~~~~July 31, 2012~~~~
What’s in a Name?
You may be wondering why this musical endeavor is called “One Way In”.
SEVERAL REASONS created the name “One Way In”.
One is geographical (more to come).
One is character-driven (See the show!!)
One has to do with the fact that the same person, one Lars Nielsen, is doing the “book”, or the story, as well as the spoken dialogue, AND , YES, the lyrics.
That’s what I want to tell you about .
Even Stephen Sondheim, greatest lyricist of them all, doesn’t do his own book. (He has done his own music, and, I, for obvious reasons, am not going there!)
Arrogant knave that I am, I thought, well, I write poetry (lyrics), plays (dialogue), and fiction (story/plot), I can do this all myself.
Well, I can, and I am on the way to being able to say, “I have”, so I will be able, at some point, to look back and say, “I did.”
This combined effort on all fronts hasn’t been easy.
The spoken dialogue was the easy part.
The problem is, the dialogue is clearly the servant and the bridge.
It’s the servant of the plot, and the bridge between the musical elements that are the focal points of the production.
So, it isn’t saying much to say the dialogue was easy…I found myself saying, “So what?”
If the dialogue was easy, it suffered collateral damage in the war between the plot/story and the lyrics.
I wrote a number of good songs that ended up as “little darlings” slain in the editing process because they did not advance the overall story of the production.
An ally showed up at one point to take the side of the plot/story; this partnership overwhelmed the lyrics. That ally was character.
Once I learned that the book and the characters were the elements that the lyrics had to be judged against, rather than as admirable in themselves, I had what I needed for a process.
But, it was certainly disappointing to lose a number of the songs, ‘cause they sure were cool.
Fortunately, I’ve been through editing many times, just not in something like this. When you’ve been working on this kind of production, at some point, the storyteller, lyricist, and dialogue creator get in a room to settle things.
At that point, the fighting begins, and the doors are locked for a reason. Thank goodness when it came to “One Way In”, there was no other way out.
Next time: Who ARE these people?
Lars lost his battle with