CREATIVITY #46 - WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN, HOW TO MAKE THINGS GOOD!

Please forgive me if it has been a while since I posted here.  I have been in the middle of a really good CREATIVITY LESSON - life does give us the best seminar stories,  so let's hope that my time away from this blog will be useful for you in your theatrical creativity journey.

For our 10th Anniversary Event here at Manhattan Rep, we decided (because it is great fun and we like fun) to bring back my crazy fun play about dating THE MATCH GAME.  Jen Pierro, my partner in life and Manhattan Rep and I actually met during a production of this play so we thought it would be FUN and fitting to bring back THE MATCH GAME to celebrate our Tenth.

Initially, rehearsals went great.  It was awesome to step back into this play and participate in the FUN, and acting with Jenny again was a blast, but suddenly, a week before opening, an original member of the cast had a health issue and had to pull out of the production.  We frantically looked for a replacement who was right for this role who could get it together in time but to no avail.  It looked like we were going to have to cancel THE MATCH GAME.

I hate to give up.  I just do.  Giving up is not in my nature. If I choose to do something, I will do my crazy best to make it happen.  So sitting, here on my computer, a week before the show, I made a crazy choice.  

I would rewrite THE MATCH GAME and make it work.  So I literally pulled this character off the stage and made him a much smaller off stage presence with some creative phone calls.  Phone calls were already a part of THE MATCH GAME but I figured I could use this vehicle to propel the story and still present the true essence of The Match Game. The cast was concerned and ready to call it quits but I convinced them to give my rewrites a chance. I was determined to make this work.

So that weekend, I recorded the off stage voice of BIG BOBBY B and I put together a rocking crazy fun soundtrack that would power The Match Game through to its crazy fun conclusion.  Spending hours and hours putting this all together I just barely got it done in time for our Sunday TECH rehearsal.  Luckily, we were blessed with one of the best Sound Light technicians in the world, Katherine Cartusciello, who took my 95 sound cues and created theatrical magic.  Our tech took only two and a half hours  (The show is 90 minutes.) and when we ended, we all knew it was going to work.  We had our dress after that, and WOW, miracle!  The play was funnier, more concise, and more streamlined than ever before!  And all our hard work was not going to go to waste! Last week , we opened and it was awesome fun!

Choosing to let go of something in this context worked.  We let go of the old way of telling this story and we found another way which actually worked.  I had one of our resident playwrights attend on opening night and he was struck by the dialogue and the acting work in the show, AND he had no idea we had actually taken a character offstage. No idea! Crazy fun!

Do I want this to happen when I open my next play?  Absolutely not. But I  do know that when the going gets tough CREATIVITY is the answer. Accept what is. Get creative with it, and then make it work.

The remaining performances of THE MATCH GAME are:

Thursday July 30 at 7 pm
Wednesday August 5 at 7 pm
Friday August 7 at 7 pm.

Please come and check it out now that you know the inside scoop, and let me know what you think!

Ticket Reservations can be made at: MatchGameTickets@gmail.com

Ken Wolf