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Daffodils

Daffodils

“April in…” Can you name that song? If you said “April in Paris” you were right about the Vernon Duke/E.Y “Yip” Harburg  standard.  But as the Billy Crystal/Debra Winger movie advised: “Forget Paris.”  New York City has its own April delights –  including the beginning of Gotham Writers Spring Semester, where you can study songwriting, screenwriting, and much more. This week, I attended the Gotham Writers Open House – a free sampling of writing courses:  Articles, Creative Writing, Fiction, Humor, Memoir, Novel, Playwriting, Poetry, Screenwriting, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Songwriting, Stand-Up Comedy, TV Writing.  So many seeds for thought – so little time! I did manage to sit in on a few courses, and here are a few tips from the instructors: Songwriting (Instructor: Jody Gray – jodygray.com) Most popular songs are written with a “hook” (a repeating refrain) and a classic structure,  For example,  the song “Over the Rainbow” has a hook that shows up in the title and each “A” section.  The form is A, A, B, A.   Can you find the hook and figure out what the “A” sections are?  You can do it (and write it)  if you take Jody’s class! Humor Writing (Instructor: Ryan Britt) Humor (even when it’s based on life) usually includes certain elements: misunderstanding, exaggeration, odd combinations, and/or inversion of expectations.  Can you think of a story from your own life or imagination that includes these elements?   You’re half-way to funny!  Ryan’s class includes readings from top humorists and a chance to rough out and polish your own ideas. Screenwriting (Instructor: Jason Grieff) Screenplays often begin with the familiar and throw in a twist!   (Think Dorothy – a farm girl, who is whisked out of Kansas into Oz by a tornado or “twister”!)  Like most great protagonists, Dorothy really wants something – to go home – but first she must undertake a life-changing journey! (Sound familiar? Like many screenplays, “The Wizard of Oz” has deep roots in mythology – in this case,   Homer’s classic tale: “The Odyssey”). What kind of screenplay should you write? You can start off by listing three of your favorite movies.  As Jason points out,  they can give you clues about what you love and can successfully write! Gotham’s courses run from 6 weeks to 10 weeks and include one-day intensives.  For more information, visit gothamwriters.com By the way, do you know who wrote the lyrics, much dialogue, and served as script editor for the movie: “The Wizard of Oz”?  If you said E.Y. “Yip” Harburg,  then you brought it all back home – from Paris and Oz to Gotham Writers in NYC! Creative Living: Exercise your mind!  Pull out those lazy mental weeds (like “I have no talent or time”), plant those seeds of thought, cultivate your craft, and watch yourself bloom! (Photographer/Editor: Jay Berman)

Susan (“Dr. Sue”) Horowitz, Ph.D.

Book: “Queens of Comedy” (Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller, and more!) www.smashwords.com/books/view/219367 Musical: “SssWitch”: www.ssswitch.net  www.YouTube.com/drsuecomedian https://www.youtube.com/feed/my_videos  
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About DrSue

Susan “Dr. Sue” Horowitz, Ph.D. Award-Winning Author of Musicals/ Plays/ Books/Screenplays/Songs, Singer-Comedienne, and Adjunct CUNY Professor. Original Musicals/ Plays: “SssWitch!” (An Anti-Bullying Musical), “Club of Dreams” (Original Musical - NYFA Sponsorship & Grants); “Angelface” (Play) 1st Prize Hunter Playwrights, “The Golden Heart” “Judy Maccabee” 1st Prize National Contests for youth comedies, “Doctor Dick” (One Woman Musical Show) “Poe-tic Justice: A Naughty Thriller”: published on-line by www.infinity-stage.com ; Published Scenes/Monologues: Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, Screenplays: “Planet of the Ticklebops” (Cine Golden Eagle Award), “Leroy & Lebowitz” (Finalist Blue Cat Screenplay Contest), Books: “Queens of Comedy” (interviews with Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller, and more!).“Read with Me” Children’s Book of the Month Club, “I Am Loved” (Poetry Book). CD of Original Songs “For Heroes and Lovers” www.cdbaby.com/drsue2 -including radio-syndicated song “The Heroes of Nine-Eleven” Licensing/Trademarks: Teddly® Teddly & Buddyfly® My Teddyfriend® Media Personality: Good Day New York, E! Entertainment, BBC (International Pick of the Week), NBC, MTV, WBAB-WLIB, JCT Multimedia, etc. Education/Training: B.A. University of Chicago, Graduate Work/Ph.D. Yale School of Drama/City University of New York (Graduate Center), BMI Musical Theatre Workshop, Second City Improvisation Workshop, Songwriting Workshops/Classes: Summersongs, Songwriters Hall of Fame, Private Studies.

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