As I mused to my BWF, Balls of Steel columnist Jeanne Veillette Bowerman, to grow up is to wield a double-edged sword.
On one side of the sword is who/what we walk away from. We move from the realm of the magical child into the world of logical thinking. We no longer fear the boogeyman in the closet; we understand that the noises in the dark are caused by the wind whistling through the trees… but by doing so, we run the risk of sacrificing our inner-child.
On the flip side, there is freedom. The freedom to play – and the freedom to determine who we play with.
Empowerment. Liberty. The stuff that dreams are made on.
That is the approach that I decided to take when I created my webseries. I created a story; I created sketches of characters. I consider these elements to be my sandbox, my playground.
Then, I looked around, and decided who I wanted to play with. I invited them into my playground, and encouraged them to bring their buckets and shovels. Bonus points for clackers and yo-yos. Play-Doh? You betcha.
Most came along for the ride, and for the few who couldn’t wrap their heads around what I was creating – everything’s fine. More room for others to play.
I wanted an even playing field; a safe place in which we are all equals. I’ve given ownership of the characters to the cast, not because I am lazy – I’m not – but because I want them to inform me of their characters lives, their hopes, their dreams, their triumphs and their failures. I’ve asked cast members what their characters’ hobbies are, so I might dress a set; what their day in the life is like, so I might bring that into a scene.
While this sounds ideal – and it is – I must admit a wee bit of trepidation before going into casting, for if there is one thing drilled into the writer’s head is that Story is King, Concept is King and the writer is the God of his/her world.
Now, I find that mindset to be a burden.
I’d rather relinquish control, and watch/listen to the artists who surround me. I’d rather sit in the corner and observe before issuing edicts. I’d rather trust the cast and the crew than feel the need to have my hands all over everything. I’d rather collaborate when I create.
Of course, there are decisions to be made, and I will make them, hopefully with the group’s trust and acceptance. These choices are geared towards serving the project as a whole, not just the first three episodes, but the entire journey as it unfolds in my head.
Every morning, upon waking, I can’t wait to head back to the playground. I check my email, anxious to see if any of my playmates have anything to share or to say – and I giggle and clap with delight when they do.
There was a time when I was told that I “had to” play with certain people. That time is no more. Welcome to my playground. See the swing-set? Shall we play? I’ll show you mine and you show me yours, and by the end of the day, we’ll have swashbuckled and fought against pirates; we’ll ride dragons through the skies. We’ll play hopscotch, and make mud pies and, if we both like, we’ll meet to play again.
Now, go write.
HRH, Princess Scribe