While NC-bound Thanksgiving week, I went through some old script rejections that have been untouched since their receipt. One of the Devil rejections came from the McLaren Memorial Comedy Play Writing Competition, whose staff was kind enough to include the evaluation forms used by the three judges. All playwrights get less feedback than they want (or think they get less, and don’t notice what they should), so this is a golden opportunity. Let’s see what the judges said:
Paula Abdul Not much humor, although I loved the line “Very Brady Human Sacrifice.” Should have more devil and less girlfriend.
Randy Jackson Well written and thought-provoking. Good plot, but I came away with a very dull, empty feeling.
Simon Cowell Too convoluted; not funny.
I can see it.
And from a comedy festival standpoint, I can definitely see it. I Am The Devil was just one more performer at open stand-up night, where everyone else is pulling out their best shots for “the big laugh”, something to knock their socks off. And then there’s Alice Osbourne; like Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock, she brings both joy and pain, sunshine and rain. And while the play is oh so silly, it’s a comedy primarily in the classic sense, when grim tales were considered comedies primarily because no one dies.
My next redesign of this site will likely move the plays into different categories. I want to move the Anthology works that don’t seem to connect with audiences into a section called “Unloved Children.” Plays like Two Men About to be Killed by a Comic Book Supervillain and Over The Fence, will likely find new homes there (sorry, kids), but should I Am The Devil end its life on that page, too?
This month marks three full years since I have completed this play, my last full-length. Within three years, sister show The Bill Show had been published and had come tragically close to a few productions. The Marley Show has had a unique and wonderful life onstage. (Apparently materials related to our recent Tokyo production have arrived at Dean’s mother’s house; I can’t wait to see how our play went across the world and back again.) Meanwhile I Am The Devil has won a contest distinction and some minor interest, but is it too little, too late?
Every time I go back to it, I like it. Maybe too much; maybe the play is something that will die lonely because I love its unprettyness. But Alice is still pretty to me.