What’s the Story, Morning Glory?

“The writer shapes story around a perception of what’s worth living for, what’s worth dying for, what’s foolish to pursue, the meaning of justice, truth- the essential values”

Robert Mckee- Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting

I have a theme, I have a loveable character, I have images, and some scenes- and now the story is clawing it’s way out of Loretta’s closet. She’s got a big bad skeleton on her tail.

I’ve been studying story structure and I’m pretty damn excited about it. We make/tell stories to convey an emotion to an audience. It is what they come for- the deep feels. And, I love structure- I always have. I find a freedom of play when the parameters are clear and strong.

Heres a take on it:

  1. You need a sympathetic, active hero
  2. You need a physical, visible, high stakes goal- WIN, STOP, ESCAPE or RETRIEVE
  3. You need a powerful adversary.

This is what we know of our hero Loretta so far:

  • She has Phobophobia- (the fear of phobias)
  • she’s afraid of people, of saying the wrong thing, of being a bad person, of answering the phone, of being in public
  • she takes medications for anxiety
  • her friends are the characters on TV, as well as her beloved vacuum- she’s jealous of the Kathy (the broom).
  • She doesn’t go out much. She used to work as a filing clerk at an office but now gets disability.
  • She shops online and orders most groceries to her home
  • She used to take care of her elderly parents but they have passed on by now.
  • She says she’s happy (but she is not)
  • She’s fine.
  • She doesn’t know her talents or gifts, has never thought to explore herself

I’m keen on the 3 act structure. I’ve begun filling in this format with ideas, images and issues from Loretta’s world. I know more about it than I am letting on. I thought I was going to share my process, but now I want to keep it a surprise. We’ll see.. haha.

ACT ONE : The character’s Ordinary world

  1. Inciting incident
    • Begins THIS story and no other
    • Happens to the hero
    • Happens in an instant
    • Shocks the Hero
    • Presents what story line is going to be abou
  2. Stunning surprise which ends ACT ONE and takes us into ACT 2
    • world is turned upside down because of new discovery
    • picture the character with EYES WIDE, MOUTH OPEN

ACT TWO: The character’s Special World where the Ordinary World get’s turned upside down. Act 2 begins with a plan/goal/task

  1. Midpoint
    • Second major growth of character
    • Plateau of change
    • Point of no return
  2. Stunning surprise 2
    • Biggest reversal
    • Takes place in an instant
    • Shocks and surprises
    • PLAN IS DESTROYED

ACT THREE: Integrated worlds

  1. Obligatory scene 
  2. Denouement

I’ve been getting most of my information for free from the YOUTUBE and have been reading a PDF of Robert Mckee’s book: Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting.

Here are some quotes that I like:

“A culture cannot evolve without honest, powerful storytelling. When a society repeatedly experiences glossy, hollowed-out, pseudo-stories, it degenerates. We need true satires and tragedies, dramas and comedies that shine a clean light into the dingy corners of the human psyche and society.’

“We go to movies to enter a new, fascinating world, to inhabit vicariously another human being who at first seems so unlike us and yet at heart is like us, to live a fictional reality that illuminates our daily reality. We do not wish to escape life but to find life, to use our minds in fresh, experimental ways, to flex our emotions, to enjoy to learn, to add depth to our days.

“Self Knowledge is the key- life plus deep reflection on our reactions to life.”

“While the composer scores with the mathematical purity of notes, we dip into the messy stuff known as human nature.”

“Who are these characters? What do they want? Why do they want it? How do they go about getting it? What stops them? What are the consequenses?”

“Something worth telling that the world wants to hear.”

Robert Mckee- Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting

Yesterday I reached out to my comedy teacher, Virginia Scott at Movement Theatre Studio in New York city and she has agreed to consult and work with me in the development of The Cure for Fear. She’s amazing and I love her no bullshit approach to giving feedback.

Physical Comedy Class with Virginia Scott for MTS

I definitely look forward to live theatre again, and in the meantime- THE CURE FOR FEAR has two streams that seem to support each other in the creation process. The theatrical vision and the digital vision. In the process of experimenting with clowning for video, I’ve been making at least one video a week investigating how to find delight in responding to my own provocation.

This week, Loretta showed up in a LARRY video that also serves as hilarious promotional material for my brothers spice business: BURNING STUFF.

If you are curious at all about decolonization for settlers- check out this weeks blog: LAND OF BROKEN RELATIONS.

Thank you for reading “THE BONES”- a process report of art and decolonization.

I am currently researching “THE CURE FOR FEAR” – a physical theatrical/ digital arts exploration around the disconnection that occurs from trauma. In a world where the power holders would have us privatize and distrust our feelings in silence and obedience, how does one begin and continue on a journey of decolonization and reconnection? What transformation happens within the psyche as a person emerges from despondency and disembodiment?

I believe in the power of laughter, so, how can one find lightness in the heaviest of topics? How can the subject matter be delivered in a way that surprises the experiencer with their own discoveries?

Always open to feedback if it is constructive and kind. No haters please. candicerobertstheatre@gmail.com

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