4. PHISHING (2010)

Last month I was surprised when PHISHING called out to me from the drawer begging for air. The 2008 play is set post-Katrina on a Louisiana bayou, and is centered on a young woman, J.J. (Justice Jaeger), an expert computer hacker, who is hired by a Presidential candidate to “fish” for dirt about a much hated rival. The story starts there revealing J.J.s traumatic youth and search for self. The time is now.

However PHISHING is challenged by a whole new set of dramatic circumstances today; we’re now post-2008 Presidential election, post-2010 John Edward’s baby/mama reveal, and only beginning to realize the full tragedy of the Gulf of Mexico oil-spill disaster. Three weeks ago I decided to cut the songs, alter the antagonist’s gender from male Janus to female Janis, change one character’s ethnicity from Black to Latino, and gender-bend another; male or female. Yet how these events change and shape character arcs and motivations, I have yet to imagine.

Whatever PHISHING finally turns out to be, I begin the rewriting process today. I am leaving the house soon to meet with a group of young actors and their instructor in the Los Angeles environs to witness a performance and discuss casting. On Thursday, June 10th we read from the play, and discuss it. I am invited to return on Tuesday, June 15th with revisions.

I look forward to sharing my reflections with the LAFPI blog as I begin the process of rewriting a work so representative of old heartache, as well as revitalized hope and vision for its and my future.

More tomorrow…

Erica Bennett

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