Friday, February 10, 2012

And then there will be muffins...

Our oven is on the blink. Less than two years old and still, in my eyes, a thing of beauty, turning the oven on results in a complete electrical switch off. As the hob is gas we have been limping by on stove top meals but I yearn to bake. An oven fixer and an electrical fixer both came on Thursday. "Its an electrical problem," said the oven fixer. "Everything looks fine," said the electrical fixer after I said I wanted reassurance I wouldn't set the house on fire next time I made muffins. Friday evening and the oven did a complete electrical switch off as I went to prepare dinner. Neither of the fixers (once the oven man decided it wasn't his problem and wrote out his invoice) were particularly worried 'why' this was happening. They addressed the symptoms, dealt with those and moved on.

Last night, after a stove top cooked dinner and some liquid restorative I enjoyed "The Graham Norton Show". Kenneth Branagh, Zac Braff, and Frank Skinner were all witty, smart and interesting people. They told a good tale. I laughed a lot. But the stand out moment of the programme for me was Branagh's story about writing a letter at age 19 to venerated thespian Sir Laurence Olivier. Branagh was attempting a role in a Chekov play that Olivier had successfully played. How had Olivier played the character? What advice could he give him. Olivier replied. Yes he'd found a way to successfully play the character. No he wouldn't pass on how he achieved this. Branagh would have to figure out how to play the role himself. Olivier was right.

If you do not understand what the role is about, if you play it according to some received wisdom, you are less likely to make it work. This is also true of writing. Some one else cannot fix it for you.You have to understand what your story is about to know how to play it. You will do a better job if you understand 'why' you are doing it that way. Then it will work...and then there will be muffins...

1 comment:

Old Kitty said...

I loved that episode of Graham Norton - yes the Olivier story was amazing and his reply to Kenneth Brannagh was spot on!!

Now as for muffins..!

Take care