Saturday, May 19, 2012

Me, Myself... Monologues, Part 2 (Bonus Sample)

Picking up on my last post about writer's block, it's also true that when I'm in a writing mood I write! So here's another sample monologue as a bonus.

Again, if you're looking for an original piece written specifically for you please contact me on to organise.

The Chair

There is a space across from me. An emptiness. An absence of something. No, not something… someone. An empty chair that sits there accusing me. It says, “you’re not good enough, you’re not worthy, you are damaged, you are less than.” Its silence screams a thousand barbs that I cannot shake, that I cannot banish from my psyche.

I want to shout at it. I want to yell and rage, kick and scream. Fill the space between us with my outrage, my disappointment, my sadness. It just stares back at me, unmoved, unmoving, cold and judgemental.

I try to imagine who else could be perched there - someone famous perhaps. A celebrity whose face everyone would recognise. They’d wonder why such an esteemed person was there with poor, anonymous me. Whisper excitedly as they wait for their overpriced lattes in ridiculous, napkin-wrapped glass. Ring their friends to say, “You won’t guess who I just saw” before taking a sneaky picture with their smartphone to prove the fact. All too soon our table would be crowded with well-wishers and autograph hunters.

The chair hasn’t moved. It remains resolutely unfilled and unimpressed.

Try as I might I can’t conjure a Star because that’s not what I want. Nor do I crave the company of astronauts or politicians; writers or inventors; reality show contestants or models. There’s only one person I wish was sitting there.

They may as well be on the Moon.

Sometimes I think she’s only a manifestation of my imagination. Like those childhood friends we occasionally manufacture in periods of solitude; who come out to play when there is no-one else to occupy our thoughts, our time… our dreams. They represent our most hoped for desires no matter how farfetched and crazy.

Yes, I am crazy. Why did I ever think she could be made real?

I want to yell and scream. But I know I won’t.

I want to slink away and put aside the humiliation and rejection. But I know I can’t.

I want to stay and fight for her. But I don’t know how. The Moon is an awfully long way away. And my mood is heavy and earth-bound.

The space where she should be mocks me. The message on my phone saying she won’t be coming cripples me. The casual glances of pity or disdain from strangers unravels me. I don’t know what to do. I am paralysed by confusion and doubt. And still the chair sits there empty.

I don’t hate you. I could never do that. But nor can I claim to understand you. Not in this moment. Not here and now. Not in front of this fucking chair.

© Richard Hyde, 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012

Dealing with the Dreaded Writer's Block

I saw a witty quote on Twitter a couple of days ago that went along the lines of:

“Writer’s block – when your imaginary friends aren’t talking to you.”

It made me laugh because there is some truth to that. Now, I have been writing, just not the thing I should be namely a low budget thriller feature script. This is strange to me as there is a detailed Beat Sheet that was battered back and forth between myself and the director as well as discussed at some length before I even opened a new Final Draft file. I have written the opening and had intended doing a “vomit draft” to get everything down before refining it with the director’s feedback. Ain’t been happening - long stretches of nothing, nada, nix, zilch. Don’t know why. I suspect it’s because the story has been germinating in the dark recesses of my brain somewhere… until I can hear all those imaginary new friends talking to me.

In the meantime I have been reading a lot of local scripts from shorts to a feature and even a television pilot. Giving notes and feedback, written and in person; taking plenty of meetings and generally been creative in terms of brainstorming ideas and discussing storytelling. I also unexpectedly met a young, enthusiastic writer and have taken on a de facto mentor role which I’m really enjoying. Her energy, passion and eagerness to learn is quite infectious.

This brew appears to have kick-started my own urge to start working on the feature again. I’m sure other writers might understand this – there is a nagging sensation at the back of my mind where ill-formed but recognisable glimpses of the film I wish to write are intruding with increasing regularity. It’s hard to explain but I love that sensation. It means I’m ready to write.

