Homelessness script update
I feel like all I do these days is write, read books about writing- and as much as I love to write and learn how to write better, I need another hobby.
I used to blog daily -sometimes twice a day.
Nope – not anymore.
I don’t get to read as many of your blogs as I want. 😦
Since I’ve started my Masters- all I do is write and read. oh, and then there is the rest of my life to deal with.
I don’t mind, but I am one of these generally over anxious type of people who will freak out about everything until I’ve submitted my work, and then I will find something else to worry about.
Am I the only person who feels this way?
Where am I up to in my Masters?
25 days away from submitting my first TMA (tutor marked assignment) to the Open university.
It’s part of an ongoing piece of work I intend to do when I do my EMA (end-of-module assessment)
What am I doing?
I’m passionate about people, life, my community.
I’ve been doing loads of research on homelessness- particularly teenagers who are homeless in the U.K.
Mind blowing, the local authorities make life a nightmare for these children to get into ‘normal society living’.
The premise of my script is ultimately a good old fashioned love story with plenty of obstacles – the end hasn’t been written yet but there is where I am up to:
Desire is a 14/16 -year-old runaway, she was a full-time, undeclared carer for her parents – her Mum who has Dyspraxia and her Dad who has Dementia. She struggles with the guilt of leaving her ill parents to look after themselves yet she wants to find her own path in life and be successful – have a career, relationships, family- all normal milestones.
She falls in love with the charismatic, highly talented and artistic, drug addicted – Leo. They are polar opposites. She is not into the whole drug scene and engages with hostels and programs to try and get off the streets. Leo loves Desire because she is everything he is not. He wants the best for her but he is not really a planner. Lives day to day. His mother had Cancer,and she took an overdose, Leo found her and he has been on the streets for many years. To get by he sometimes is able to get commissioned work for his artwork . The drugs get in the way of him being able to maintain a job.
He enjoys the Freedom of living on the streets and he sees it as his home. He knows the system well, he knows how to play it so he doesn’t fall into it.
Vee, a hostel coordinator at Steps hostel and day care center for homeless teens, sees the potential in Desire and tries to pull as many strings to help Desire get off the streets. Her biggest obstacle seems to be her need to care for Leo and her love for him.
Desire has a chance to get into a new program, funded by an organisation, to help 25 young teenage women get their life sorted but she ends up falling pregnant with Leo’s baby at the same time she finds out her Mom dies of a stroke and her Dad- unable to keep up with the rent payments on the house, is taking into a state care home.
Her mental health starts to unravel quickly. She disappears for a couple of months and then goes back to find Leo to confront Leo with the news of her parents and to tell him she is pregnant. Leo already suspects Desire is pregnant. Desire finds Leo’s in his favorite place to get high and chill – he loves reading- the library.
Desire’s dreams of being with Leo start to fall apart when he has to convince her to go into a hostel -full time and to focus on her and the baby.
Desire is reluctant- as there are so many ways her being pregnant could play out. She could get transferred to a single teenagers hostel.
In my research, I have found out that unlike teenage hostels- where the rules are rather flexible a lot of young single Moms are cut off from their partners (who often happen to be homeless or on drugs ) and living a chaotic lifestyle.
There is also the worry of social services getting involved.
What will happen?
I’m yet to write that bit. ha ha! I have an idea – a rough idea. I know the ending already although this may change when it comes to drafting the next part of this script.
The main obstacles Desire will come up against is being able to adapt to living in a more structured environment, in a place where she knows no one,lives with many different girls in various different mind states and in different places contrasting to Desire.
Can Desire forget Leo?
How does Leo deal with not being able to support Desire, in a way, a father -to -wants to?
How does the system support young ,homeless parent- or parents to be ?
How does this story end for Desire and Leo?
Many people think homeless people choose to live on the streets without knowing the red tape nightmare , internal conflict,external life issues and stress that these people have to deal with on a day to day basis.
I didn’t want this to be an agitprop / political piece. I have always written stories and scripts about themes that do come up in politics.
My main obstacle was to create awareness of the complications and obstacles homeless people face but I needed to do this in a way that an audience would engage with , relate to and come from a place of empathy.
Who hasn’t been in love?
Who hasn’t had to make tough choices?
Life is not black and white. There are many gray shades and people are complicated. We are not a piece of paper with a checklist of criteria who fit into a neat box.
Approaching the current homelessness crisis from this angle is not working!
I’m currently tweaking
the visual narrative, dialogue everything!
I’m still undecided whether it should be environmental theater, site-specific location or low-level audience participation interaction in the style of promenade theater. I do know that I envision the play to be staged to the bare minimum. I agree with Moliere and many other playwrights ‘less is more’ when it comes to scene setting. Audiences left with their own imagination can come up with a far better setting or set than I can.
deadline submission date: 25 November.
I still need to write a commentary to discuss the creation-evolution process and any obstacles I came across and how I worked it all out. 😀