Category: Writing

Script of a Dream

 Brian Hissong
Brian Hissong, CTFD dancer-client and Caroline H. Newhouse Grant Recipient, describes his career transition process in script form.

 FADE IN INT.

A young boy: Brian Hissong, aged 8, his father, and mother are in the audience watching a production of Cats. This is Brian’s first time at the theatre, and he is completely mesmerized by the dancers onstage.

JUMP CUT to Brian, in an introductory ballet class a few months later. The boy is patiently trying to learn.

BRIAN (Voice Over)

When I saw real dancing for the first time, I was stunned. I didn’t know dancing could be that athletic and dynamic. It seemed to me that the performers onstage were athletes that could rival any NFL player.

CUT to Brian and his mother in the emergency room. Brian is still holding a football while getting a cast on his left wrist.

BRIAN (Voice Over)

Plus, dancing hurt a little less.

FLASH FORWARD to Brian at Interlochen Center for the Arts. Brian is now 14. He is rehearsing “Dance at the Gym” from West Side Story. JUMP CUT to Brian icing an ankle in the cabin later that night.

BRIAN (Voice Over)

Just a little..

FLASH FORWARD to Brian opening a letter of acceptance from The University of Michigan Musical Theatre program. He jumps up and down at the news as his parents hug him.

BRIAN (Voice Over)

With my parents’ support, I pursued performing wholeheartedly. I knew that if I was going to succeed, it would take all my efforts.

SMASH FORWARD to Brian participating in intense ballet courses, tap classes, working on partnering, and musical theatre performances. In each clip, sweat is flying; you can hear the performers breathing deeply, as they are all happily exhausted.

BRIAN (Voice Over)

I knew that if I was going to have a sustaining career, I had to be versatile. I couldn’t be a one trick pony; I had to be a jack of all trades. Studying musical theatre, I was extremely interested in the marriage of dance, acting, and singing. How does a performer reconcile that? How are they interrelated? What I came to understand was that they all boiled down to one thing: story telling.

JUMP CUT to Brian packing away the last box into a small moving truck. He fights back tears as he tries to look unaffected saying goodbye to his parents.

SMASH FORWARD to Brian, now in New York City. We see quick flashes of Brian settling into his tiny apartment, working late nights in a bar, and in giant dance calls 100 dancers deep.

BRIAN (Voice Over)

So I moved to New York. Fortunately for me, I didn’t have to struggle for too long. The hard work paid off, and eventually I was able to tell stories all over the country and world.

FLASH to Brian dancing in an athletic country hoedown on the Goodspeed Opera House stage. Girls are¬†being thrown high into the air, crazy tumbling passes are happening. This is Brian’s first long-run show and he is loving it.

SMASH to Brian performing West Side Story again, this time on stage in a large, international touring production.

JUMP FORWARD to Brian meeting the 80-year-old Princess of Thailand after the show. In his excitement, he forgets to do the traditional bow. A friendly nudge from his neighbor reminds him!

BRIAN (Voice Over)

But my most cherished role has come into my life recently, that of ‘Father’ and ‘Husband’.

CUT to Brian’s wife Jodi in her hospital bed holding their son Reid. Brian stands attentively at their side holding Reid’s tiny hand in his.

BRIAN (Voice Over)

I knew that this was the most important thing in my life now, to provide for my family. I knew that I would have to take a step back performance-wise to make sure they were taken care of.

CUT to present time as Brian sits in a chair speaking directly to the camera now.

BRIAN

Although I have chosen to forego performance opportunities that would take me away from my family, I know I still need a creative outlet. In order to be the best father and husband I can be, I have to be happy and fulfilled creatively. Hence, the birth of Hissong Productions!

FLASH to Brian shooting head shots, portraits, corporate gigs, weddings, music videos, sporting events, etc.

BRIAN

And hopefully, with the same dedication I have always pursued my dreams.

FLASH to 3 years in the future. Brian is directing his first feature-length independent film.

BRIAN

This script will become reality.

FADE TO WHITE.