Archive for November, 2008

“Paint by the Numbers”

Posted in Writing on November 24, 2008 by darylfazio

…is the name of the new song to end Act I, a melt-your-face-off ballad. The kids leave “Art is Your Rock”, inspired, minds set on success and somehow, in Kitty’s case, determination to be famous. And, of course, we realize she’s completely misguided.

EXCERPT, p. 40

KITTY stands in front of her bureau mirror, staring at herself and slowly replaying the choreography from “Art is Your Rock,” still holding the paintbrush. She gets more and more excited as she practices.

KITTY
Who knew I could actually look good? (beat) This place is a how-to for success. All I have to do is exactly what I’m told, and I’ll go to SHoHo. And I’ll be somebody! And nobody will ever have to know I’m a fraidy-kitty inside.

Her voice suddenly changes as she steps into a different light and begins to speak self-importantly into the paintbrush as though it’s a microphone.

Individual lights illuminate TONI-O, smoking a cigarette and leaning against a stoop, and EDWARD, reading a copy of AWE (Art World Enquirer). Both boys stare into space as they dream their own art world dreams.

Thank you all for coming to my gallery opening. These paintings are everything you asked for: they match your couch, they make your neighbors think you’re cultured, they don’t force you to confront your inner emptiness with uncomfortable symbolism, and they have a guaranteed 500% resale value after my tragically early death from an accidental asbestos overdose. I know there are so many other places you could have been tonight, but you chose me. You chose me.

Behind KITTY are projected media images and news headlines of her as famous artist—hand in the camera of the paparazzi, award ceremony acceptance speeches, guest appearances on Charlie Rose, plastic surgery rumors on the cover of the Art World Enquirer (AWE), a painting selling for $10 million at Sotheby’s, etc.

Lights down on TONI-O and EDWARD as KITTY starts to sing.

Song (#8)—“PAINT BY THE NUMBERS”
(singing to her imaginary gallery audience with genuine excitement)

YOU FOLLOWED MY WORK
TO THIS PLACE WHERE WE KNOW
I’M SPECIAL, IMPORTANT,
THE TOAST OF THE SHOW.
WHO CARES IF I PAINTED
FROM DEEP IN MY GUT?
THIS ART MAKES ME FODDER
FOR HEADLINES AND SMUT.

YOU CHOOSE THE COLORS,
THE BRUSH STROKES, THE SIZE.
I GIVE YOU THE PORTRAIT,
YOU GIVE ME THE PRIZE.
I FOLLOWED THE RULES
LIKE GOOD POP ICONS DO.
MY WORTH AS A PERSON’S
DETERMINED BY YOU.

I’LL PAINT BY THE NUMBERS,
NO TEARS, SWEAT, OR BLOOD.
I’LL PAINT BY THE NUMBERS,
NO RISK OF A DUD.
I’LL PAINT BY THE NUMBERS,
WEAR FAME LIKE A GLOVE.
I’LL PAINT BY  THE NUMBERS
TO EARN ALL YOUR LOVE.

ART IS MY WAY TO NEVER LOOK BACK,
TO FOCUS ON FORTUNE, DEVELOP A KNACK
FOR FENDING OFF QUESTIONS ABOUT WHO I AM,
TO PAINT PRETTY PICTURES, BE POPULAR, GLAM.

I’LL PAINT BY THE NUMBERS,
NO TEARS, SWEAT, OR BLOOD.
I’LL PAINT BY THE NUMBERS,
NO RISK OF A DUD.
I’LL PAINT BY THE NUMBERS,
WEAR FAME LIKE A GLOVE.
I’LL PAINT BY  THE NUMBERS
TO EARN ALL YOUR LOVE.

KITTY raises her paintbrush in the air triumphantly.

I’LL PAINT BY THE NUMBERS
TO EARN ALL YOUR LOVE.

EDWARD crumples his copy of AWE and throws it in the trash. TONI-O puts out his cigarette.

Lights out.

End of Act I.

The End…

Posted in General on November 9, 2008 by darylfazio

POPart, The Musical has officially concluded its first workshop production at Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Audiences were sometimes quiet, sometimes raucous, sometimes small, sometimes big, but always in it. If laughter heals, the cast might have caused a few miracles.

And, though I’m not a mother, I felt like I was watching my 25 (26, if you count the script itself) children perform their faces off those seven nights and one matinee. That’s how proud I was.

Our lives all feel a little changed by this production (Monica Bell, you’re a born-director and were perfect for finding this show’s beating heart; cast, your devotion to this script and production was unwavering and moved me on a daily basis, and your growth as artists has been palpable). It’s hard to let go.

At the same time, though, I’m sitting at my laptop with the new draft of POPart percolating along (we have that staged reading in NYC tentatively scheduled for January–no rest for the weary). So I don’t really have to let go. In fact, I can’t. Inspired by all the magic moments in the show, I’m driven to make the close-but-no-cigar moments rise to that level. And I need to do so with the workshop fresh in my gourd.

Two new songs are planned to frame the intermission (which was added for this production). One of those songs will be an addition (Kitty sings to her reflection in the mirror as she accepts all her imaginary awards and does all her talk-show appearances after becoming famous; sure, you know what I mean; we’ve all practiced some sort of award speech in the mirror; I’m thinking Toni-O and Edward will join in from their individual spotlights); the other will replace “Critique Mystique”, a definite misfire in the show (we anticipate that the Homeless Man and Homeless Woman will sing this new one while Kitty melts down in the studio when inspiration fails to strike).

I’ve thanked the cast and director (and designers) a thousand times for helping me and Aaron “see” the piece. Consider this a thousand and one.

And remember. It’s not the end. Just the end of the beginning.

Moving Pictures

Posted in Uncategorized on November 1, 2008 by darylfazio

A small but attentive audience on Halloween night gave me space to do a little recording with my digital camera. Neither video does justice to the sound, but it’s a taste.

Video 1 is of “Be Free.” Video 2 is of “Crit This!”