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Seven months ago, my best friend told me: ‘You may be chronically fatigued, but you’re one hell of a writer!’ That’s how my journey as a writer began. And I didn’t start small. I wrote four video scripts for the iCasting Academy. I loved it. So I decided to build my own company and to keep writing! To encourage myself to really search for new clients, I dedicated myself to goal nr. 6: Write for at least 5 different clients.

Of course, I assumed my next assignments wouldn’t be half as great as writing English video scripts, but I was wrong. My second project was a big one again, and besides that, a true dream: I. Wrote. A. Play.

Tanya's 101 ~ Bedtime Stories | WOW-EFFECT | How I came to write my first play

Poster by Tulya Kavaklıoğlu, background painting by Christoph Eberle

The play is called Bedtime Stories and will be played by the international theater group WOW-EFFECT. But actually, it started of as something entirely different.

Tanya's 101 ~ Bedtime Stories | WOW-EFFECT | How I came to write my first play

Poster by Tulya Kavaklıoğlu

The day I saw this poster, I was determined: I wanted to be in this musical. I have always wanted to play in a musical. I mean, acting AND singing combined, it doesn’t get any better than that! I watched the movie and I was totally mesmerized by Selma, played by Björk. I wanted to be her. And so it happened. I was casted as Selma. I couldn’t be happier.

There was just one minor setback. We were only three actors. And well, three actors in a musical is a bit of an abomination. So, Tulya, the big brain behind WOW-EFFECT, decided we should do a smaller project first. She came up with Bedtime Stories. We knew the subject, we knew it would involve a bed on stage and we knew this project could be done with a very small group. We would get ourselves on the market, everyone would think we were great and they would all want to join us next season for the musical Dancer in the Dark. Solid plan, right?

We started to do improvisations based on the subject. We wrote down every little idea we had. And we lost our other two actors along the way. But giving up was not an option. We had a dream. And we would make our dream come true. So we improvised some more, just the two of us. We had brainstorm sessions that left us in tears (because we got emotional by the stories, not because of any dislike against the project, don’t worry). And then we had auditions. Just to see if we could find a few actors who wanted to join us. Because the two of us had become a solid team, but wouldn’t it be way cooler to have more people to share it with? Just a few, two or three, would have been great. That’s what we aimed for. The result: fifteen new actors! Fifteen! Where did they come from all of a sudden? We decided not to ask, but embrace these people as a family instead.

Tanya's 101 ~ Bedtime Stories | WOW-EFFECT | How I came to write my first play

Picture by Sarah Fünke

And now, instead of being the lead actor of a musical, all of a sudden I was the writer of a play. I didn’t have to do it all by myself though. The whole play is based on improvisations we did with the group, and a couple of brainstorm sessions that shaped the story some more. Also, I had a great team of advisors. We came together every week to discuss the play, the characters and their objectives. This play wouldn’t exist without them. So thank you Maria, Piyush and Ynske for you dedication and great advise. And a special thanks goes out to Tulya, who didn’t only stand by me as an advisor, but who shaped this whole idea, who never gave up and who made me part of this from the very beginning. I’m truly living a dream right now. It is so magical to watch and see my own play coming to live. I can’t wait to see it on stage.

Tanya's 101 ~ Bedtime Stories | WOW-EFFECT | How I came to write my first play

Picture by Sarah Fünke

I have doubted for some time if I would count WOW-EFFECT as my second client, because I have written this voluntarily. I’m not getting paid a dime. Of course, when I thought of this goal, I had in mind that I would find four new clients who would actually pay me. But now that I’m thinking of it, my real purpose with this goal was to grow as a writer, to get myself on the market and to build a portfolio. Well, if a play doesn’t count as a major add to my portfolio, I don’t know what would. Besides, I’m not getting paid now, but who says we’re not going to sell this play in the end? So yes, WOW-EFFECT is my second client. Writing a play was my second project as a writer. I believe I can be damn proud of myself!

Tanya's 101 ~ Bedtime Stories | WOW-EFFECT | How I came to write my first play

Picture by Sarah Fünke

Update: Bedtime Stories has been performed on May 30 and May 31, 2014 in Lindenberg Theater in Nijmegen. If you’d like to know how I experienced it, read this blog article.

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