So Gus and I just returned yesterday from six days in the City of Angels. It was an amazing trip, focused on a reading of the romantic comedy my friend Susan Baronoff and I are working on, with real actors. Also the SCBWI annual convention. AND college visits to USC and UCLA for Gus. AND seeing my old friends Barbe and Howard and their darling daughter Zana. So it was busy and fraught. We were working on Rococo almost non-stop right up until the moment the actors started arriving. Literally still collating as they were arriving.
But it was truly thrilling to see other people and really accomplished actors read our work. And it went well! The reading showed up only a few real issues, and none with the actual flow of the dialogue. I just wish we had been able to finish the third act before this reading, but I think we’ve got a pretty clear idea of what we have to do and where it’s going from here.
The two mothers of our lovely sparring clueless-that-they’re-falling-in-love couple and Fred, our heroine’s friend, have really come to life.
This time I felt much more comfortable in LA, too. Its size began to seem manageable, perhaps because I drove back and forth from the hotel in Century City to Susan’s house in Venice so often and because I succeeded in never getting on a single freeway.
USC was very impressive. We had a real tour there and got a better sense of it. UCLA was absolutely gorgeous. We did a self-guided walking tour so didn’t get any read on its academics or character. Actually at USC we had the “Lauren Tour,” where the theater major tour guide told us all her experiences at various spots on campus. “This was my dorm and I lived with other theater majors. This is the library. I once got really scared way down in the stacks and RAN out.” But still, she did manage to impart some facts.
So, we’re back to 1000-degree, 100 percent humidity DC. I miss the ocean breeze.