and have everyone rally around. This play shook me in ways I’d like to delve into in a different post. But at the end, there was a serene sadness and understanding. One wasn’t quite sure when they play would end until the actors, still in character storm off rather than taking the time to acknowledge the end and bowing or receiving applause. This may seem odd, but if you are there, caught in the moment, especially in that intimate theater, it will make more sense.

If you are intrigued about the gift, the power of silence, here is a great article from the Guardian about a perspective on silence.