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And So The Mind Reels

And So The Mind Reels

By Lee Mueller
Explorations on the creative mind and the products that come from within - as thought by a writer/playwright/actor Lee Mueller. Lee shares insights and stories related to his years in the field of performing arts: as an actor, improv comedian, writer, and playwright.
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Ep. 09 Can You Make Murder Funny?
I learned of someone objecting to a theatre group doing one of my "Murder Mystery Comedy Plays" and had to consider their viewpoint for a moment.  Murder is not a subject that should be funny, not at all, but writers have been getting away with the subject for a long time. How do they do it? How can you spin a topic such as "death" in such a way that an audience will not be depressed by it but instead laugh and have fun. Is it possible? Well, it must be. Let's lift the hood on this topic and take a look inside. 
11:14
October 20, 2020
Ep. 08 Bad Habits That Can Make Things Weird
In my years of theatre, I have worked with some actors who had strange habits. Odd idiosyncrasies that made their performance awkward to watch.  Why did they do it? Where did they learn it? Why did no one say something?  Several references are shared from the book The Basic On Stage Survival Guide For Amateur Actors 
14:19
October 13, 2020
Bonus Episode: How Can Performing Artists Survive In 2020 Since Performing is on Hold?
I had a few people ask me questions about how the conditions of 2020 are affecting some artists: actors, muscians, playwrights et al..  and what are we doing to cope?  Well I have a few thoughts.  
13:51
October 9, 2020
Ep. 7 Would I Lie To You? Or Just Act Like It?
It has been my experience in the world of theatre that a debate will come up that questions the truth about actors and acting. I have my own truth that I rely upon and I'm sure many have their own truths. Is there only one? Is it a lie? Or is acting simply lying to an audience? 
15:27
October 7, 2020
Ep.6 The Mechanics And Theories Of Comedy. Why Was That Funny?
I've been many years working in sketch comedy groups and writing comedy plays. Why do certain jokes work and others do not? Could it be the way they are written or could it be the person telling them?  What is funny and why do we laugh? Is timing at all important? 
21:30
October 2, 2020
Ep.5 How Did You Become A Playwright? The Long And Winding Path
In the last episode I tackled the question, "if I always wanted to be a playwright?"  In this episode, I talk about HOW I became one.  Hint: I did not decide one day that it would be my calling. It all just happened.  I went from acting on stage in High School, College and on the stage in an improvisational comedy sketch group. How it all prepared my to write my first play.  Eventually creating Play-dead.com 
16:20
September 29, 2020
Ep.4 Did You Always Want To Be A Playwright?
I may not have started out in life wanting to write plays, but I certainly liked to spin some yarns.  Stories, that is.  Not yarn, as in sweaters and such. Anyway, I am fairly sure that growing up as an only child fueled my imagination. And when I became an adult, I did not put away childish things.  I acted in plays and eventually went on to write plays, eventually created Play-Dead.com 
09:28
September 26, 2020
Ep. 3 How Different Ideas Can Evolve Into One Project
Audio is taken from a video - not the best) How distinct elements of ideas all blended together to fill out the idea I had for a play called "Dead Air".  This is the evolution of the script I wrote many years ago.  It should be noted that writers come up with ideas in all sorts of ways.  This is only an example of how this idea fermented in my mind. 
06:27
September 23, 2020
Ep. 2 Where Do You Get Your Ideas Part 2 - reworking (or re-wording) the Cliche
Sometimes a great new idea may just be an old one we don't recognize.   How many creative people reuse what has been done before. Once you become familiar with the cliches in books, movies, TV, etc..  - the challenge is to rework them into something which appears original.  And that leads to becoming creative. 
13:21
September 22, 2020
Ep.1 Where Do You Get Your Ideas to Write? Pen or Pencil? (Part 1)
When you create,  you need to know how to do it. And you need an idea.  When I started out as a novice writer, I asked a lot of questions and read a lot of books.  I wanted to know if I was doing it right.  This episode explores the methods, the early stages of the creative process, and some questions writers may wonder—such as what is the best time of day to write? What should you use? Pencil? Computer? And where do you get your ideas? 
11:56
September 22, 2020