I thought I’d start off the week by talking about The Gimpy Monologues, what I want it to be, and my hopes for it is a project.
The idea pretty much came from me watching Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues. That and watching the wheelchair rugby documentary entitled Murder Ball. I originally wanted to do a documentary on sex and disability, but I found that people in my country are very puritanical when it comes to discussing their sex lives with a total stranger, should’ve guessed. Then, after watching the vagina monologues, I started to wonder if there were other projects out there that were similar in nature, but that cover a different subject matter. I soon found that while there were others, most of them fell on the side of parity rather than social commentary. And there aren’t as many pieces either in film or theater that deal with the topic of disability. I had been writing for a while at that point, so I figured why not me?
The Goal of the Gimpy Monologues
The goal is really simple, for the project to become as visible as possible. I know what you’re thinking, and yes that is the goal of any media endeavor. But I don’t necessarily mean visibility for myself, I mean visibility for the issues that face the disabled community on a daily basis. I am acutely aware that I’m not the only one attempting to tackle this problem in a meaningful way, but I am one of the few people out there doing it that can lend a personal perspective as well as argue the merits of other perspectives, and am hoping to do that while entertaining people. The beginning of any social change has to include the seed for open and honest dialogue. In order for dialogue to happen, people need to be made aware of varying perspectives. That’s my ultimate goal, to begin an honest and open dialogue about issues pertaining to disability awareness in the treatment of disabled persons, the conditions in which disabled persons find themselves personally, professionally, socially, and emotionally. While it may seem like common sense, my goal is to shed the light of humanity on the disabled community. I know we are all aware of what humans are, and I know we are aware of the common humanity we share in a broad sense, but there are so many misconceptions about people with disabilities, that my hope is to put a dent in at least a couple.
First and foremost, I want this to take the form of a stage play. There are very few ways of presenting things like this that are more intimate. Once all the writing is finished, I will be working first with local playwrights and theater companies to showcase The Gimpy Monologues, but that’s not the end of my goal, that is just the beginning.
Of course, there will eventually be a website. In this day and age, a website almost goes without saying. So does a Facebook page, a twitter account, and so forth. But I also wanted to do a YouTube channel. And here’s where things get both magical and complicated.
Before I get further down into the social media aspect of things, I need to talk about a potential decision regarding the rights to the play. I’m investigating methods of them, but I would like to release the script as a Creative Commons work. I know it’s weird in the world of media to do something like this, especially with this type of work. But there’s a reason behind it. I want this thing to spread like wildfire, I want people to be able to make changes to the script and put on their versions of the show. In short, I don’t want this project to dive stagnation because it fails to stay contemporary. This is where the website and YouTube channel come in the play, when the stage play comes to fruition, I’ll be putting a recording of the performance on YouTube. But I don’t want it to end there, when another theater company makes changes to the script and presents the show, I want them to be able to put their vision for it on to our YouTube channel as well. The website will have information on all of the various shows going on, they will have wings to the YouTube videos, as well as a production diary, so that people can get a sneak peek behind the curtain of what it’s like to put on a show like this. Once I put on the initial production, the production diary segment of the website will turn into a blog that deals with issues brought up in the show. This way the dialogue can continue long after my part of it is finished. Who knows? I might even do some cast interviews from time to time to come up on the website and YouTube channel.
At some point, I’m going to need money. But as far as I can tell, that point is still a little ways off. I’ll probably be launching a kickstarter or similar campaign to raise funds to pay for materials for costumes, set designs, and the like. I hope you guys will enjoy going on this ride with me, hearing my thoughts and the thoughts of others around me, and when the time comes I hope you’ll support the show. Thank you all for your continued support.
Calling All Writers
As you all know, I’ve been looking for people with opinions on disability. It doesn’t matter if I agree with them, as long as the mental love children that spawn from them are totally creative and amazing. So now I put it to you fellow inhabitants of the blogosphere, and of the internet at large. If you’ve been checking out this blog for a little while and you have an awesome idea for a piece that could be included in The Gimpy Monologues, I say go for it! I now have an email that you can send all your fancy submissions to, just send your submission with the subject line “Submission: Title of piece” to firstname.lastname@example.org. The one we think are strongest will be featured on the blog, but if yours doesn’t make it, don’t worry. Somewhere down the line as mentioned above there will be a YouTube channel and a website so there are lots of opportunities to feature your awesome personality! I,and all the other people who are helping me make this an amazing thing, are all looking forward to reading your submissions, talk to you soon!