Photo by Debra Lopez
@aprilyvettethompson Part 3
The same w/ writing...the stories I wrote were filled w/ people so textured, rich histories, deep generational faultlines on their souls that were specific to those lives, cultures, histories. These are not the the people in stories we see everyday. Most of what we see are regurgitated tropes, characters w/predictable one liners or sage types who are one dimensional.
I really became exhausted watching the same stories w/the same characters in TV, film & theatre w/different costumes but the same types telling the same contrived not so happily-ever-afters.
That is what America does well...so our consumers love the formula. There is comfort in seeing the familiar over & over again. I, on the other I, on the other hand felt stupified; a little punch drunk after watching so many characters who were supposed to represent my experience being foreign aliens to me. I began to feel like I was playing caricatures of real human beings.
The trouble is the formula sells. It puts butts in seats, keeps theatre, TV shows & motion picture companies in business.
When you deviate from what we’re familiar with, often, there’s critical acclaim for being brave enough to step outside of the formula but, not enough money to even pay for the making of the project or a livable wage. Audiences rarely flock to anything outside of the formula.
So, I committed to only telling stories that were complicated & outside the formula. The result was fewer & fewer auditions, bookings & a dearth of places to submit my work to.
April Yvette Thompson