Monthly Archives: February 2013

Earths in Space “Liberty or Death” teaser

teaser thingEARTHS IN SPACE vol. 1 Where Are the Little Green Men? is available on Amazon, eBookpie, Copia, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

The e-book contains Episode One: “Liberty or Death” and Episode Two: “The End of an Earth.”

You like free samples, right? Well, here’s the beginning.

All text copyright Daniel R. Sherrier. Do not reproduce without permission.

TEASER

The forest was just like any old forest, until an archer in a spacesuit appeared. Continue reading

Cold readings

Continuing the series on theatre education for high school students…

I never liked auditioning as an actor, but the process is much more fun when you’re on the other side of the table.

Still, as the director, you need to have a plan going in.

Part of your job is to pick out excerpts from your script for cold readings. For those unfamiliar with the term, a cold reading is basically the opposite of a prepared monologue. A cold reading is an excerpt from the script handed to actors at an audition, and they have maybe a few minutes to prepare before they’re called to perform it in front of the director.

The cold reading will help you determine which actors can think on their feet and demonstrate creativity. Continue reading

It began as a teleplay…

RIP, my upcoming e-novelette series, began life as a TV pilot script.

It was a semifinalist in the 2011 PAGE International Screenwriting Contest in the TV Drama category and a finalist in the 2010 People’s Pilot Competition.

A Hollywood producer, in passing on the script, said it was “a fun idea” but he “would prefer to see this show executed in a more episodic/procedural way…”

There you have it. RIP — not formulaic enough for Hollywood!

(The producer was very nice, I must say. He certainly did not have to read my script. His comments merely demonstrated why this story is a better fit for books than TV. So, you get to read it soon!)

“I lost my phone number. Can I have yours?”

I work at a community newspaper that covers my old hometown and my old schools. So now, I get to observe it all from a completely different angle. But I wind up missing a lot of the little stuff.

Last year, I was reminded of a particular day toward the end of my senior year of high school.

A good friend of mine had been complaining for some time that I always wore solid, plain T-shirts of subdued colors, like black or gray or blue. No colorful design, no bright brand name, just a functional, monochromatic shirt, and a quiet monochrome at that. (The center of attention was not my favorite place to be.)

So, for my 18th birthday, he gave me a present: a black T-shirt with a message in tall, white letters.

It said, “I lost my phone number. Can I have yours?” Continue reading

Read RIP first!

Want to read the first RIP novelette before nearly everyone else? I’m giving away 10 advance copies for free, in either PDF, ePub, or MOBI form (I learned something new). The only piece missing is the cover, which is currently in development.

I ask only two favors, neither of which is an obligation: If you enjoy it, please write a review on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, and/or your personal blog when it comes out in mid-March. Also, if you opt for the ePub or MOBI, please let me know if there are any weird formatting issues that get in the way.

More info about the series is here.

The first novelette is called “Touch,” and it’s about 13,000 words.

So how do you get it? Just be among the first 10 people to email me at daniel@sherrierbooks.com or contact me through Facebook. Let me know which format you prefer.

Thanks!

Can Hollywood do Broadway?

I finally saw Les Miserables the movie. It was a good movie that reminded me how great the Broadway soundtrack is.Les Mis

Somehow, I’ve never actually seen a staged production of Les Mis, despite a degree in theatre. My higher education was too busy exposing me to relatively obscure shows like Ruddigore, apparently.

But I always enjoyed the Les Mis soundtrack, and I still prefer the non-Russell Crowe version.

That seems to be the main flaw these days in adapting musicals to the big screen—the producers think they need big names, too. Big names don’t always have big voices. Continue reading

Ground plans

Continuing the series on theatre education for high school students…

Directors need to establish the framework in which their actors move around. That’s the ground plan.

After you read the script several times, sketch out what the stage will look like–but only generally. Don’t be picking out the color of the couch just yet. That’s irrelevant at this point. But do figure out where that couch will be located in relation to other prominent set pieces and props. Here, you’re focusing on what goes where.

As you do so, you have to keep two things in mind. First, how do you need the actors to move? Second, how would your ground plan compel the actors to move in the absence of your direction? Continue reading

RIP “Touch” teaser

teaser thingRIP is coming this March.

But it’s still only February, so what ever will we do in the meantime? I know! Let’s have a preview!

First, the basic idea of the series:

Opening yourself up to a whole new world can leave you vulnerable—but it’s the only way to grow. That’s what Rip Cooper has to do when he learns he can perceive ghosts with his five senses as if they were flesh and blood people, and he’s just as solid to them—in fact, the only solid thing to them. This young loner has to overcome his fears and kill dead people to prevent them from corrupting the living. He works alongside an impure angel and his ex-best friend’s ex-girlfriend as they teach him how love can conquer fear.

You can find more information here. Continue reading

When life throws you bozos, write a play

My high school senior Homecoming resulted in my first original one-act play — a farce.

The play, “The Play About Homecoming,” went over well with its high school audience, and my cast did great. The show brought considerable laughter to an auditorium full of teenagers. But what I and a few friends had to endure to get it…

I was very last-minute with the whole Homecoming thing. Three days before the dance, I learned one of my female friends was dateless, so I figured I’d swoop in and save the day.

She wasn’t the problem, and neither were her two best friends—but their dates left pretty much everything to be desired.

One was a 21-year-old guy who for some reason wanted to go to a high school Homecoming with a 17-year-old girl he barely knew. The other was our same age, but not our same level of hygiene, and he wore a tie-dyed shirt under some garish sportscoat. Continue reading

Preparing to direct

Beginning a series on theatre education for high school students…

When you’re the director, you have to do several things before you step foot into the first rehearsal. Otherwise, your leadership may amount to little more than “Okay, actors–go!” and “Okay, actors–stop!”

After you find the script you want to direct, you need to re-read it several times. Each time, have a different focus. Here are four important topics to consider:

1.) You want to define in your mind the purpose of the play. Is it just a simple comedy designed to make people laugh, and that’s it? Is it trying to provoke thought? Does it have a theme you want to emphasize?

The production needs a reason to exist beyond “Well, I felt like directing a play my senior year, so…yeah…I’m doing this one…”

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the purpose being harmless entertainment. Not everything needs a deep, complex meaning. If you’re just out to have a great time and share some fun with the audience, that’s plenty of purpose right there.

So that’s the what. Now to start thinking about the how… Continue reading