The Unexpected Facebook Interview: Part 2

We moved the conversation from Athena's wall to mine:

Athena Zeus posted to Ekari Mbvundula
I hope you find my responses helpful. Keep writing...keep talking...stay smart. ;)
24 August at 23:06

Ekari Mbvundula More than helpful! I think we can continue here to de-clutter your wall :-P
25 August at 09:03  

Ekari Mbvundula Yeah I knew you'd understand the role playing one has to do in the creative process. Whether or not the characters stay on the page, or make it to the stage, the process stays the same. To be honest, in many of my plays I didn't plan on making a stage appearance at first, but in some cases my fellow cast members would vote that it was logical for me to play the role since I knew it best. I started to embrace the stage more and more because I needed to ensure that the story was told the way I intended. Call me a control freak :-)
25 August at 09:22

Ekari Mbvundula You're right about the never-ending editing. Every time, every. Time. I revisit my work, there is something I want to change. I gasp "What was past me thinking??" But I generally calm myself when it's minor issues like improvements in sentence structure, choice of words etc. It's a balance, you need to know when to gag your inner editor. One thing I have learnt from the countless writer's guides I have read is that the first draft is always crap. The best writing is re-writing, so don't stop to edit when you're first putting it on the page, or else it will never be finished. Plays are a bit different, because they constantly evolve. It's no longer just you the writer and the computer, there is now the director's vision, the actors' visions, the resources available... I've learnt not to be a vicious lioness with a play I've written, and allow it to morph into what it needs to be. Often, it turns into something more unique than what I had imagined. When it works, a shared vision is a beautiful thing.
25 August at 09:36

Ekari Mbvundula I think I got a hint of that Archaic English vibe from you heehee ;-) I wanted to study English at A Level and beyond, but there were only two of us who were keen at the time, and unfortunately the school didn't want to 'waste resources'... anyway, I mostly write in modern English. I want to experiment with different styles, but I'd like to learn how to do it well before I'm comfortable releasing it to the world :-P The roles I have performed (both in plays written by me and other writers) have been as varied as: A Wise Old Cleaning Lady, A Non-English Speaking European Boyfriend, a Super Conservative Nun-like Woman, and a Malicious Money-Hungry Vixen (a lead role). I've enjoyed each of these thoroughly - but I also have to add that I have been backstage in some plays and I enjoyed it just as much! To answer your last question, I don't have a specific character type I like to write in plays, my only rule is that they are memorable and they have sufficient reason to engage in conflict with other characters in the story. So far so good :-)
25 August at 10:08
Athena Zeus I remember the first creative writing course I took had an assignment called "a shitty first draft. We were supposed to think up a story, get the general sense of the plot and just freewrite the events. And yes, it WAS a shitty first draft, but what I wrote wasn't far from a good story. I loved the freedom of writing without self criticism. I actually became more creative and fearless in my writing, yet I still wanted it to sound good, so I worked hard on the shitty draft. By the time I got to my second draft, this thing was practically dynamite. I was 18 at the time and sometimes when I pick up that story, I still can't believe i whipped it up at that age. I was a pretty intense little kid :)
25 August at 15:20
Athena Zeus When I edit my work, I am usually trying to find different ways of saying things. I hate cliches--phrases that are overused in writing that when one reads them, they have that "I've read this in many books" *rolling eyes* moment. I also try not to get too flamboyant with my writing that it sounds mediocre and puts my reader off. Since you write plays, do you hold workshops for the different scenes you write? it's always fun to hear a read-through or a mini performance of your work. It's a chance to observe people experience your words. Do they get a sense of the character the way you had intended the character to be or do they discover something new about the character?...there lies the coolness
25 August at 15:21
Athena Zeus I think you've played a good variety of roles, Ekari! The vixen sounds like fun :) I usually play "Puckish" or sprite-like roles. Androgynous roles. Comic relief roles. Cross-dressing and the like. I think it's because I've performed a lot of Shakespearean roles: Puck, Rosalind, Olivia, Witch in MacBeth etc. I do well in very funny roles; if it involves moving around a lot, speed, dancing, weird gestures--I'm sold. However, I've also played very fem roles like Gwendolyn in "The importance of being earnest." Olivia in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night is pretty fem too, but again, she was very physical and comedic in pursing her love interest Sebastian--therefore, it was a Caroline role :) I would like to break away from the easy stuff though. I want to do roles with heavy emotion and explore more of the fem roles. Is there a role you've always wanted to play? I've recently been doing a lot of musicals. My characters are usually "fresh" & really African American. So it's funny how I always have to adopt some mannerism. In hairspray, I was rather ghetto. It was set in the 60s. Fun times. What say you about musical? Yay or Nay?
25 August at 15:23

