Or however many it takes to write this last scene. We've had the dark night of the soul, the climax, and now we're wrapping it all up. Heading for that final scene, that final look at Tomboy that echoes our first look, but is totally different. The one that shows us where she is now after her journey, the journey we took with her. I love Tomboy. I hope she has a long life on the stage. I hope lots of people fall in love with her as I have. This is the first play I've ever written that I can visualize in other media. The Godmother could be The Sopranos meets The L Word if HBO or Showtime comes knocking. Or maybe it's a movie with a sequel. Or maybe it's more than one play, but whatever it is, Tomboy wants off the page and onto the stage. I have to continue to do my best for her. So, back to the coal mines I go.
I had this dream last night. A young woman actor I knew was in a film that was nearing completion, she thought it was finished, so she dove into it (don't ask -- it was a dream!) and I was watching the film, enjoying it so much, couldn't wait to see the end, when the film stuttered, and words came up, that I couldn't quite read, then we skipped a scene and she was back, exciting! The film went on, but then -- without warning -- words came up again. Sorry, no ending. We're waiting for the writer to finish the script. Yikes! my friend was stuck inside the film! I had to get to the office, talk to the writer. I drove to the building and went to the door, but it was sealed off. I ran to another door and made my way in, but everything had changed in my absence. I was directed further and further into the building. I didn't know my place any more. And where was the writer? The asshole. He was gone. Could I use his office? Maybe I could finish the script and rescue my friend. I got inside his office, I set myself up at his desk, and I thought I heard my grandson call me from downstairs "Mom?" He doesn't call me Mom. What the? I woke up. Did I really have this transparent dream? Yes, I did. Will I finish the script in time? I don't know. But obviously I have to try!
The second act is coming along just fine, thanks. The opening scene is exactly what I was hoping for. The false victory scene is a family feast that's going gangbusters until --- interrupted by Chee Chee di Mayo. I've written out the outline with notes, and will fill and complete scenes all the way to fini. Aiming for wrapping up by the end of the day Sunday. We'll see. Think good thoughts if you're wired that way. I have a cold and a migraine, so it's like working in sludge today. It'd be great to finish early because there are a couple of things nagging me from the first Act that I want to clean up ...
The staged reading of The Godmother was a huge success. More than 50 people attended, laughed, applauded, and at least one person had tears at the end. (I saw them with my own eyes, so I know she wasn't kidding.) The actors were awesome. I had no idea there would be so many laughs, but they all came at appropriate places, so that was good. Many people asked for a copy of the script as is, many more asked me to let them know when they can see it in full length form, many more said they really hope it gets a full production soon. Me too. I was able to pay the actors from the door proceeds, which made me happy. Now. Back to work on Act Two. Must finish before Jan. 31.
Will she be drinking? pacing? I don't know. She keeps me awake on nights like this. I can feel her anxiety about appearing in public, having people know her private life. But wait til you see her, the way she wrests her power from the atmosphere and wields it over her men. The way she charms her girls, switches from being hurt to being in charge. Tomboy McCorkle may not be someone you want to be, but you can't help admiring her strength, her courage. And Corker? What's with this one? Who is she? What does she want? What is her game? What will become of Billy? Dolla Bill. Will he sell his future to become Million Dollar Bill? What happened to Paddy? Who killed the Slapper? No wonder Tomboy isn't sleeping ... Come see her at 12:30pm tomorrow, Portland Center Stage, mezzanine level. BYOB.
What a cast! Even if you weren't dying to know what will happen in an hour's time this Saturday afternoon at Portland Center Stage in a play called "The Godmother," you have to want to see these fabulous actors in the following roles:
Tomboy McCorkle, Godmother by Jessamyn D. Rae
Corker McCorkle, her sister-in-law by Dierdre Atkinson
Billy McCorkle, her brother by Miles Thoming-Gale
Charles Uppity Jones, mobster by Shoshana Maxwell
Black Walnuts, mobster by Jerry Bell
Daniel, mobster by David Loftus
Ernie, mobster by Greg Alexander
Paddy, consigliore by Alan Hakim
Chee Chee di Mayo, crime boss by Patric Callahan
Juanita, call girl by Megan Skye Hale
Blondie, Hottentots girl by Victoria Blake
Sally, Hottentots girl by Stephanie Blair
The director is the talented, skillful and creative Andrew Wardenaar. Come and bring your peeps.
Jessamyn D. Rae IS the Godmother Tomboy McCorkle. Her nemisis? Patric Callahan plays Chee Chee di Mayo. Brother Billy is played by 16 year old Miles Thoming-Gale; Sally by Shoshana Maxwell. Watch this space for more names in coming days. The full cast will be named very soon! See a picture of The Godmother in the current of Just Out magazine, Portland's GLBTQ newspaper, where Fertile Ground made the cover for January. Fertile Ground will also be the cover on this week's A&E section of The Oregonian. We are the happening event of the month, people! Over 50 events, including world premieres of full productions, staged readings, dance productions, music, you name it baby. Come get out of the cold, see what's H.O.T. Buy your pass for ALL of it, or tix for The Godmother HERE: www.tinyurl.com/tomboygodmother
Every year at about this time, I saturate myself in new movies, trying to anticipate which ones will be nominated for Academy Awards: best film, best director, best actors (male and female), best supporting, best screenplay (adapted and original), best sound, best costumes, all that. I have a grand time. I never see them all, of course. I've seen "Precious," "Up in the Air," "Blindside," "Invictus," "Nine," and I have a very long list to see. Some just because I want to have fun. The Men Who Stare at Goats. That looks like fun to me. There were movies that came out that seemed like they couldn't fail, then got such horrid reviews I didn't even go: Fame, for one. Really? How could you mess up Fame? Apparently they did. And I was sooooo disappointed in "Nine." Like how I use and don't use quotation marks? I'm fickle that way. The story was dismal, the songs were forgettable, even the choreography left a lot to be desired except for Fergie's number and then it was hard not to think of how difficult it must have been for the dancers to deal with all that sand all day. sigh. I love movies. I want them to love me back. Entertain me. Knock my socks off. Give me that old Busby Berkeley treatment, or film noir, or Alfred Hitchcock. I did like Precious. Just wish they'd had more money to spend on it so Precious could have had million dollar fantasies. And Invictus was the feel good movie of the year for me. Mandela was a man of his convictions, and a true leader. Now if only we could make a movie out of The Godmother that would equal or top "Chicago" I'd have something to write home about. mmm.
oooh, delicious! I heard the play read aloud last night by a table full of actors, playwrights, the director and other readers. Tomboy, Corker, Black Walnuts, Uppity, Billy, they all jumped to life right there in the director's dining room. Scary, funny, and exciting all at once. I will tweak the script a bit over the next 10 days before the next rehearsal so the cast will have a clean script going into the days before performance of the staged reading. I hope we have a standing room only audience and just pack that mezzanine full of folks ready and waiting for this sassy young butch lesbian taking over her crime family as well as the stages of first Portland and then -- who knows?
Tomboy McCorkle has just taken over the reins of the McCorkle crime family in Kansas City, Missouri. It's 1928. Prohibition is in full swing, but the Pendergast family has a stronghold on the police, District of Attorney's office, and the entire Justice Department, so the speakeasies are lively and jazz rules. The McCorkles operate out of the back room of The Hottentots Club where white lightning is served alongside home brew. The girls are hot, the jazz is hot, and the booze flows like the Missouri River. Trouble brews between the McCorkles and the di Mayos because older brother Bobby "The Slapper" McCorkle wanted to get into rum-running from Canada (di Mayo's turf), and within the family because Tomboy is female, and a lesbian to boot. She's gonna have to show everybody who's boss. You might as well come and see it for yourself. There will be blood. There will be music too. Come on down to Portland Center Stage and see for yourself. January 23rd, 12:30pm. Lunches can be bought by the box and carried up to the mezzanine and munched while you watch. Tix can be purchased online: https://robot.boxofficetickets.com/800-494-TIXS/WebObjects/BOTx2005.woa/wa/inspectProgram?id=88145&passKey=2b42b57e5f
Blue Roses and Copperheads and Common Women are now available on Amazon.com in book form.
In Kindle-compatible format at Amazon.com are my short story Summer's Over and my mystery novel The Hounding, which is an homage to Sherlock Holmes and has received great reviews. You can also find either of these on my website in pdf format at www.SandradeHelen.com.
A myriad of plays: full length, one act, solo, ten-minute, and monologues. Please hie yourself to my website for excerpts, even some mp3 versions. www.SandradeHelen.com