Living the Dream 1: Beginnings


I’m sorry for my horribly long absence! I promise it’s because I’ve been writing. I’ll post some quick updates later, but today I’m starting a new series called Living the Dream: Adapting Beauty Sleep for the Stage. In this series, I detail the process of adapting the film Beauty Sleep by Elias Koskimies for the theatre. I’ve been dreaming about this project for years now, and finally seeing it happen is… beyond amazing! So here it is:

1: Beginnings

This story begins years back, when I first saw Beauty Sleep and fell in love with it. Fully. Couldn’t stop thinking about it. Then last year, when I attended a talk by the writer and director Elias Koskimies, I had the opportunity to briefly chat with him after the actual event. I refuse to go into detail because I made a complete fool of myself by behaving like an over-enthusiastic fan girl. And you know, “never apologise for your enthusiasm” and all that, but maybe take it down a notch when trying to actually get a point across. Anyway, he was so nice, and when I finally managed to say I’ve wanted to adapt his work for the theatre, we agreed that I’d contact him to work out the details.

Afterwards I biked to my friend’s place, completely oblivious of it pouring rain, told my friends the whole thing and, if my memory serves me right, did a little victory dance.

Then time passed (too much of it), during which I basically rolled around in doubt. Not so much about whether I could do it, but more whether I was ready to give up applying to theatre schools this year. Then I realised I wanted to do nothing more than pursue this project. So I didn’t apply and finally sent the e-mail. Then in the final days of April, I got an e-mail from the producer, saying I could go ahead and start writing the dramatisation.

I hope every writer gets the opportunity to experience anything close to the surge of energy I got when I read the e-mail. I’d done some character analysis before that, but hadn’t given myself permission to really start writing before I knew I could follow through. I opened my research file, scrolled down to where I’d written a structure proposition and re-read. Then, I watched the film again and transcribed the entire thing into a file. (I could’ve waited for the film manuscript to be sent to me but… scratch that, not with that energy.) Then, I started writing. It took me two days to write the entire first draft. And don’t get me wrong: it took me two days because my typing speed failed my brain. Otherwise, I probably could’ve done it all in one sitting.

I remember reading that J.K. Rowling called seeing Harry Potter in her head the purest moment of inspiration she ever had. Seeing Beauty Sleep in my mind is mine. If I ever get to that same state of flow again, I will be over the moon. So what now? Well, while I’m working on Wind in the Willows (I play the mole!) and another play I’m writing and directing for next autumn, I let the draft get its dose of beauty sleep. I plan to rewrite during the summer, and then again in early autumn. If all goes the way I hope, I can audition actors for it before Christmas and perform it next spring. It seems ages away now, but not really, I’ve learned.

So, there’s part of what I’ve been up to. What about you – how are you all wonderful people doing?


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