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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Writing Prompt - Believe It!

By Amy Robinson and Julie Brister

Julie Brister, teacher of the Writing Pad class It’s All About You: A One-Person Show Workshop
, has created a great writing prompt for you today! Julie is a successful writer/director/performer for stage, screen and TV and an experienced teacher. Spaces in Julie's classes are limited and filling up quick! Call 323-333-2954 to RSVP and save your spot today!

By the way, we are running a Valentine's Day special this month. For any Feb. one day classes, if you sign up with a friend, a sweetie, or a lover, 2 people can attend for $80 (normally $110). What a deal!

Julie's Classes:More One Day Classes this Winter with Spaces Available:
Multi Week Classes:Writing Retreats:
  • Writing Pad Ojai Retreat (Mar. 25 - 27 at a gorgeous ecosanctuary with award-winning author Thaisa Frank, NPR's Alex Cohen, and Writing Pad's Marilyn Friedman)
Julie's Writing Prompt:
An opinion is a great way to start a character monologue or a story. When a character strongly asserts his opinion in the opening line, the audience or reader gets to know him right away. Make a list of three things that you believe strongly. For example: I believe that people should always use their turn signals.

Now write the belief as though it’s something you do not believe in. For example: I don’t believe it’s necessary that people always use their turn signals, because. . . Use the second statement as the opening sentence to a character monologue or story. Tell us why the character believes what they believe. What else do they believe or not believe? Write for 10 minutes.

Comment on this blog! What is a strong opinion that your character holds?
Post your 10 minute write in the comments, and you could win a free class!

About Julie Brister:
Julie Brister is a performer, director and a long time teacher at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre both in NYC and LA. As an actor, she has appeared on Rules of Engagement, Children’s Hospital, The Tonight Show, Reno 911, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Little Britain USA, Spike TV, MTV, FUSE, and she can be seen regularly as Lauralee Hickock on the Onion News Network show In the Know with Clifford Banes. Julie enjoyed a long run of her solo-show, Fatparts, at UCB and performed it as part of SF Sketchfest 2010, one of the country’s top comedy festivals. She’s directed numerous solo-shows in both NYC and LA including Crush, Past Her Prime, and Collections. She has a BFA in Theatre from Southwestern University.


Julie said...

I do not believe that chocolate is delicious. I know, it’s shocking. But I’m willing to take a stand on this one. Go against the grain, do the unpopular thing. Because, seriously, why would you want to eat something that is so completely and utterly brown? Brown things are not appetizing. They are not good. Trust me. They are the color of dirt and bark and well, one more thing. You don’t want me to mention it, but I’m telling you, it does not taste good.

Eew. Yuck, not THAT. Get your mind out of the gutter.

I was talking about the sludge that sits at the bottom of your coffee cup, you know, when you get the last cup in the pot and it’s all kinda burny. That stuff is just gross.

Now, my mother was a chocoholic, so there is one thing I know about chocolate. The stuff is friggin’ everywhere. Ice cream, candy bars, cakes, cupcakes, cookies, vodka. Vodka! Can’t a girl have a nice cocktail without having chocolate shoved down her throat? And here’s a word to the wise. If you want to avoid chocolate, don’t even leave the house in February.

Then, there are the brownies. First of all, they are square. And they are brown. And sometimes they have other brown things like walnuts and chocolate chips in them. But here’s the kicker. Some genius goes and decides to name them brown-ies. Yuck and double yuck!

Now, for those of you who think that chocolate is all about sweets for the sweet and all that garbage, think about this. At Easter time, you know when they sell those cute little chocolate bunnies at Wallgreen’s? I heard that people actually bite the head off first. Now that is just sickening. It makes me literally sick. To my stomach. Why would you want to bite the head off of a sweet little bunny like that? It’s mean! What on earth did that cute little innocent bunny ever do to you? People who do that should be put in some kind of bunny jail for animal cruelty.

Now, I know I’m never going to convince most of you. And for you chocoholics out there, I totally sympathize with your disease. But if there is even one soul out there who agrees, then stand with me. And let it be known to the world that chocolate. Is not. Delcious.

Anonymous said...

Ever since I was a teenager, my mother has been telling me to slather on the SPF 45 before leaving the house – much as another mother, in a colder clime, would require her 8 year old son to put on his coat before leaving the house.

But I’m not 8, I’m not a boy, and I don’t want to.

Gisele Bundchen just validated what I’ve always said – SPF is unnatural – it’s worse for you than a little sun. Sun is what feeds us. We’re like plants, really! We need the sun. And it turns out even doctors agree. My mother got her annual physical yesterday and was told she has a Vitamin D deficiency. We all know the best way to get Vitamin D – the sun! Now she’s completely freaked out because without Vitamin D, our bones don’t get the calcium they need – leading to osteoporosis, hip fractures, immobility. And without Vitamin D, our immune systems are weakened – exposing us to everything from the common cold to terminal diseases. My Vitamin D levels are very healthy – and I never get sick!

I’m thinking of writing Gisele a note – in solidarity. I think she’s starting a skin cream line – maybe I’ll offer to help her market it – I could send her a whole marketing plan – all the ways we can convince women that they shouldn’t be using whatever it is they’re using now. I’m very good at that.

Jesse Noonan said...

I do not believe that people should listen more than they talk. My mother used to always say that to me when she thought I had too much to say. “LIS-TEN, Maribel, LIS-TEN more than you’re always talking.” She had a few opinions, my mother, and that was one she was willing to let you know.

But I believe saying things out loud is why were placed on this planet. If we were all a bunch of mutes walking around with nothing to say, it would be another thing altogether. Not that there’s anything wrong with mutes, of course, or I guess they like to be called deaf people. But they have sign language and when you see two people at the park or the supermarket using their hands to talk they go fast too and have a lot to say. They sometimes do it all at the same time, too, both hands flapping without a pause, which is pretty much like the rest of us. We have to get our words out there, if you ask me. Words, at the end of the day, are all we have.

My mother, for example, when she was on hospice, she just listened. Didn’t say much of anything except “thank you” when you’d pull the blanket a little higher up on her neck and “don’t forget about the plants” and when she said that she’d be mostly thinking about the plants in her head, thinking she wished we would all just take half as good care of the back yard plants after she was gone as she did when she was here. But you’d never know that of course, because she was quiet more than she talked.

And that’s the thing, I think what she really meant when she said to listen was that we should all just be quiet. Listening was just an excuse to check out, not be bothersome, not ask too many questions.

So I’ve decided that talking is the way, the key to make sure people hear me, even if they’re still talking while I’m talking. It’s the key to making sure people remember me, my words hanging meaningfully in the air after I’m long gone.