Sunday, December 12, 2010

Raymond's student, Vince Sorren, wrote and starred in "Writers' Block" about dying of AIDs and passed away two months later at 21

I always went to Raymond's play workshops on Saturday.  They kept me hopeful about my play writing for years, living in the ghetto in subsidized housing with the incredible violence of constant gun fire in that neighborhood.   Vince was one of Raymond's most talented students at 17, and Raymond wrote a very successful teen play called "Sandstones" for him.  The first full length play he wrote was kind of a disturbing one to me in which he was wondering whether he was gay or heterosexual. He started to do a brilliant drag queen act when he got a little older, and I guess that decided him.  Since the AIDs epidemic was raging I could not help but caution him to be careful.  Vince had preexisting medical problems, so when he became HIV positive from what he told me was his first gay love affair, he started to get sick.  He came to the theater one night to see a play and I thought he looked and sounded very ill.  I had an ominous sense of foreboding.
Next thing I knew Vince had brought what was to be his last play to Raymond and wanted him to direct it and he wanted to play himself.  Raymond said he just could not direct that play, so he asked Brenda Edwards to direct it, who did a courageous job.
I can see Vince still, up there acting with the lesions that characterize full blown AIDs on his face.  I thought that was more than an ordinary opening of a play for three weeks, it was a shattering theater event for all who knew the irrepressible Vince and now had to watch him act the part of dying before our very eyes.
Be prepared for Raymond to talk about other plays until toward the end of this segment. He just starts to touch on Writer's Block, but there will be more on the play in the next one I plan to put up in a couple of days.  I have found that if I post a series too fast segments tend not to be watched.
I am just talking to Raymond who is ready to do more of the series, but I told him I asked Doc for a new battery for Christmas, and we have to go to Best Buy to buy that to see if that will keep the camera going quite a bit longer. The camera acts up some, so don't quite know what a new battery will do for it.
Raymond said we make a good team!  I told him it took me 5 years of making videos to learn how to interview on camera! He said he sees ways he could improve his coverage and delivery, too.  He said Mom, I see a lot of directions I can take in Phoenix now.  Yes, he just needed time to get over the past, the job change, his hip replacement, his dad disappearing....

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