I’ve been trying to write up a “where the heck did this script come from” story for a few days now. But I just can’t come up with the best way to really unfold the narrative from real life.
So I think we’ll go in pieces, and we’ll be a bit non-linear since that seems like fun.
Last October, I was at the ScriptDC conference in downtown Washington D.C. I was really enjoying the weekend so far, and I was waiting in the lobby with some friends not too long before that year’s live reading for the DC Shorts Finalists. I ended up killing some time and talking with a finalist who happens to be a close friend of mine as well as a presenter who is also one of my professors at American University.
I honestly can’t recall how we got around to the topic, but I started to talk about visiting my dad at work when I was a kid. That isn’t a very unique story, lots of kids visit their dads at work.
But most kids’ dads don’t work at the county jail.
At five years old, I didn’t find anything odd about the inmates in their orange jumpsuits or the policemen and women in their uniforms. I had eaten the food there, sometimes we would watch parades from the roof where they had the exercise yard so the sight of razor wire was commonplace to my world view. Even now, I have trouble putting myself in the mindset where this is an odd thing, because it just was.
In trying to describe this to them, they both said that they felt I needed to write that story. They said that the visual of a small child surrounded by this imagery was powerful. I hadn’t really seen that point of view before, because as I said, to me that was normal.
The odd thing about that conversation though is that the script had already been written. I didn’t write Catching Up in response to their encouragement, but I brought it out and started submitting it to competitions because of that conversation. So to me, it seems the logical place to start the story. It also amuses me because the direct result of that conversation was my submission of the script to DC Shorts, the same competition we were there to participate in. It is also the same competition that I am preparing for now.
It’s all full circle.
Tomorrow I’ll talk a bit about how the script actually came about last August.