Creation of an epic – 3

Even as I could begin to write The Eagle and the Tiger, another incident suddenly began a new twist in what I was doing.  In Edmonton my hair was styled at And Hare We Are, in which all-female stylists worked on an all-male clientele, and the chief stylist adjusted my hair according to the needs of the play in which I may be performing.  One day, while working on my hair, she said, “Why don’t you write a musical about us?”  “All right,” I said, “I’ll take you and your second-in-command to lunch and we’ll talk.”  So off we went, and I recorded their conversation, which was fascinating.  We met and continued again, so that I had rich material to work with.

But, of course, just as you don’t sit down and write poetry without practice, you don’t just write a musical.  I had to study the nature of the modern musical and the art of lyric music creation for two years, imagine the characters, then write a plot for the work, as well as interesting a composer in the project.  Finally, the time came when I was ready for a character to sing the first song.  I imagined the situation, could see the character, let her open her mouth—and nothing came out.  I stopped, closed the workbook, and have not returned to it since.

Only when I can hear what the character sings can I return to it.

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