Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Why All Writers Should Be Drama Geeks

I grew up in the performing arts. I started dancing when I was five, I started singing when I was eight; I took drama classes from grades 6-12 – I still do a little bit of everything. In all honesty, those were probably the greatest writing classes of my life.

Dancing and acting especially taught me that there is a story in every movement, every breath that you take. Singing is about expressing emotion and telling a story through words in an ‘unconventional’ manner. You read texts and you do research to understand this character that you embody for a few moments. Sometimes you get frustrated and you want to give up but then you get back into it and remember why you love it. Why you love sharing a little bit of yourself with the entire world because no one else can express yourself the way you do. Every story is unique no matter how many times it’s been told.

No matter how many times you learn that step it’ll be different each time just like each scene that some Shakespeare student is performing has never been performed the same way twice by anyone in the world. Every voice is unique and tells the story and sings the note in a different manner. Every story that you write is brand new because you have never told it. You’ll use different words and you’ll read different things when you research and discover the characters that will be dear to your heart forever.

As a writer you need to know your character but as a performer you have to be your character. Every decision your character makes is justified by a previous action that sometimes only you understand. You know exactly why they walk over the cracks in the sidewalk or why they always look under the bed before falling asleep every night. You know exactly where they are. You’re both director and actor. As a writer you describe the world around you but as a performer you create the world around you.

As a performer, you create a world based on choices and a character created by someone else. As a writer you are that someone else. You are the director, actor, producer and greatest fan of your play; never forget that.

Sing like no one is listening,

Dance like no one is watching

Writer like no one will read it

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