You know me. I like sophisticated comedy, crisp repartee, very subtle sarcasm as observations of life. In general, my friends are obviously quiet, smart, intuitive, and inwardly creative – writers, artists, and technicians.
So why do I like this guy? Don Roberts – an actor! We’ve been friends for years, and he absolutely doesn’t fit in anything you’d even remotely catalogue as a “friends’” box. (Or at least I wouldn’t.)
So what is it about the guy? He’s smart, certainly. On stage he’s outrageous, off stage quite shy – a living paradox.
And he makes me smile. Maybe that’s it. Take – for example – this picture of Don taken one morning while he was still in his pajamas ...
I have this friend. She sends me studies and short stories from time to time. I tell her that as a writer she is a far greater artist than I am. She doesn't believe me. Here's a sample of her work. What do you think?
She had an unfortunate face. Too symmetrical and smooth of skin to be ugly; too fused in an expression of distress to be pretty. Not that the visage mirrored the inner affect. No, she looked the same whether bursting with joy or ready to jump. A distress borne of facial features passed genetically, parents to offspring. A rare combination of her mother’s saucy pout and her father’s bedroom eyes—the features that made them such an attractive couple, somehow, when combined produced an unpleasant melange. One had to study her for a moment or two to determine if she was in fact, going to be placed in the “pretty” or “ ugly” column. Two days before he marries her and he’s still not sure.
They sat opposite. He studied her face, as he often did, looking for the answer to the knotted question in his intestines. She studied the menu, trying to decide on a noodle dish from the photos displayed. The server came over and she began to interrogate him. “Which are the skinniest ones, dragging noodles or cutting noodles?” He winced, knowing she would never eat anything considered “fat”, whether due to caloric content or shape.
“Okay…so dragging noodles then. In soup. Chicken, not pork…okay? No pork.” She said this last statement as though the young Asian server were her aged Aunt Mim, hard of hearing and slightly demented.
He ordered the same, less of a problem that way. She was speaking to him but his eyes were fixed on her features, still trying to decide…
“Dan! Are you listening to me? We need to decide now, right now. Blue or black?”
He had no idea what she was referring to, having long ago conceded all matters pertaining to The Wedding to her. “Um, black I think.” Could be they were going to have a black car, black cake or black priest…he didn’t much care.
She punched numbers on her cell phone. He continued to study her face. As she talked her lips formed vowels and consonants somehow remaining in a perpetual pout. This should be good, he thought. That’s what the supermodels have, and the strippers he occasionally patronized before she clamped down on his recreational time. A pout is good. But somehow on her, it was the pout of a petulant child, not of a sexy siren.
Nose: small, straight, upturned. Cute. The kind of nose any plastic surgeon would be proud to display on his “after” page. Eyes: blue. No, grey. Maybe kind of green. Hell, what kind of fiancé doesn’t even know what colour his betrothed’s eyes are? Blue, definitely blue. But a smokey blue, like the haze in the bar after the lights come on.
But then there was the shape. No, maybe the shape was okay. It was the way they were aligned on her face. Yes, that was it. They sloped up at the inner corners, in a pleading, dismayed way. Always disappointed; always wanting more.
Those eyes. That’s why they were engaged. A year of dating. She was nice, but it was more that she was easy---not in a sexual way, although that wasn’t really a concern, but more in that she was like him. Same background, same circle. Nothing complicated here. He would have been content to continue with the weekend dates, the hot, sweaty release in his car or her parents’ house after they were asleep. But those eyes. They pleaded for more. And every time he looked at her he got the message that he wasn’t man enough, or mature enough….
So marriage it was. He thought his concession to marry would make those eyes turn up at the corners, stop demanding, pleading, judging.
“Dragging noodles in chicken soup”. The food arrived.
So ... I'm sitting there, innocently typing away on The Teapot Collector, with the (now fading) hope of getting the thing finished before somebody asks to read it.
And the phone rings ... (I don't like telephones. I have never liked telephones. If I wanna talk to you, I'd much rather drive over to your home ... or email. Yeah, I like email. Or posting on this blog. I actually feel pretty close to you on this blog. Is that strange? I dunno. But I feel comfortable by communicating this way, and you certainly don't appear shy in answering ...)
So the phone rings. It's Julie, my writing partner. Don't get me wrong,I enjoy writing on my own, but I also like working out stuff with people. In addition to everything else, I'm presently writing a play with Q - one line at a time! (Excuse me, it's a collaboration. Politically correct, that's me ... not.)
So Julie calls, and she says she has just accepted a challange from something called Script Frenzy. The idea is to complete (I assume) a 100 page script during the month of April. She intended to write a movie script, and graciously invited me to co-author, if that was something I'd like to do ...
