I’m always fascinated by stage performances, perhaps because I have no experience with what work goes on before the performance begins and what motivates the author. Jill gives us a little insight into that work.
Singing and acting are creative outlets for me. I must admit that, in some ways, I find them more enjoyable than writing. Perhaps it’s the immediate feedback. Applause or laughter let me know immediately if someone has enjoyed my performance. If someone laughs at a comedic scene in my novel, I’m not there to enjoy it.
The process of developing a character for the stage is just plain fun for me. I start by looking at everything the character says, not just about herself, but how she responds to and talks about others. Then I study everything that other characters say about my character. That tells a lot. Often, our perception of ourselves is much different than others’ perceptions!
Sometimes, especially if I’m acting a minor role, there’s not enough in the script to really flesh out the character. Then it’s up to me to make up a backstory for my character to give her motivations for her actions and make her real. This is where the writer in me comes in. The audience will never know this backstory, but I know and I think it makes my characters richer.
Songs tell a story as much as a play does. I don’t do as much homework when I’m working on a song to sing with a band, for example, but I still pay attention to the lyrics and the music underneath them to tell a story. And, singing allows me to connect with an audience like a storyteller does. However, when you’re in a play it’s a different relationship with the audience because you have that “fourth wall.” In other words, your world is onstage and you pretend the audience isn’t there.
Ultimately, though, with a performance you have nothing left but the memory. You put months of effort into a creation, but when it’s over, it’s over. That’s what I like about writing. When a book is finally finished, I’ll forever have something tangible.
To check out her talents for yourself:
Jill is the author of the romantic comedy, Two-Room Flat. Find out more about Jill and her writing at her website http://www.jillurbach.com. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter or email her at email@example.com.
Here is the blurb for Two-Room Flat:
Spicy fiction made novelist Claire Gissler a star, but she can’t pen a sentence to save her life since her husband’s accidental death two years ago. Now, deeply in debt, her only hope of reviving her crumbling career is to flee small town America for big city London. Trouble is, she can’t afford the move. That is, not until handsome Adam Lambright — her husband’s best friend and the man she blames for his death — offers to let her stay in his flat… with him.
Adam Lambright used to know how to smile, how to have fun, how to love, but that was before watching his best friend die and his wife wither away from cancer. Now, ticked off at God, he’s vowed never to love again. That doesn’t mean he can’t help out his best friend’s widow. Heck, her life’s more of a mess than his own.
Seeing no other possible option, Claire moves to London. In that exciting city, she faces the challenges of rebuilding her career — and the attentions of her sexy English publicist. But, it’s her growing feelings for Adam that present the biggest challenge: learn to forgive or face heartbreak once again.
Two-Room Flat is available at:
Astraea Press: www.tinyurl.com/TwoRoomFlat