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Friday, February 8, 2008

The Process of Creating a Solo Show # 1

Originally I've been inspired by John Leguizamo, Anna Deavere Smith and Jennifer Lewis, all of whom I've seen live. When I saw each one of them I knew that is what I wanted to do. They are true storytellers and they bring life to all the characters in their stories, they become those people.

I remember I had to see Anna Deavere Smith. Smith is perhaps best known as the author and performer of two one-woman plays about racial tensions in American cities — Fires in the Mirror (Obie Award-winner and runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize) and Twilight: Los Angeles 1992 (Obie Award-winner and Tony Award nominee).

I had to see Fires in the Mirror and it was the last night at the Public Papp Theater and I didn't have a ticket nor money to see it. I don't know what I was thinking but I went to the theater and stood in front of the box office and stood in the corner. My plan was to wait and maybe an extra ticket would pop up. A miracle ticket. Which I use to get at Grateful Dead shows. In the past I have given away free tickets so I knew I was due return karma. One guy did have an extra ticket because his date didn't show up, but he wanted to sell and decided to wait till someone brought the ticket from him, which they did.

I started to panic because the doors had closed and the show was about to start. I asked the box office, if they would be so kind as to gift me one because it was the last show and no one else was going to buy the ticket. They said no.

A little over 10 minutes went by and I wasn't going to budge. There was a sadness inside myself because I thought to give up, but there was some spark to hold on because anything could happen. I waited and tried to fight off the fear of nothing happening. I stared at those closed doors and then one door swung open. I don't know who the woman was, she may have been an usher or someone from the box office, or maybe even another theater goer who saw my plight outside, but she motioned for me to come over, she pointed to the only seat in the room and said go. I walked down the aisle to the second row, CENTER.

I sat there in awe of Anna and then later smiled to myself of the whole experience.

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