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May 27, 2015

Life As A One Day Script Writer…

INT. OFFICE – MORNING

A ONE DAY WRITER sits in front of a laptop, the bright glow illuminating his face. On the screen countless web pages are open. He takes notes and drinks coffee, his eyes scan the text without blinking.

The ONE DAY WRITER puts down his “Monopoly” mug, misjudging the distance, and spills coffee all over the pages of notes.

I am a Script Writer for One Day, and that has happened on more than one occasion.

Having just finished the script for our British Values project, I thought I would write a bit about the process, the challenges and the rewards.

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Can you think back to school and remember what you learned about The Great Wall of China? How about Robert Burns? No? Me neither, and that’s why a big part of my role is research. An integral part of the One Day workshop is that it is educational throughout the day. This is what makes the company so special – the children taking part are learning while at the same time building confidence and drama skills. My job is to provide this education, and then dress it up with some theatre! I’m careful to never underestimate the ability of the pupils taking part in the workshops, so I start by learning everything I can about the topic at hand.

Next, I have to put the research into a short play. This is where I get to experiment with characters and dialogue, and is without a doubt my favourite part. I have to think about what might be funny to that certain age group, and then fit that in alongside the key learning I mentioned before. Luckily, I am extremely childish. So childish in fact that this blog is now late because I have been laughing at a cat seeing its own reflection.

Once the education and drama are threaded together, my work is pretty much done. Of course there are spelling errors and the occasional redraft, but I’m not going to blog about that am I? Maybe next week.

I’ve enjoyed this recent project as much as the first I took on a year ago, maybe even more. Yes, there are times where I hit a wall (not literally – yet) and making sure the performance is going to be as fun as it is educational can be tough, but nothing beats the feeling of sending away that finished draft.

Correction: I have now been lucky enough to see a few of my scripts in action, and that absolutely beats the feeling of the final draft! After seeing the work that the Director puts in, not to mention the schools taking part, I can honestly say that the real hard work happens there. So far, none of the pupils taking part have asked me for their character’s motivation, but I do expect that to happen in the future.

The biggest reward for me is reminding myself of some lost knowledge, and then giving young people in schools the chance to make sure it’s something they never forget.

Kerr

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