Friday, April 17, 2009
Kern: VICTORY BRUNCH Blogging
Jon Kern's thoughts on his VICTORY BRUNCH Piece:I finished the first draft of my May Brunch play [still yet untitled] yesterday. I brought it to the Ma-Yi Writers Lab and got a motherload of useful feedback that I now have to spend my subway hours thinking about. The idea for my play came from seeing a brief clip of the documentary "Winnebago Man" on the IFC channel Wednesday afternoon. That lead me to see that actual "Winnebago Man" clips on YouTube. So basically, this is a play inspired by a viral video on YouTube of outtakes from an industrial commercial. I originally had another idea for the May Brunch [even wrote 2 pages], but when I saw this Winnebago pitchman losing his shit I was immediately struck with the desire to see THAT on a stage. I've been wanting to write about the making of a commercial for awhile. In this media saturated, multi-networked, global mindspace, commercials are alarge part of our shared experience, and how they're made is the story of how we're being trained to see the world. When I saw this salesman caught between the animalistic passions he can't contain and the banality of his work, I was instantly smitten. Things clicked. His mounting frustration over how he can't remember his lines leads to this glorious, achingly pure profanity. I don't consider myself that good at communication [it's a massive irony that I'm a writer]. Most of life seems like things I wish I had said or didn't know how to say or can't even really properly give just due with the words I know. What I enjoy about theater is trying to express inarticulateness, hold that up for public view to uncover the emotions behind it. Jack Rebney, the Winnebago Man, embodies this existential state, the inherently dramatic struggle simply to live through each day, in the ordinary way, which to me is victory. Also, the video's fucking hilarious.