Computer optional :-)
But here’s the thing – normally I would be tapping away on my netbook but not this time. This time it wants to come out the old-fashioned way, in longhand with pen and paper. So there are new scenes appearing, scrawled on the back of the printed pages already in Final Draft; in notepads; and basically on whatever is available. What do I care, as long as it’s leaving my imagination and taking shape in words! I actually like writing this way – being very creative as it pours out then more analytical as you type it up and play with it a little.

The moral of the story? For me, it’s to keep being creative even if you’re not writing. Surround yourself with creative people. Let the passion for their stories reignite yours. Keep thinking story and reading scripts and brainstorming ideas. Sooner or later those ‘imaginary friends’ will want to come out to play. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Me, Myself... Monologues

I often see actors on social media asking if anyone knows of good (contemporary) monologues for auditions or their show reel. Occasionally I even get asked if I can recommend scenes or monologues. As a writer, my response invariably includes:

"You could always have one written for you."

Yes, if you're looking for a good monologue I can write one specifically for you!

Here's the deal - for $120 I will write an original monologue of around 3 minutes in length based on:

- a scenario; or
- a theme; or
- a character type;

that you specify. PLUS I will also do one polish based on your feedback.

Please contact me on to organise.

Below is a sample monologue:

The Birdcage

I hate it when people ask how things are going. I can hear it in their voice, the faint disapproval, the condescending tone. They are waiting to hear that it’s all too hard, that I made a mistake, that I’m sorry. It doesn’t matter how tough things get, how desperate times are. I will never give them that satisfaction. Never.

I couldn’t wait to leave home. To do my own thing, to live life on my own terms. It was like someone had left the door open to a bird cage. I was free to explore the world outside the bars, the rules, all the restrictions. What a revelation! I flew all the way to the other side of the country. To find exciting new possibilities, a bright shiny future, a better me.

Or so I thought.

Now I know sometimes the bars are there to keep the predators out. The users, the posers, the people who take advantage. The guys who crush your dreams.

The ones who make you sell yourself to pay the rent. The clients who make you feel less than what you really are.

Their horrid breath, the sweat, the callous disregard.

I will never ever give them that satisfaction. No matter how tough things get. When they ask, I smile sweetly and say everything is fabulous, more than I ever could have hoped for. You’re the only one I dare reveal the truth to.

I wonder if anyone else can tell… if she can tell? Forever leaving messages, forever sending gift packs. Another newly knitted jumper. Never money. She says she’s proud of me. I wish I could say the same.

Then there’s the boy. He said he would follow me. Give up his job, his friends, his ambitions, all for me. There’s a time that used to make me smile. Now it terrifies me. He wouldn’t understand… the choices, the desperation… the guilt. 

I often dream of going home.

But the cage is always easier to flee than it is to return to.

© Richard Hyde, 2012

Monday, May 7, 2012

Live Below The Line - Please Donate

I rarely use this blog for topics that aren't directly related to screenwriting matters, however, I would like to promote a wonderful cause: Live Below The Line. This is where people agree to live on only $2 a day for 5 days to experience extreme poverty to raise awareness and much needed funds.

Paraphrased from the LBL website: Donations will be used to build a new high school in Papua New Guinea. The school will provide traditional secondary education, as well as vocational training and a special needs learning centre - one of the first of its kind in PNG. Live Below the Line will also fund scholarships to ensure that all students in the area can attend the new school. 

Actors from Filmbites Youth Film School were involved in one of the promotional videos (below) and are now participating in the week.

You can make a donation at the Filmbites' page on the LBL website here or support individual members of the team. 

You can also follow people's individual stories and experiences worldwide on the Twitter hashtag #livebelowtheline

Could you live on only this for 5 days?
Please share the links and donate to a great cause.


Individuals you can support and local (Perth) actors:

Amy Murray (Sleepyhead):

Jessica Hegarty (Soulfish, Deadtime):

Richard Hyde