“People are basically insane,” playwright David Manet says in a writing class I’m taking. “We miss a connection, we have an evil impulse that wants to lead us astray,” he goes on. “We live on the dark side and the cure is religion. Another word for religion is drama.”
Did I hear him correctly? Yes. Manet is a devoted Jew, and espouses his religion with conviction and fervor.
“All drama is failure and lies,” he says.
You can say that again. Story of my life.
“Don’t be boring,” he warns.
How can you be boring if your life is full of drama? Everybody’s life is dramatic. It’s so dramatic Hollywood couldn’t invent it, I say. And since you’re the protagonist in your own story, make it good.
“Dialogue is just gossip,” he tells me. Now he’s talking. I’ve got enough for several books.
“Narration is the death of drama,” he continues. No wonder school is boring.
“The live audience in a play are idiots individually, but collectively they’re genius,” he says. “They paid you a compliment by coming to see your play. Drama helps them face the truth and they come for the truth.”
“Movies don’t challenge people, drama does,” he says. I’ve been saying that for years. To prove the point, just listen to a child explain away something he did, like break the TV screen with a baseball. It’s drama at its best.
Calvin says, “It’s drama for me when I go after a rabbit. My nose quivers, my body is on alert, and my singing voice takes over. Better than opera.”