Wednesday, October 07, 2009

LONDON 7: Day 5 - Break Down Day

I woke up at 6 am today... I don’t know why. I could not fall back asleep.

Today I’m teaching one of my 5 (FIVE!) Free classes, and this is one of two troublesome classes. I usually teach one class before the 2 day class as a sample - if you liked this class, come back for the weekend class. Usually they charge 10 pounds (somewhere between $15 and $20 depending on exchange rate) for this class and I usually fill a large room - 300 to 500 people. The sample class often makes enough money to cover all of my expenses and pay me for the weekend class - meaning Raindance makes a bundle. This year - 5 classes, 4 which are absolutely free and 1 that costs the price of a cinema ticket because they are holding it at the festival venue when there is not a movie showing. I worry that the free classes are killing the weekend class...

But I am also worried about 2 of the classes that Elliot (Mr Raindance) picked from my list of potential classes: THE IDEA MACHINE and SEX & VIOLENCE. The problem with S&V is that there was no class, just a title. I brought a couple of articles and jotted notes in the plane, but I’m afraid I only have half an hour of material. The IDEA class has a different problem - I am teaching the Idea version of the 2 day class, and fear this will *really* undercut that class... unless I come up with something different. Again - ideas jotted on the plane for a brand new class, but I have no idea whether it will last 2 hours or 20 minutes. And guess which class costs the price of a cinema ticket? This class is also an hour earlier, due to film scheduling at the cinema. That ends up not being a problem as I was awake at 6am.

On the way to the class I almost get hit by a bus going to Dullwich Library... and decide to use that as part of the class. My idea for the class was to do brainstorming - real audience participation stuff - in order to find interesting ideas. I scribbled down 12 ways to find ideas that I have never used before, and what I was afraid might be 20 minutes of class turned into 2 hours of fun. People came up withy crazy ideas and I’d had enough coffee at that point to turn audience suggestions into stories - even when the audience suggestions were strange. So, is there a library where a dull witch can learn how to be exciting?

Raindance videoed my first class - a really cute American girl (tall) was operating the camera. But she couldn’t be here for this class. At first I thought that was great - since I expected this made up class to completely suck - but after the class I really wished someone had got it on tape, since I was on a roll. Can’t have everything.

After the class I got tickets for two movies, CHAMELEON and GUTS - both had some criminal element in them. But I was exhausted and needed to write my magazine article - the editor was e-mailing me... and e-mailing Raindance! So I retired to a coffee shop to write, hoping to have it finished by the time the first movie started.

No such luck. Whatever energy I had I used up doing my class. I struggled with the article for a while, and then wandered to the cinema a half hour before GUTS began, and had a coffee with Janet in the lobby... then a strange thing happened. I did not go see GUTS, even though I had a ticket in my pocket. I went back to the coffee shop to try and write some more... but people claim they saw me in the cinema watching GUTS. I have no memory at all of the film. None. I was exhausted and sleepy and swear I did not see that film. But a couple of people asked me what I thought of it and swore they saw me in the cinema. Sleep film viewing?

I *did* finish my article, but was so tired I was afraid it might not make sense. So I’m going to read it tomorrow, make corrections, then e-mail it. This is one of those magazines that pays me nothing (as in $0 - they don’t even give me a free advert) so I’m not feeling really guilty about it being late.

Anyway - the main thing that happened that day was that I had my first real meal since arriving in London. Yesterday I ate a bag of popcorn - that was my meal for the entire day - and I wondered if part of my exhaustion may be due to not eating enough. So I wandered into Chinatown, avoiding Mr. Wu’s All You Can Eat Buffett, and had a sit down Chinese meal... which always bothers me because they have no doggie bags in London. What you don’t eat is thrown away (or maybe scraped from your plate and sold to Mr. Wu’s). But I’d had a meal! Instead of giving me energy, it made me sleepy. I went back to the cinemas, almost went to see a movie, but made the mistake of having a beer and talking to some people... and the beer just killed me. I barely made it back across London before falling asleep.

Just a completely wasted day except for the class and possibly seeing GUTS while somnabulating.

SCRIPT SECRETS: LONDON - October 10 & 11, 2009 - BIG IDEA class, using GHOST as our primary example and it includes the new Thematic element!

- Bill

TODAY'S SCRIPT TIP: The Sex Scene Tip which goes along with my Sex & Violence Class
Yesterday's Dinner: Egg rice, sweet & sour chicken, egg rolls, BBQ ribs.

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