Ekari Mbvundula Hehe, yeah it takes courage to write a whole draft without editing. You've gotta force yourself to type without reading a single word! Which is close to impossible... sigh. About your workshop idea... never thought of that before.. How would a scene workshop, well, work? I think the closest thing to that was when the cast for my play was being auditioned. It's an exotic experience, a power rush. One feels like a puppet master, just a little bit ;-) ("Speak, I say, speak! Say these words that I wrote for you! Mwahaha!") And there is plenty of room for surprises as you hear your words interpreted by another person's mind and body. It's awe-inspiring if you're open to it.
25 August at 15:46

Ekari Mbvundula FYI, the vixen was ple-nty fun! It was hilarious because I was working at the front of house at the time, selling tickets you know, smiling and friendly... then people see me on stage, just smacking the hell out of people! (yes, literally) It was the opposite of what people expected and I think that made the performance even more fun. I wouldn't describe any role as "easy", but yeah I think it's always a good idea to stretch your acting muscles. Comic relief roles come easily to me too, and I'm always looking for new ways to test my limits... which brings me to musicals! How I have dreamed of doing musicals! I'm a huge fan of watching them, and have imagined doing one myself. Definite "Yay"! Would love to read your work by the way. Have you performed any original Caroline (Athena) pieces?
25 August at 15:56
Athena Zeus I LOOOOOVE that you were literally smacking the hell out of people, you smiley friendly thing! Haha. No, I haven't performed original pieces. Once you start with the musicals, you don't want to stop. They're fun. And I love to dance, so it's heaven for me. Do you sing or dance? I want to learn how to tap. I did a bit of tap in hairspray...if I took a class, I don't think I would ever stand still again without doing a little move every 5 minutes. Hehe!
25 August at 16:04

Ekari Mbvundula I've sung buried deep in a choir :-P and I've danced in a freestyle/hiphop group. I haven't sung or danced in front of a crowd since high school, but I would love to. In front of the mirror is a more common occurrence! I would be open to dance classes that go at my pace hehe. But don't forget about your personal creations! The world is waiting to see what we have in store! *whisper* collaboration collaboration collaboration...
25 August at 16:13
Athena Zeus Sorry for delaying my response. I've been finishing assignments on online teaching and I was slacking A LOT. It took me the whole bloody day!
25 August at 22:45

Ekari Mbvundula No worries, take your time! I'm less strict than the principal :-P
25 August at 23:49

Athena Zeus Pick a character. Any literary character or a made up one. Tell me what they're like...I will do the same. Then we will create a script by responding to each other's dialogue (you post a line, I post a line, you post a line, I post a line etc). We can add stage directions, emotions to our exchange, but we'll see where the story goes. We can have some sort of loose plot if you like. Just a thought
26 August at 16:17

Ekari Mbvundula I'm in! We must find a space away from the public eye to work... Heehee! Open to suggestions. Skype is out judging by the 'Connecting...' message that's been up for 15mins.. In the meantime, I'm going to prep this conversation for blogging :-)
26 August at 17:19


Hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about me. If you have any questions, I would be happy to answer them! Unless they have anything to do with calculus. 


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