Crazy Love, Crazy Life, Crazy Play
...this show has possibly created a greater schism in our larger group of friends.
by David Sklar
My story and Crazy Love begins three years ago when Estelle Rosen asked if I would be interested in being a contributor to CKUT radio. I happily said yes and never showed up for work. That was because both our lives took different turns and while I flirted with Journalism at Concordia (they kicked me out because I decided to travel during the school year), I always wanted to return to writing.
While finishing my D.E.C. at Dawson in theatre, I had been weighing my options between acting and writing. Which would be the better career choice? Which would provide me with enough financial stability? Well, the obvious answer was neither, given the “end” of print journalism and the cuts to artistic funding. Plus, my mother’s tarot cards said I should be writing for the stage. So, what better may to mesh my two loves than to start calling myself a playwright? Anyone can do it, right? I just needed a story.
While back from school in England (more theatre studies), I invited my best friends over for dinner. The first sign that something was amiss was my best friend (we shall call her Rebecca, as the character in my play was called) turned down free booze. It was later revealed the next day that Rebecca was pregnant with my other good friend’s (Leo) help. Add to the problems was that they weren’t seeing each other anymore and Leo had started dating someone else. Advice to anyone thinking about breaking up with their significant other: don’t go back for a quick nosh!
The two-week marathon of pregnancy tests, doctor’s visits, and New Year’s Day brunch, sitting awkwardly in-between Leo’s two girlfriends, made me feel like I was watching a badly written sit-com. It wasn’t until the day before I returned to Bristol that the truth was revealed. Spoiler-alert for anyone who hasn’t see or read Crazy Love. The pregnancy was a fake and that day was the day my tight-knit group of friends, collapsed.
The first draft was crap. Basically me spilling out everything I remembered hearing and saying.
I couldn’t understand why or how all this happened. How a group of friends who were so close for three years, suddenly ended. Not being near them, I felt I needed to write about it and see if I could explain it to myself.
The first draft was crap. Basically me spilling out everything I remembered hearing and saying. It wasn’t until I came back to Montreal and fearing entering the real world, I unenthusiastically returned to Concordia but this time in playwriting under Kit Brennan.
Here I discovered my love of writing for the stage. I eagerly anticipated each class, writing and re-writing the story. I had no intention of mounting an actual production at this point. I just wanted to hear it out loud.
...at 4am on a cold October day, I awoke and stood outside Mainline Theatre for the early bird special to get into the Fringe.
It wasn’t until winning the Kit Brennan Award that I thought something could come out of it. So at 4am on a cold October day, I awoke and stood outside Mainline Theatre for the early bird special to get into the Fringe. Surprisingly, I wasn’t the first one, as people had camped out overnight.
Once confirmed and in the Fringe, I and my friend set up our production company, Two Seul Productions, interested in creating new works by local artists, supporting local talent. But as the winter worn on, I worried about how my friends would feel about my making this story public. Leo and Rebecca were no longer talking and I was caught in the middle, still trying to be friends to both.
I decided to send both of them copies of the script, asking for permission. While Rebecca said she probably wouldn’t come see the show, she said she was proud of me and liked the script. Ditto for Leo.
Oh, but how things change quickly. With the Fringe fast approaching, I discovered Rebecca bad mouthing me on Twitter, saying she wished she could sue me. I confronted her with this, saying I thought I had her approval to put on the show. Apparently, she had changed her mind. She no longer wished to be my friend.
I’m not writing this to try to absolve myself of the blame in our friendship ending. In fact, the whole point of writing this story was to try to understand and laugh at the situation. But in the end, I lost a good friend and for that I’m truly sorry. I guess I was naïve enough to think that we could all sit around the Beer tent, have a laugh at and pick up the pieces from where we left off. In fact, this show has possibly created a greater schism in our larger group of friends.
But am I sorry for writing this show? No, not at all. I felt it was a worthwhile story to tell with some good laughs and of course, the ever-infamous dead baby jokes. Perhaps in a later updated version, they might disappear. It was never my intention to hurt or belittle my friend. The story was based on a true story, not the actual story that happened. While writing it, it made me realize that each and every one of us just wants to be loved and accepted. We just have different ways of going about it. Some more intensely than others.
I appreciated all the support and feedback I received from the show and look forward to getting back to the page and writing more work. I appreciated Estelle asking to come aboard with The Charlebois Post and hopefully this time, I won’t disappear for another three years.