And it was something I'd like to do. I've read a number of movie scripts, in fact edited a couple, but I've never actually written one.
I should, I suppose, point out a difference between Julie and myself. She enjoys challanges. We have just finished writing a play together - a pretty good one. This was something she had never done before. She also just finished a gruling competition where she was enjoined to post something every day for a year. So she enjoys a good challange. Me? I enjoy a good meal, followed by a good wine, followed by a good nap.
And finally, I must confess that with my limited experience in movie writing, it seems to me we have enough material for several movies, a thick novel or two, certainly a computer game, and eventually toys that come with your double cheeseburgers.
I dunno. I'll think about it later - right after my nap.
Daily dawns another day; I must up, to make my way. Though I dress and drink and eat, Move my fingers and my feet, Learn a little, here and there, Weep and laugh and sweat and swear, Hear a song, or watch a stage, Leave some words upon a page, Claim a foe, or hail a friend- Bed awaits me at the end.
Though I go in pride and strength, I'll come back to bed at length. Though I walk in blinded woe, Back to bed I'm bound to go. High my heart, or bowed my head, All my days but lead to bed. Up, and out, and on; and then Ever back to bed again, Summer, Winter, Spring, and Fall- I'm a fool to rise at all!
There are people who love me. I never asked to be loved, although in truth I believe all people need at least one person to teach by example what we consider the best attributes of humanity.
There are people who think they hate me, not many, but a couple. In truth I think these people live in fear, and hate seems to momentarily quench a never ending thirst to be loved.
Ironic, isn't it?
Who am I?
This seems to be the age old question. Who am I? I learned long ago not to take my identity from what I do. If you asked me, I'd say I was a playwright, because I know that's how I'm most easily identified. But this is what I do, not who I am.
I'm directing two plays this year. I start with "Harvey" in June at a theatre about twenty miles from my front door. I'm following this by directing "Inherit The Wind" in September at a theatre about twenty miles in another direction. If this makes me anything at all, it would be temporarily insane.
I teach acting classes and have just started leading a quite active creative writers group.
And the list goes on and on. Honestly, I've done everything in life I've wanted to do, gone in every direction that appealed to me.
But none of this is me. I've learned that I'm one of those people who actually enjoys mowing the lawn, I enjoy being there when a friend wants or needs to share a thought. Genuine creativity makes me cry for happy, "adult" material of just about any kind bores me. I'm a product of my own morality and generation.
More and more I think that who I am depends on what is in front of me at any given moment. There are few constants . I take what I do seriously, but I never take myself seriously.
Maybe there's one constant.
I'm a child of God - not because I say so, but because He says so.
In Xanadu did Kubla Kahn a stately pleasure-dome decree: where Alph, the sacred river, ran through caverns measureless to man down to a sunless sea. So twice five miles of fertile ground with walls and towers were girdled round: And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills, where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree; And here were forests ancient as the hills, enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
Jack Bunny is the alter ego of a playwright, theatrical director, and drama critic. If you are at a party and see a 150 pound rabbit at the punch bowl, it might be him!
(On the other hand, it might also mean that perhaps you should step away from the punch bowl for awhile.)
ANOTHER DUMB GHOST STORY (Full length)
THE REVENANT (Full length)
CORIE (Full length)
MORGAN (Full length)
VOLLEYS (Full length)
ELYCE TIMES ONE (Full length - written with J.E. Ocean)
THE DISENCHANTED FROG (Children's One-act)
THE ART OF BUILDING BRIDGES (One-act)
FROM MY VANTAGE POINT (One-act)
THE TRIAL (One-act)
WHAT'S NEW IN LATHERDUE? (Reader theatre One-act)
ROUGH DRAFT (One-act)
THE GRAND GILDER (One-act)
Old friend remembered
We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.
George Bernard Shaw
I hate writing, I love having written.
If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.
It must be summer. I can smell California burning.
Starbucks is where certain relationships go to die.
I can only answer the question 'What am I to do?' if I can answer the prior question, 'Of what story do I find myself a part?'
Walmart always makes me cry ...
Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.
The Bible in the hand of one man is more dangerous than a whiskey bottle in the hand of another.
Can people stop dying please? Just for a little bit. maybe.
Mettle not in the affairs of Dragons, for thou art crunchy and good with ketchup.
He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise in heart.
Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned/nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.
This above all: to thine own self be true. And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.
In my many years I have come to the conclusion that one useless person is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a Congress.
Wearing underwear is as formal as I get.
"Pay No Attention To That Man Behind The Curtain ..."
Our revels now are ended.
These, our actors, as I foretold you, were all spirits, and are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision, the cloud-capp'd tow'rs, the gorgeous palaces, the solemn temples, the great globe itself, yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, and, like this insubstantial pageant faded, leave not a rack behind.
We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep.