All right, some of the pieces for this puzzle had fallen into place. I knew that the show was to be based on Othello, I knew when in time it would take place, I knew the musical genre and I knew the type of world I wanted to portray.
I was pretty excited about this.
I have a good friend in LA who works in film and TV and I wanted to share this news with him. To my great surprise he said, “Come down to LA and we’ll put a screenplay together.”
I couldn’t believe my good fortune. It was still 1991, I’d only just thought of the project a month previously and here someone, a someone who’s a friend and who also happens to be a little bit connected, is interested enough to take the time to help write a screenplay with me. What good fortune.
My fantasy wheels began to spin over-time. I became ‘concerned’ that some big shot celebrity that I didn’t care for would want to be in this great movie. Ha!
How would I negotiate a contract that would leave me with some control? Another big Ha!
What would I wear when I went up to receive my Oscar? Ha, ha, ha, ho, ho ho!
As yet there was no script, no songs nor any music beginning to percolate.
What did I have? Hmm…,I had a hazy idea of a something based on Othello and the sound of the baritone sax and I wasn’t even too sure about the bari anymore.
The trip did not go well.
My friend ended up being too busy to focus on my project (still no name for it) and I was pretty clueless as to how to get started. (Where were the Screenplay for Dummies books back then?)
A week went by.
My wife and I had very little money in those days. I was still trying to land on my feet employment-wise due to our recent move to Seattle. Fortunately I could stay with my sister in L.A. and not rack up hotel bills…BUT…,
…somehow in the general confusion, I lost my return trip air ticket. This is unusual for me as I’m not an airhead when it comes to keeping track of expensive items.
Enough is enough. I know when to throw in the towel. There were too many bad omens.
Did I try to stick it out? You bet. I even went as far as applying for a job as one of those keyboard-demo dudes who used to stand out in front of the mall music stores trying to catch people’s eyes as they walk by in order to entice them into the shop to purchase an electronic keyboard that they will never play. I got the job but couldn’t make myself take it.
Sometimes you just have to know when to retreat and regroup.
My friend generously gave me the money to buy a return ticket. I’m still grateful.
There was one positive thing that occurred however. It was the composition of This Magic Night, a song that will later appear in Act 1, scene 3. As yet there’s no demo of it that I care to share.
There will be music from the show in the next post.