Stage 6 Drama – Scriptwriting – Engadine High School – Student interview

[MUSIC PLAYING] SKYE MORTIMER: : My name is Skye Mortimer, and I did script writing for my IP. The experiences that I carried across from year 11 into year 12 were the use of production elements such as lighting, stage, sound– anything like that. That really helped me develop my piece. And I took a lot of inspiration from Australian theater and the stories of indigenous experiences, so that was a main factor in my IP.

I ended up choosing script writing for my IP just because it was one of my strengths. A lot of the teachers have told me that I have a beautiful writing ability and a great storytelling voice. And so I thought if I want to do well and get an A+– A+ mark– then script writing would be the way to go, especially because I was tossing up between performance.

But I wrote a lot of the pros and cons down, just to see what could go wrong on the day. Like I could be sick. I could forget my lines. The nerves could get the better of me. So I wanted to get a good mark, and I wanted to achieve writers on stage. And I was very proud that I did and grateful that I was able to have that opportunity.

I took a lot of my own personal experiences of growing up in foster care as an indigenous kid, and also just a lot of the stories I’d heard from other indigenous kids in care. And so throughout the script, I just wanted to evoke a lot of meaning– a lot of empathy for the children and how that would affect a young person’s identity. I could put a lot of my heart and soul into this piece and give a voice to a lot of people– a lot of kids that don’t have a voice. And the experiences that they go through.

Throughout the whole development of my script writing piece, I started off with so many ideas, and it eventually developed and grew into something else. I originally wanted to have the kids personify a certain emotion or a pain that they were experiencing through foster care. However, it slowly grew into telling my story and the story of a lot of other children growing up with cultural issues and identity issues. And so it allowed me to wrap up and explore my cultural identity issues, along with exploring it for other children going through foster care.

The use of my log book really helped me consolidate a lot of my ideas and a lot of just those one-off memories or moments that I’d have throughout the day where I could be thinking about my script. And so allowing me to get those thoughts and put them onto paper really helped me flesh them out. And I used it to visualize how I would set up the stage, if it was ever to be put on production.

I used it to look into the characters and make character profiles, so I really knew what I was writing and who I was writing the story for. I used a lot of pictures about the park that I set it in or just for the characters with what their props would be used. It was just a way to kind of gather all my research and put down other script ideas that I was thinking or little saying ideas. I really recommend utilizing your log book for your developing process.

A key challenge I face throughout my writing process was the fact that I would get terrible writer’s block, and I’d go through moments where I couldn’t– I knew what I wanted to say, but I couldn’t get it out onto the page. And so I talked with a lot of my teachers and a lot of people outside of the classroom to help me with ideas or even just give me a starting point. And getting that feedback really did set the scene and start the ball rolling, and it helped me move on and finish the script.

Helping me manage my IP it definitely was the log book. That’s key in making sure I was on track and hitting all the key points that I wanted to– I wanted in my piece. My teachers also constantly asked for me to finish a scene or write a little part in the script and send it to them to get feedback, so that helped me keep on track. And a lot of the classwork we did allowed me to spend time to refine pieces–


–or spend one-on-one on one time with my teachers to get that feedback.

Looking back on my experience, the advice that I would give to current students is utilize your teachers, start thinking about what you want to do and what you want to produce super early in advance. Especially for me, having that trouble with writer’s block, having that extra time to get feedback– to talk to other people– really helped me produce a piece of work that I really love and something to be proud of.

End of transcript

Content updated 22/9/2020

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