When did i start blogging about theater...

About the time I get sent blogs like this.

over at Bitter Gertrude a little post has gone viral: A Common Problem I See In Plays by Women Playwrights. It's Not What You Think.

And it really wasn't what I was expecting to read. Reactive female characters, women who were central characters but...not. And the parallel between reality. It's true. And in thinking through my catalogue of TV and Movie characters (which is far more exhaustive than Plays), I can see the trend throughout, notice immediately why certain female characters grabbed my attention. It's a great post, and one worth reading.

But, for me, it was the last little bit that got me.

"(PS to the men out there writing strong, compelling, active roles for women: Thank you. The women actors of the world also thank you. Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t have the right to write stories for women because you don’t have “authenticity.” Jesus Timberlake Christ, do they really want there to be FEWER roles for women?)"

Once upon a time I did a little post talking about how I was somewhat timid to write female roles. The main recap is that I felt like I couldn't capture the essence of a strong female character. And, now I see at least one problem in some of the dialogue I've written for women. In attempting to make it seem "real," I've more or less created female characters that were amalgamations of women I know. They're never one particular person, a little bit from Friend A, a little from Friend B, etc. But, in doing so, I was watering down each person's attitude.

And making them more reactive than they should be.

So, I've still got quite a bit of work to do. I'm, at best, a novice writer in so many ways. But at least now I've been told, in writing, to get over the "authenticity" bit. Back to sketching a strong, less reactive, more central character for this opera


Vacation means...?

Writing 3 minutes of music of a commission for Trombone consort (still so much more to do)

Sending off a couple festivals apps

Going to Vegas and gambling a little (and thereby only losing a little). It was my bff's birthday, and we decided to do it in style. She'd never been to an expensive steak joint. Nor a joust. Both of these things were fixed.

Getting horribly ill (probably from Vegas or all the horrid flights.)

Mastering a CD (you'll find out more when it's released). Learned just how beautiful Waves plugins are. They were totally worth every single effing penny.

So that means I need to go back to composing--it is a commission after all. Plus that pesky semester has started.

Oh, and I made it past the first round of the Fulbright.

If I wasn't so horribly ill, I'd be all about celebrating.


Why all the angst?

This just makes me feel sad. I'm sorry Mr. Asia has such a narrow musical ear. I have a feeling he dislikes the minimalist, post-minimalist, and electronic movements as well.

We are all entitled to our opinions. And he is quite allowed to dislike Cage. However, I listened to the entirety of the Sonatas and Interludes yesterday. On loop. For three hours. And was never bored for a minute.

I just hope Mr. Asia doesn't take this extreme approach when teaching students, building up prejudices in students at an early age. Both Stravinsky and Cage are important. As is Schoenberg. And Carter, Reich, John Adams, Tania Leon, Morton Subotnick, Dennis Smalley, Terry Riley, John Corigliano, Rzewksi, Cornelius Cardew, Edgar Varese, Luc Ferrari, Pierre Schaeffer, Pierre Boulez, Stockhausen, and many others from various formats. All have had profound effects on music. To discount them because you personally find one piece boring is a disservice.

Doubly so with students. How does he treat that situation? As a teacher, this attitude worries me.

There's tons of music I don't personally like. I find Mozart boring, to this day. I don't particularly like Jonty Harrison's music either. But I force students to study and listen to both, experience both, and come to their own decisions...and then talk about what each composer brings to the table and what can be learned.

I hope Mr. Asia has a much more open ear than he purports here. If he doesn't, I will never been submitting to anything where he is involved, as I know he will dislike my music. And he'll probably get blacklisted by many composers who write music like me anymore. This will lead to very narrow sounding concerts, no better than going to your average orchestra subscription concert. Pity, really, a living composer willing to bury a large segment of music.