I’ve been very HOAX-Psychosis-Blues focused in recent weeks, but of course the graphic novel is only half the story. The musical performance HOAX My Lonely Heart is the other half, and yesterday I met with Director Benji Reid for a ‘touch base’ ahead of our rehearsals, that begin next week.
It was great to catch up: to re-examine the story’s character, their motives and conflicts; to exchange ideas; to drink tea (the Cornerhouse does good tea) and generally laugh a lot. And as we chatted, I was stuck once again by the wonderful ways in which cross-media storytelling reaches out.
When I wrote the scripts for both book and performance, I wrote ‘space’, as I always do, into those scripts. That space allows for the story to grow organically within the structure, and gives every collaborator the freedom to really add to the whole. What was truly lovely, listening to Benji yesterday, was to hear about the ways in which this organic growth is now fully interweaving.
Thus poetry in the book translates to poetry in motion: sequential art in panels to sequential visuals on set; and of course the themes too… love, sorrow, pages of paper…. All these things bleeding and blurring, yet so utterly clear in their intentions.
To make reference again to Ed Brubaker’s ‘architect v. gardener’ point, where he says writers are one or the other, I really do think that a cross-media writer is both. You have to design the landscape, but you also have to know the traits of your plants, and make sure that you are providing for them. Allow the dahlia to blossom wherever it might want to, but at the same time not overshadow the tiny daisy pushing through.