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400 Day LETS Odyssey
Copyright � James Taris

JAMES TARIS around the World- (2003-4)

In a Chinese shopping mall ... having a break from writing.

CHINA - Shanghai (Wk.3 of 5 weeks)
Week 3 of World Tour

Writing My Play - The Glory Of Athens

When I moved to Brunswick to stay with Barbara, my LETS host for my last 2 weeks in Melbourne, I was invited by Albert Hudson to see a play which was being performed by the Moreland Amateur Theatre Group (a member of Moreland LETS). It was called Miracles, and I was so impressed with the performance that I left inspired, and told Albert that it had given me a great desire to write my own play some day.

Well, that day arrived last week. And so now I find myself in Shanghai, writing a play about Ancient Greece! Unusual? Yes. But when you've got the internet as your research tool, you can write about any place from anywhere.

So let me tell you what I've gone through so far �

First of all, I've become a virtual recluse since I decided to undertake this project. Coming up with a subject was difficult (as always). I wanted to write a humorous play, but with an inspirational message. I wanted to write a one-man play, so I could perform it on my travels around the world. I wanted it to be of a professional standard, so I wouldn't be embarrassed by it. Then when I got an email suggesting I write about Pericles, I knew it was the perfect subject. And as I'd already written a humorous speech about him, I had something to start off with. But that was only a start. There was lots of padding required to turn a 7 minute speech into a 60 minute play.

(If you aren't familiar with my humorous monologue, 'Pericles - Athens Most Glorious Ruler', you can access it from my web site www.JamesTaris.com and go to the Public Speaking web page. Then you can read it FREE online.)

My only other experience in writing a play was in high school (2nd form) when I was about 13. I'm obviously not a seasoned playwright. So I wasn't aware of the logistics involved when considering the amount of time required for writing, rehearsing and producing a play. The internet shed some light on this dilemma, and I soon adjusted the time allocated for writing my play from the initial 3 weeks, to a more realistic 14 weeks. Most amateur theatre groups are advertising rehearsal schedules going over 2 months, so I've given myself another 10 weeks to learn my lines.

All in all, this means I'm aiming for a World Premier performance of my play, The Glory Of Athens, to take place in the last week of November while I'm in London! (Well, that's the plan anyway.) I haven't made any contacts yet, but soon I'll be writing to all 32 Amateur Theatre Groups in London (list is from www.amdram.co.uk) and seeing if I can persuade one of them to accept me and my play for a one night show.

Seeing there are 12 characters in the play (all monologues, therefore suiting a one-man performance), I've even thought about expanding it into a multi-role play and getting an Amateur Theatre Group to put on a Full Stage Production. If that's possible, it'll be ready for it's World Premier (I just love the ring of that) by February while I'm in Chicago. This will give the group enough time to read the script, accept it, audition for roles and rehearse the parts. A process taking about 5 months.

Will I have amateur theatre groups fighting to get the right to perform my play? Hardly. But there are some groups which are interested in producing unknown plays, and I'll certainly fit into that category.

Will I make a fortune from my play? In my dreams! In fact, I plan to give it to them for FREE! Why? Because then it's more likely to get produced. And the world's greatest work of art cannot be enjoyed by the public if it's never put on display. (I use this as an analogy, not a claim to the genius of my yet unwritten work.)

So that's my dream. I've had hundreds (thousands?) of dreams in my lifetime, and they don't always come true. Yet I find myself in China, on the first leg of my 400 Day World Tour, and 17 more countries ahead of me. This was also a dream not so long ago. Recently I've felt everything falling into place so perfectly. Like magic. I've had great support from my family and friends worldwide, and I know that if I want to get something done, all I have to do is ask. And ask, I shall. For the doors of opportunity open to those who are unafraid to ask.

This article is taken from the ebook,
400-Day LETS Odyssey

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