Over the weekend I finally sat down and watched: Dirty Step Upstage, a mockumentary about an aspiring actress who finds herself sucked into a world of intrigue and fame that threatens to devour her if she gets in too deep.
I was just in a ‘blink and you miss it’ moment, but essentially I died in the movie.
Later in the weekend I sat down and wrote a few ten minute plays, one of the plays involves a character meeting her end in a car accident… Well technically she is in a coma, still able to breath and beat on her own, but the moment she stops breathing and her heart beat stops when the doctors go to attempt resuscitation it is then realized that she has a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) on file.
Ironically, the ten minute play was in a way a re-imaging of a particular scene I wrote at Currents, the online soap opera… except there was no DNR in that case, but some of the storyline is rather similar, the fight, the aftermath, but not the cause. When showing the first draft to a couple of friends one of the things that came out was that they were not able to sympathize with the male lead. He had a chance to make amends and yet he continuously pulls himself away to the point that when he finally figures out what he wanted in his life he loses his chance due to death.
In fact one of those beta readers went so far as to ask: why use death as a final result when you could achieve the same kind of emotional turnout with the ex-girlfriend dating someone else. To be honest, that would have been the most realistic way to work through things… however to me killing off the ex-girlfriend was far more definitive than having her move on. To me keeping someone alive and moved on to someone else only invites the possibility that she and him could get back together further down the road. Whileas when you kill off the character (as long as the story is still realistic) that ends any possibility of a reconciliation for anyone and the living have to live with any regrets they may end up having.
That kind of got me thinking… Why do we fear death? What is it about the concept of death that forces us to ignore its existence.