I’ve finished writing my play and I am very happy about it. Not because I think I was extremely good – it’s a very simple story – but because I enjoyed writing it, I liked my characters and most of all it was my first play. So the play is about Jackson Doyle, this ex-rocker who played in the band The Droners, and now is not that popular and relevant anymore. They were big in the 90s. One day, this woman calls him telling him that she got pregnant of him after a concert in Berlin in the 2000s. She had never told him about the son, but now she has some reasons why doing it: she asks him to pay for the expensive fees of the film directing school that the kid wants to attend to achieve his dream of becoming a director.
So Jackson is surpreised, but at the same time is flattered – having kids scattered around the world is a very rock ‘n’ roll cliché, right?, so he says yes, has the evidence that the kid is his, and spends a day with his son. During that day, he picks him up from school, brings him to McDonlad’s, to London Zoo, then to the recording studio of his band, to a park in Stoke Newington and then at home in Stratford. During this day, they both learn something about themselves and their lives – especially the father.
I had fun writing it, but it wasn’t easy, especially because of the word count. 5000 words are not many for a play, so I needed to carefully plan the scenes division and the dialogue. I needed to cut some parts and to readjust others. The most difficult thing to manage in this play was the backstory. The play takes place in a day, and it’s the day when Jackson and his son meet each other – but the backstory, the mother calling him to tell him about his son, their first encounter and so on needed to fit in the story and it wasn’t so easy to do. I had many notes and for every scene I had a page in which I answered to some questions: what does this scene reveal about the backstory? What does this reveal about the personality of the father or the child? Am I revealing too much or too little? It was hard to keep everything in balance.
Something that instead really helped me was giving me deadlines and a specific amount of words to write everyday. Of couse, sometimes I felt inspired and I just kept on writing, but it was good and wise to set an amount of words to complete in a day – it made me feel very productive and organised, especially when I finished, re-read and corrected the play exactly on the day I wanted to do it. I left it there, and I want to re-read it again and again after a few days because I want to be completely detached from it. I am really happy about my work and about how I managed it. The only thing that I miss now is a good title… which I guess is the hardest thing ever.