Friday, November 9, 2007

Typing Tundra

Late last night I got it into my head that I wanted to submit my radio play Tundra Games for an opp that seemed the perfect match. I looked everywhere, but there was clearly no script on my computer—I lost it and Love and Lightning a few years ago in a hard drive crash, and I’ve needed to enter them ever since.

I finally found a copy in a published book from MRTW (Midwest Radio Theatre Workshop) from 1993 (yes, I've been writing scripts for a very long time). Surprisingly, it was great fun typing up the play. It’s a brutal and funny script—the conflict and back and forth is so clear. There’s no finesse, but it’s really a sharp piece—very crisp. It’s still good to go, after almost 15 years. I just wish there were more places that might be interested, but there’s no market for radio drama. Too bad.

I wonder if sometimes I’m at my best writing for radio—it’s pure ear, and that’s one of my strengths—but I turned away from it long ago, because there was nothing to do with the stuff. The money was worse than theatre, and it had only a small audience, though the stuff I did write has been produced and broadcast a few times. Now, with podcasts, it might all come back. I only ever wrote four radio plays, but I learned it fast, because the for the very first one, I won a grant to produce my play and scripts by three of my friends. I had no idea what I was doing, but I learned the hard way, and producing taught me clearly what works and what doesn't on radio. It was a great example of how the hands on stuff is so important for writers. I found the same thing was true for theatre--self-producing my first full-length play off-off Broadway was more valuable than a handful of classes.

Tundra Games got sent out this morning. Maybe it'll find a new life.

(Summary: Two professional killers lose the evidence of their hit and their improvisation gets ugly. A dark, dark comedy of snowmobiles, severed fingers, and revenge served ice cold.)

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