Tuesday, June 20, 2023

3T Writing Tidbit

Occasional randomness:

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

2T Repeat Performance - Inspiration behind the book

I've done a number of blog tours over the years, posting on different sites. Now I'm bringing them to you!

Originally published August 16, 2012 for the Brunette Librarian

Inspiration behind the book?

 As a musician, playing for live shows is one of my joys. My pit orchestras are usually a small group, generally friends, often including my husband. Not only is the show fun and exciting, but we have plenty of laughs and disasters both onstage and off.

As a writer, my prime goal is entertaining readers. Biting Oz immerses you in the world of theater, from the bright glitter of the show to the nitty-gritty action behind the scenes.

Much of my inspiration comes from direct experience, enhanced by imagination. When I starting Biting Oz I had just played Reed II for The Wizard of Oz and it was fresh in my mind. I myself lugged around a huge tenor sax (and it was as bone-numbingly awkward as Junior says), although I admit I never whacked a vampire with it. Our real life Toto was a hoot, getting bored and plopping down to lick his, um, scenery. In the book my Toto gets even more creative J

Other real-life Oz stories: friend and trumpet player Karen W remembers “having Toto come up and sniff you at the edge of the pit.” A musical friend recounts “Professor Marvels’s camp site was complete with a camp fire (light and fan, etc.)…[and]…during one performance, Toto (a real pooch) kept sticking his nose in the ‘flames’ to see if there were more hot dogs in there!” That was the performance where “the music room below stage began flooding with sewage from the sump pump. [They] closed the doors and the show went on.....Later captioned by [a national news source] as ‘If I only had a drain!’”

I’ll just share two other pit stories (not in Biting Oz but maybe a future book :). 

My husband nearly got beaned by a croquet ball in Little Mary Sunshine (the pit is below the stage) and took to wearing a hard hat to rehearsals. 

Reed player Leah D remembers a production of Into The Woods. “We had this ugly little cheap stuffed animal as our ‘pit mascot.’ Mostly, we’d stick him in funny places on someone else's stand, horn, music, gigbag, whatever. Our drummer, Barb, was commissioned with finding just the right sound for the giant’s footsteps. She found that holding the feet of the ugly stuffed animal and whacking its head into the bass drum was exactly the sound the director wanted. Heh heh...”

As you can see, quite a bit goes on offstage too. Excitement, laughs, disasters, and relationships. What better inspiration for a story?