I spent this morning prepping for the upcoming reading at The Half King by selecting sections of dialogue between protagonist Mia (cab driver) and her fare Donny Donaldson to send to the person who will read a few scenes with me.
Author readings typically involve the writer reading selected passages from his or her work, which I’ll be doing, but I’m also very excited to change things up a little bit by enlisting the help of (my brother in-law) Ryan Feyk, a tremendous actor who graciously agreed to donate his time (and he doesn’t have a lot of it) to read the part of Donny.
Dialogue is one of my favorite aspects of writing, so there’s a certain amount of it in Pretty Much True… . In fact, there are very few scenes shared by Mia and Donny that don’t involve dialogue. (Not only because they usually meet in her taxi, but because he’s not someone she gives much thought when they’re not together.)
It seemed essential to the reading of Pretty Much True… to include some of the scenes they share because their relationship is one of the primary focuses of the story, but reading the dialogue of two separate characters by myself has always felt unnatural. And, frankly, not as effective as it would be with more than one reader.
When I was writing plays and screenplays, one of the most gratifying phases of the process was the read-through with others who would take on the roles of the various characters. That was when their voices would truly come to life, when the story would magically rise from the page. If there’s any voice that would only suffer from my sincere but feeble efforts to convey it, it’s Donny Donaldson’s.
I can’t tell you how excited I am to give this reading at The Half King, period. But that I get to do a portion of it with a second, and highly talented, reader who will deliver Donny as he is meant to sound will truly be an experience. If you’re in the vicinity of 505 W 23rd St. on October 15 at 7 p.m., I hope you’ll stop by!