When I die, many things could happen. My son Cameron could either simply delete the multitudes of files of unfinished, unstarted, half-notioned, or unseen stories, sketches, ideas that populate my Google Drive, or he could go through them all, one by one, and discover what a mad genius I was.
I suspect he’ll read through a couple of them, wonder how I ever made anyone laugh with my words, and then delete them all.
Perhaps that is why I’m presenting to the public some of the words I’ve written, before I die. Not to prove I’m a mad genius, but to have at least some of my unseen stories witnessed before Cameron callously deletes the oeuvre of my existence.
So, yes, I’m producing “Four One-Act Comedies Did By Rob MacDonald”, November 22nd to 25th at The Guild. Two of them have never been seen by anyone. One was seen by a smallish crowd one night over a dozen years ago, and part of one was added into a Sketch-22 season.
So, that’s the news. Other news is that I am not acting in any of them. I am only directing, and producing.
“Why are you not acting in any of them?” You may ask. I will answer.
I’ve written, and for better or worse, directed a lot of sketches over the years. I’ve acted in most of them. I’ve acted in productions that have been written, and directed, by other people. I’ve enjoyed all those experiences.
But I’ve never “just” directed. I’m curious to see how this affects the rehearsal process, and the end result. I’m also curious to see how stuff I’ve written gets perceived when I’m not on stage to make goofy faces if the words don’t get laughs.
It’s kind of like letting your teenage daughter go out on her first dates.
A part of you would like to be at the restaurant table with them to influence the experience, to make sure it goes okay. To offer up a topic of conversation if there is a dip in the energy.
But another part of you wants your daughter to be her own person, to live her own life. In this situation, the plays are my daughters, and the actors are the dates I’ve entrusted to respect her and help her grow.
I guess the audience would be the waiter? Or maybe an Uber driver?
I admit it’s not a perfect metaphor. But just be sure of this: this time around I’ve made the conscious choice not to date my own daughters. Hmm, that doesn’t really sound too good does it?
See, it’s a file exactly like this one that Cameron might read when I am dead and decide “…nope, not worth saving.”