Breaking Points

In Local projects, Revision, Theater on October 3, 2014 at 7:19 am

The girl, maybe. Over and over again. Forget Sisyphus or, better yet, re-cast the whole thing. Ask the girl: How old are you? Eleven, she’ll say. With a delighted giggle, she’ll talk about her birthday present – a ride on a pony. How she fell off but didn’t hurt herself and the nice man picked her up and the pony’s name was Idaho even if she’s a girl, and she picked Idaho because Idaho was the prettiest and

Eleven years old, you say, after listening to all this. So you were born in…

Stunned silence. “I don’t know,”  comes the answer, a bit disappointed. She was about to say how many pieces of cake she ate.

OK. Lay out 2014 minus 11. Hand the sheet of paper to the girl. Four minus one.

Five? No, no six, she says.


Oh. Counting backwards. Oh. Four…

Show me four fingers and take one away.

There’s three left.

That’s right. Now…

And so on.


The battle is lost. The danger zone for hunger strikers: between the thirtieth and the fortieth day of fasting. You’ve put your life on the line. Nobody cares. You must start feeding yourself again and deal with the long-term consequences of your actions – physical, emotional, intellectual.


Story. Same as being lost in the woods and circling back, over and over again. Thinking, all the while, you’re walking out and away.


She came to see me because she’s blocked. Can’t write. Must write. etc. Circles, over and over again, all over the page. Then, three trees blocking off the words she’d jotted down.

We worked. She left, happy and relieved. I’m good with the advice for other people.


Tell us about something you love more than anything, the prof said at improv last night. Now, go backstage and come back to tell us how much you loathe what you just described with so much delight.

I failed to convince on the second part of the exercise.




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