How to Get Away with a Murder………Mystery

Time laughs, flying ever faster as he watches my futile efforts to catch up to him. Breathlessly, I wave goodbye to autumn and realize I should have posted this a month ago.

Last week, I wrote that within the last five years, I’ve grown a lot, become a little less of a wallflower. This is a little more of that story.

It all started in May 2013. I decided to start a book club, something I’d wanted to do for many years, but was always putting off for various reasons. Miraculously, people were interested, and there we were, meeting once a month to discuss books, just as I’d dreamed of.

And then I had another idea. In October, why not host a murder mystery dinner? So instead of reading a book for October of 2013, I wrote a play. The setting was a high school reunion. My book club friends acted. Other friends watched. It was #craycray, as the drama unraveled, revealing red herrings, such as the former ratchet head cheerleader. All audience members were given a role, though they didn’t have to act. We named everyone after fun food puns, such as Haley Peno, Cheri Garcia, and Ginger Wasabi. But finally, the killer was unveiled. Whodunnit? The quietest guy in the room, who was pretending to be drunk all night.

I don’t typically like to post pics of my real life, but what the hay. My friends and I shall remain nameless, nonetheless.

murder mystery 2013

Having been the first murder mystery I hosted, things were pretty chaotic because none of us knew what we were doing. However, people enjoyed it.

So we did it again this year. Totally getting ahead of myself, I wrote the script back in June. Someone had suggested a theme after last year’s murder mystery, so I stuck to it.

Korean dramas.

Having watched one too many Korean dramas, it wasn’t too difficult to include all the stereotypes necessary. The storyline included a self-sacrificing heroine, a tortured hero, the heroine’s flamboyant (but not gay) best friend, and one hysterical dragon matriarch.

Once I finished, I sent the rough draft to two of my dear friends, who edited it to their hearts’ content. And one of them enthusiastically set the script to music, compiling an entire soundtrack of already existing K drama OSTs to fit our own drama. We even created a playbill. And then I asked my friends to help me act it out. We started rehearsing in August, and then in October, it was show time! One of my beautiful friends and her husband hosted it at their lovely home.

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The basic storyline was this: sweet heroine (hereby known as h) is the daughter of a rich man’s mistress. As her mother has passed away, she lives with her rich father and his family, and of course, h’s stepmother and half sister intensely hate her.

Enter Hero (hereafter known as H), who is engaged to h’s half sister, and best friends with h’s half brother, but only because he is thirsty for revenge. Pictured below: H’s fake engagement to mean sister, H and brother toasting as best friends.

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The rich man and his wife are responsible for the death of H’s parents many years ago. H is determined to destroy their whole family and comes back under a different name. Yes, I also happened to base this loosely after The Count of Monte Cristo.

Crazy wife, played by yours truly! Pictured below on right. The beautiful lady on the left is cross-dressing as my fake, rich hubby (she also happens to be the only true Korean among us).

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The twist: H and h are in love, and H struggles with completing his revenge, knowing it might hurt h. H, played by the dashing, dapper gentleman below, and h, played by the perfect picture of loveliness to H’s left.

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Another complication: h’s best friend is also in love with h and knows H’s secret. Below: Besties!

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Yup, COMPLICATED. I used every weapon of what I know to be in the K drama arsenal.

So in the end, who was the killer? THIS weird, whimsical wallflower, that’s who. 🙂 Yup, I took out my head servant, poisoned my husband, pretended to get stabbed, all in the name of hate in a valiant attempt to frame sweet h and her tortured H.

All in all, it was an amazing experience, especially because not only was I totally out of my comfort zone, but I think it also took many of my friends out of their comfort zones as well. My friends are such wonderful people! God bless them for playing along with me and putting up with my weirdness.

murder mystery 2014 pic

Takeaways for next year:

1. I don’t want to play a crazy psycho again, as ridiculously fun as it was. I don’t think I have bitch face, so it was hard to act like one, though everyone says my psychotic screams were spot on, and while I suppose it’s a good thing I don’t have bitch face, it is NOT a good thing to be told I have the perfect crazy voice.

2. I’d like to engage the audience a little more next year, just as we did in 2013’s murder mystery, instead of just acting it all out in front of them. Less of a play, more inclusive.

3. Next year’s theme…what shall it be? Some people suggested aliens/space, telenovela, or British mystery. Personally, I want to work in a masquerade ball somewhere. Would that be at all possible?

4. I think it would be nice if we could dress up as anything we want for Halloween instead of specifically for the play. That way, if I want to be a cat, I can BE a freaking cat. Dare I even say, a sexy cat? Nope, don’t think I could pull that one off. Maybe a screeching, hysterical cat, which apparently my voice would be capable of.

Anyway, this wallflower is taking tiny steps away from that wall. It’s taking effort not to retreat, not to take two steps back for every step forward, but as with all things, practice makes perfect…or almost perfect in any case.

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