Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Inception

Sounds like a bad USA Up All Night horror movie, donnit? That may not be a bad analogy. But we'll get to that in a second.

I've tested my Google search decoys from the last post. I'm in the first page of hits for all of them and am the very first hit for all but "Buddhist death metal". Who knew? I'm actually the only hit for a few, although "Fran Drescher erotic stories" is not one of them, and that makes me shiver a little bit. But the trap has been set. Now we play the waiting game...

What inception, you ask? That's a silly question. Per Diem, of course, ya goof.

I had a sit-down and hash-out meeting with Mr. Bil Gaines, the other current dedicated member/founder of the company, and as they should, things are evolving. The bulk of what we're dealing with right now is the administrative bullshit and the defining and honing of what exactly Per Diem is and is about. The most encouraging part is also, surprise!, the most frightening: as me and Bil talk about our ideas and hopes for the company, I hear him saying things that are great ideas, but also that differ some from my initial thoughts and plans. We agreed from the start that the company would be more ensemble-based than hierarchical (feel free to use my ongoing discoveries as fuel for further tribal arguments), and we took a further step in defining what that means for us over coffee this weekend.

We are an ensemble-based company. Although, two hardly an ensemble makes. We are actively seeking a third, and possibly fourth or, hell, even fifth?, member, so if you are reading this and would be or have any friends who would be interested in getting together with the two of us and discussing what exactly we and you or your friend are looking for and how those match up, please please let me know. However, where many ensembles come together and meld all of the minds to find a common voice that all can agree on, we are entering the fray fully realizing that the ensemble members are coming from a variety of different backgrounds and attitudes/tastes towards art. Instead of forcing everyone to compromise their beliefs to come to the middle ground, we allow ourselves in turn (and at times together) to knock what we know and love out of the park with the support of all of the rest, regardless of any differences of opinion. In my mind, it feels like a little bit of 'collective' is mixed in with our 'company'.

Personally, I love the idea. My anti-anticipation jargon is lessening, although not the ideas. I'm becoming less prententious and adamant about it not because I'm giving up on it, but because I think what we have created is both a distillation of it and a springboard for it. This form of ensemble is going to naturally bring about a wide variety of shows -- Per Diem will never be able to be placed into a niche or defined by the 'style' of theatre we do (which I admit is both a blessing and a curse -- but what isn't?). That alone breaks down the audience's ability to anticipate the course of a Per Diem show. And if in stretching my voice I choose to hone this point further, I know that I will be able to with the support of my theatremates.

And, probably the greatest benefit of the approach is how immensely it will help each of us grow as artists. Rather than asking everyone to rein in their creatively, we are allowing everyone to embrace every inch of their imagination with the caveat that this means they must be willing to embrace every inch of others' imaginations as well. There's no being a part of Per Diem without a willingness to be challenged on a regular basis. And this keeping the artists on their toes will only assist in allowing our audience to do the same.

We hope to have a website up and running relatively soon, but in the meantime we are going to be scheduling our first event in mid/late September (official info will be provided tout suite). We're going to be sponsoring a free evening for theatre artists and other interested folk in which we are going to have multiple copies of multiple one-acts/10 minute plays ready. We will be randomly picking some of the plays, splitting up the roles, giving whoever's playing a script and setting them free in an unrehearsed, undirected, book-in-hand, instinct-driven performance. If people want to play, they'll be able to play. If people just want to watch, that's cool, too. There's also some talk of a writer-based company providing us with all-new work to double the freshness, double the fun, but that's not set in stone yet. And if this sounds like a good time to any writers out there and you'd be interested in seeing your work literally tossed on its feet, by all means let me know.

Also, for repetition's sake -- please e-mail me with any questions, advice, interest or god knows what else as we go through this process. Not only are we looking for bodies and minds -- and boy howdy, are we -- we're looking for opinions. Whether or not we take the opinions is open-ended, but there's only one way to find out.

And Bil, if any of this runs counter to what you thought was goin' on, call me on it. Weez a company, baybee, that's how we works!



Bil said...

No, that's pretty much exactly what I thought was goin' on.

Hell's bells, this is gonna be fun!

Adam said...

good luck with your new venture!