[This is the second entry to be posted simultaneously on both blogs.]
I killed ‘em on Booby Hill.
Since I wrote the first two drafts of “Canned Ham” here at El Momo, and since it was Patrick and Sophie’s invitation to come down here for the summer that inspired the writing of it in the first place, there was a nice poetic symmetry in giving the first public reading of the script this past Tuesday evening, here at El Momo.
We invited about a dozen of the friends I’ve made since my arrival on the island two months ago to a reading to be held in the dining pavilion. Once people caught their breaths after climbing the stairs (6 storeys up from the road, remember?) I plied them with alcohol. As all performers know, a slightly tipsy audience is a friendly audience. No fool, I. Patrick had casually mentioned a couple of days earlier that he’d “make some tapas” for the event. Frankly, he lost control; he put out a spread that a) was beyond belief in its variety and tastiness (bacon-wrapped shrimp, sautéed celery, fish tempura cheese, crackers, pumpkin soup… I can’t even remember everything on the table) and b) made for a hard act to follow. Suddenly I was appearing at the El Momo Dinner Theater.
When everyone was pleasantly stuffed with food and drink I said a few words to introduce the piece and then got underway. Let’s just say I was pleased with the response. I learned a lot about the text from both an actor’s perspective and from the point of view of the author. Some things need to go, others can be fleshed out. Some jokes didn’t work, some worked even better than I’d hoped. Still other lines will remain but will be refashioned. Frankly, it was an invaluable exercise, particularly in light of the fact that the references in the play are particularly American, and (thank God) I found that the script seems to work regardless of one's pop-culture frame of reference.
Flipping back through earlier blog entries I see that on April 3rd of this year the idea of writing a show here on Saba and returning to the states to tour it around the country in the camper really solidified into the plan that is now in place. Just three and half months later and a huge chunk of that plan—the script—is a reality. There are some other details (fun stuff) that I’ll talk more about when I get back home and get things cookin’ on that end. But for now, I can count my summer holiday on Saba a complete, total and utterly fabulous success.
And that's not even counting my world-class tan line.