Monday, September 21, 2009

Kingdoms Revisited

11 years ago, I got a vision for a play called Kingdoms. I had been writing music for this production years prior to knowing about the production, and as I began writing the script, many parts of my life seemed to come together: my love for writing, my talent for composing music (much of which was purely instrumental and sound-track-like for the longest time), my experiences and aspirations as an actor, my love for creating new theatre and drawing a crowd. Towards the end of my junior year of high school, on a trip to Europe if I remember correctly, I finished the play and set out to have it produced as a senior project in the coming school year.

This didn't happen.

Oh, I did what I could to make it happen, from submitting the script to my theatre teacher, to looking for other venues in which to produce the work when my teacher denied me what I felt was my right to stage it as a senior project at the school, even gathering an informal table reading among friends in the living room of my home. But the production still didn't take flight. It wasn't time, and after the reading, I knew it. The script wasn't ready, wasn't developed enough. The production as a whole would take a lot more work, time, and experience than I had anticipated, and I was lacking in all three of those areas. So I gave it to the Lord and put it on the shelf, literally (all 20 copies of it or however many I had made for the reading). I knew he had given me this vision for this play, and I already had some really cool songs to go along with it, not to mention a whole slew of characters just waiting to be fleshed out by live actors. But it wasn't time. Wasn't time. Wasn't time.

I think it's time now.

Time to produce the show? No, not quite. Time for a re-write that may lead to it becoming time to producing the show? Yes. Yes indeed. Yes indeed and no.

Let me explain. I have a pattern of doing too much on my own. I can act, write, sing, direct (though I'm not as confident in this as in other areas), produce, compose, perform. And because I can do so much, it's easy to try to do it ALL, without sharing the wealth of the creative process with others. The same was true in Kingdoms. It's limited....I have limited it to myself.

I think it's time to open it up to others. What I would like to do is to gather a group of actors, writers, and possibly musicians, all who are interested in hearing about a new work and the opportunity to collaborate on something ground-breaking. But it can only be ground-breaking with the help of many, many feet walking the ground. I would like to share the vision of Kingdoms, the basic story along with some of the music and characters, and ask those who are interested to take a character or two, a theme or more, and see what they can come up with. I'm talking monologues, song ideas, possible scenes. I don't know how this would work, but I'm guessing that something much more beautiful and multi-faceted can be created as many minds and hearts come together to build something extraordinary...the structure for a story which will house the very spirit of God. 'Cause that's what good art does, I think. Provides a structure in which God can speak, dwell, create something new.

So...what's new? We'll see in time.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Declaration of Independence

To the following lords, which keep me in servitude under their tyrannical rule, I hereby declare my independence:

Clutter, that ruthless dog, obese and insatiable, whose over-sized mass buries simplicity underneath and acts accomplice to the taunts of chaos, nipping at my heels;

The Lie of Inferiority, that life-sucking devil who prophesies failure in my art, my love, and my ability to succeed in the areas wherein I was born to thrive;

Financial Ignorance and the Gluttony of Debt, those brutish brothers who plunder and pillage with no regard to my actual welfare;

I go now to colonize my territory, for God, for gold, and for glory, and I declare that henceforth you shall have no right to any share of the bounty I receive in these admirable exploits. Should you choose to hold to the course of indecency through forceful insistence that I continue to languish under your captivity, you would do well to take to arms and prepare for the war and affliction that you will incur by my hand and by those who side with me in the protection of this new-found freedom.

This independence I declare, henceforth, on the 31st of August, 2009.

No longer yours,
David Ello