Write what you know. That’s always what people say. But how exactly do you do that?
That’s the genesis of veteran TV and comedy writer David Castro’s new writing class at Studio C. We’re offering this class for actors, writers, comedians, and other creative types who want to create their own vehicle or material – and want to learn more about how to do so by using their own life as the basis of the story.
But rather than hear more from me, we figured it was better to let David tell you in his own words. His description of the class follows. And if you want more information about the 6-week course, just click the link below.
Writing 8.5 – Generate Yourself by David Castro
I’ve taken the name of the class – Writing 8.5 – Generate Yourself – from Fellini’s movie masterpiece 8 ½. In 8 ½ a blocked film director has problems coming up with his next movie. He has some disjointed half-ideas for scenes and dialogue but no real story; some sets but no rationale for using them; and ultimately, no vision.
Until he realizes that his life and all the people and events and emotions that shaped it; his fantasies and the things that matter to him are what he needs to examine and re-examine to build the stories that make up his art by going over the stories of his life.
I have used my life, my experiences, and the people and things I am interested in to guide and shape my work as a playwright, television writer-producer, film writer, stand-up comedian, and writer/developer of stand-up material for over 75 comics.
This course is designed to have you generate material for yourself by examining yourself – who you are, where you’ve been, and what you’ve been through.
Which doesn’t necessarily mean that what you generate will be for you only. It can be, of course. But the beauty of your uniqueness is that others will be able to see themselves in your work. That’s why we can see pieces of ourselves in Hamlet, in Tina Fey’s comedy, and in any of the characters on Modern Family.
In a supportive setting you’ll go from brainstorming ideas to creating characters to writing sketches, scenes, material and outlines for the stories you want to tell.
You’ll learn and understand that everything has a beginning, middle and an end – even something as simple as a joke – where the pause in the middle between set-up and punchline is the middle.
You’ll learn that shorter is (almost) always better.
You’ll learn that writers write. But they also read. And are engaged in the world.
You’ll learn that story is everything. It is THE building block of culture. THE building block of civilization.
Don’t wait around. Create your own material. After all, YOU ARE THE STORIES YOU TELL. GENERATE YOURSELF.
YOU ARE THE STORIES YOU TELL.