Mark Terry

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Owning The Room

June 19, 2010
Last night Leanne and I joined some friends and went to a fundraiser for the American Heart Association at a bar in Pontiac, JD's Key Club, which features dueling pianos. Last night three guys rotated out on 2 mini-grand pianos and a drum set playing rock and pop songs, filling requests, joking with the audience (a friend and I got "chosen" to come up on the stage and "sing" to one of the young women whose birthday it was, or, not so much to sing, but to be on bended knee while she sat on the piano and everyone in the bar sang along), leading the entire crowd in dancing and other things. Part of their schtick early on is when someone new comes in the bar one of them says, "Oh, look who's here!" And the entire audience shouts, "Ooooh shit!"

A couple things occurred to me. First, I thought they guys really work for their money. Because most of the time it's just 2 of them, they rotate in and out, so there's no "set" but a constant show that started at 9:00 and was still going on after midnight when I left. Each of the three guys plays piano and drums and sings (and one of them also plays harmonica), so occasionally all three would be on stage, but mostly they just rotate in and out, sometimes one of them jumping on the drums if the song needed it, but mostly it was 2 guys on pianos. (I suspect 2 of them actually own the bar, but I don't know for sure). About every hour all the waiters come out and one plays guitar and they all lead the audience in a song and dance, with some of staff dancing on the piano tops and the bar tops. One of them was this song.

The other thing I thought was, These guys really own the room. By that I mean, once the show started, this place was theirs. It was their show and you didn't come to talk, you came to party and be entertained by them. They interacted with people, but it was their show, they totally owned the room.

Here's the thing I think writers need to remember. From the moment a reader starts reading your book, YOU need to own the room. That room is your book and its yours. You're the boss, it's your show. The universe of the book is your own personal theater and its your show. Some of that is confidence. Actually, a lot of it is confidence, which shows up in your "voice."

Anyway, think about it. Within your book, do you own the room?


Anonymous Eric Mayer said...

Do *I* own the room when Mary and I write? Well, I dunno. It's more like The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour probably.

11:56 AM  
Blogger Natasha Fondren said...

Yeah, you know, if I get in a cocky mood, I do. It's tough to get and/or keep myself in a cocky mood.

9:01 AM  
Blogger sex scenes at starbucks, said...

Interesting thoughts here, and it'll take more from me to figure it out...

9:16 AM  

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