Okay, step into your time machine and head back to the eighties. Now remember heading into the theater and seeing "Dirty Dancing" for the first time. Remember that heart pounding, feet tapping, pulse racing, shivery sensation you had when it was over? How about the first time you saw it on VHS? Or DVD when that revolution came about? The feelings never changed, no matter how many times you saw it. The anticipation, the excitement, the feeling of being there.
Now it's moved on to its latest incarnation. Yesterday, my mom, my sister, and I went to see "Dirty Dancing...The Classic Story on Stage". Let me tell you, those feelings are STILL there. And seeing it live somehow increases them tenfold. (Of course it doesn't hurt that the guy playing Johnny Castle is HOT and he has the sexiest accent - Australian, I believe...yum, yum, yum.)
The notes in the program guide say that the creator wanted to move beyond the 2D experience you have while watching a movie on a screen and really bring the story to life. Make you feel a part of it...an entire 3D experience. It worked. It takes you to all of the things you loved about the original movie and adds more to it. You really feel like you're right there at Kellerman's, dancing, crying, loving right along with the characters.
It got me to thinking, (After I came down - well as far as I'm going to come for now -from my excited, shivery, heart-pounding high and could think again!) As writers, isn't this what we're trying to do? Bring our characters and our stories to life. So that people can not only read about them, but EXPERIENCE them. Cry with them, laugh with them, love with them.
I've been hooked on this great set of books lately, (I've probably mentioned them before...because I'm a little obsessed.) The "Twilight" series by Stephenie Meyer. Talk about grabbing you from the get-go and sucking you into the story and the world and the characters she's created. I feel like Bella Swan and Edward Cullen could walk into my house at any moment, she's created them so vividly. I finished reading the books a couple of weeks ago, and the story is still in my head. The characters won't let me go.
I can only aspire to create a story like that. Something that people will remember and take with them long after they close the cover of the book. Although I will brag a little and say that people have commented to me that they really like Sharlie and Logan from "This Time for Always". And many have asked for Zach's story - I'm working on it!
And although I haven't had any offers for stage productions of my work (yet!), I am taking my show on the road, so to speak. This week I was honored to guest blog at Morgan Mandel's Blogspot. I have other spots coming up as well. In November I'll be at Writers and Readers of Distinctive Fiction, then in December I'll be at Jenny Gilliam's, and in January I'll be at Alisha Paige's. So I'm getting out there. Trying to make myself a bit more 3D.
And, I was thrilled that "Always" won the Reader's Pick of the month at Jennette Green's Blogspot this past week. Thanks to everyone who voted.
The next time you pick up a book, don't just read it. Imerse yourself in it. The experience will be well worth it!
Until next time,