Cells had something that Gonzo and The Confidence Game didn't. More rewrites. Gonzo was given more time to develop, but barely saw a rewrite. The Con Game was simply cranked out with very little pre-planning storywise, that's why the ending seemed a little odd by movie-viewing standards. Both movies were fine enough to watch, but I ultimately felt that a lot of the writing could've been cleaner, more developed.
Cells was originally conceived just to be a one act, a reply to people who have been so critical of my relationship with my girlfriend. It featured Raymond and Michelle, two people in a blind date situation who are destined to find each other, but do not end up together because of a weird circumstance. I fleshed it out into a three-act after playing with ideas of chance and coincidence, a lot of which was inspired by the film, Magnolia. This 1999 movie was kept under wraps while in production, but the descriptions provided by trade magazines excited me.
A bunch of vignettes that are linked together in the end by a shared experience. Unfortunately, the movie didn't live up to my expectations as far as that aspect went. All the characters in Magnolia did share a climatic shower that ultimately changed their lives, but the characters themselves did not clash as I thought. So I thought that Cells could do that, with one shared experience that will affect all the characters.
The first act was written in my scriptwriting class while I was still at Fairhaven, and my classmates loved the banter, which really encouraged me to go further with it then I would've on my own. The second act was written in the next quarter, and a new set of classmates gave me grounding feedback that also helped. The final act, the toughest for me to write because of the age of the characters and the lack of experience in long-term relationships, was written over summer quarter. The play is an ensemble piece, with 6 main characters that were made to tug at your emotions. One couldn't decide to like or hate them.
Cells was performed at the Fairhaven Auditorium in March 2001, and the show is considered a success in my eyes. Because of the lack of any publicity, we didn't get the capacity audience that we had hoped, but we did surprise those who attended to an entertaining and thought-provoking evening I believe.
Cells is now getting fine tuned for publication, and perhaps it will see the stage again someday.
Year of the Horse | Victim | Authorship | Cells | Gonzo | The Confidence Game