Audra Krell

On Purpose

Johnny Castle On Writing

This past Wednesday, marked  two years since Patrick Swayze passed away. I thought of him and back to my 17th summer, the year Dirty Dancing came out. I saw it with my boyfriend’s family and was embarrassed by the sensuality, so I loudly announced I didn’t like it afterwards. Those very people are now my in-laws and we laugh because Dirty Dancing is one of my favorite movies of all time.

If you don’t know, shame on you  Patrick Swayze plays a character named Johnny Castle. He is a dance instructor at an affluent resort in the Catskills in the 60’s. Dirty Dancing is a coming of age movie where a teen girl played by Jennifer Grey, rebels by falling in love with Johnny, a working class entertainer. DD was the first film to sell over one million copies on VHS.

Everything you need to know, can be learned from Dirty Dancing and not from Kindergarten. But that’s for another series.

Today I give you 3 things from Johnny Castle which writers will do well to remember.

  1. Nobody puts baby in a corner.  You can write in obscurity and wait for an agent or publisher to invite you on stage and ask you to dance. Or you can stand up, pursue the writing life and never look back.
  2. You’ll hurt me if you don’t trust me,all right? Once  you find an agent, trust them and let them lead. Agreeably make the changes they request. Drop scenes, characters and 4000 words like the bad habits they are.
  3. It’s not on the one, it’s not the mambo. It’s a feeling, a heartbeat. Be original. Dance your own dance. Look deep inside and feel it, breath it. Let writing beat your heart.

And it just wouldn’t be right if I didn’t say:

Have the time of your life.


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4 thoughts on “Johnny Castle On Writing

  1. Love the throwback!!

  2. Ahhh, I liked the old guy owner lamenting on the fact that times were changing and his way of life and the way of life and how some people vacationed was over… I even liked the way he sang that song at the end.

    I liked that soundtrack too.

    Good advice, and wonderfully created. “Nobody keeps Audra in a corner”! You go girl!

    • I know Floyd! I liked everything you mentioned and more. Thank you for the compliments on the creativity, it was a fun one. And I love what you said about the corner….doing my best to stay out of it!!!!

  3. I learned a lot about a movie I should have seen, but didn’t because I was in a legalistic church (movies, much less dancing, were taboo). I would have been condemned if I had entertained the thought of buying a theatre ticket–Hollywood was straight out of hell. Now I know I have Christian liberty and I try to use it wisely.

    Your analogy is brilliant! Good writing, Audra. Thanks for the encouragement.

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