As the first week in LA comes to a close, some students in the program including myself attended a play called 3 Truths on Friday. Nothing could have prepared me for what I would see in the next two hours. The play, inspired and composed by members of Los Angeles communities, approached the deeper issues with the justice system and its effects on communities. It was like Law and Order meets Paul Haggis’ Crash. Many things made the play unique including its outdoor venue at California Plaza.
I find myself surprised or blown away by very few things; this play was definitely a part of this esoteric group. The content… the venue … the characters… the emotion… and most importantly the realism.
Afterwards, I found myself contemplating what inspires us as storytellers. There is always much debate over what is the most important part of the story; does the plot come first? Or is it the theme? What about the characters?
I came to this conclusion. A character is key in a story because, in essence, a character is a story. Think of anyone you know. Your brother, your grandmother, that guy you met at the bus stop – They are not simply a personality. They have a story – a past, a present, and a future.
To be a good writer, one has to read. But I say put down the book. Read people not pages.
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