Frequently Asked Questions about Dumpster Diver the Musical

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

How did you come up with the idea for writing a musical about dumpster diving?

Originally, I began writing this story some years ago, when I lived in downtown West Palm Beach, Florida.

At the time, I was living in this big run-down warehouse inhabited by a revolving door of artists, musicians, drifters and dreamers.  This warehouse, a big quonset hut actually, was a kind-of “Bermuda Triangle” for the fringe artist scene.  It sat in an area, Flamingo Park, that was being cleaned up.  As the real estate investors circled the area, the code enforcement people start making regular visits to the warehouse.

On one side of the warehouse, literally, 20 feet from my room, sat the railroad tracks, and yes, they were active.  On the other side of the warehouse, was the gentrifying neighborhood.  We were surrounded on all sides, by progress and commerce.

Living there, I was in the midst of interesting people and I began keeping a journal, documenting the activity.  I sifted through my notes and started to write a play called “Plato’s Cave”, as a nod to the offbeat philosophers that drifted through the space.

Around this time, I was introduced to dumpster diving, from a friend, who lived at a collective space in nearby Lake Worth, Florida.  I took the notes from “Plato’s Cave” and thought, “What if there was an entire group of drifters and dreamers, who were dumpster divers, in a future where dumpster diving was illegal?”  That was the seed of an idea that was planted in my imagination that would later grow into the tree, for Dumpster Diver the Musical.

Thinking about it now, this idea was likely shaped by the situation that was unfolding around me at the time, at the warehouse, as we were a group of renegades surrounded by a progress that would eventually see the warehouse shut buried under a mountain of code violations, so much so that the owner, Alan Patrusevich, forced with paying a huge bill and the continual harassment by code enforcement, would sell the property.

The dust would settle.  As it had before. And the artists, poets, musicians, dreamers, writers, who’d left the treadmill of nine-to-five to navigate their way through this hamster cage of the disenfranchised, would eventually drop anchor at other overlooked and abandoned islands, with their run-aground ships and forgotten caves.

Those who don’t feel at home in this world will find their home among the invisible territories.  Like giant magnets in the sky that can only attract what they do not destroy, their journey will rewarded.  The sound of time is the music and the muse.  The seduction of the equator is their reality.

How long did it take you, from start to finish, to complete the musical?
Condensed, it probably took 3 years, about 10 hours a week. I wrote the book, the script, and the songs, over a period of 7 years. During the time, I produced a number of other projects–an independent film festival, a Christian coffeehouse, an open mic night called “Philosophy Night”, a weekly film screening, and was working at various jobs in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Has the musical been staged?
Yes. It was staged for a 3 day/night run at The Hudson Guild Theater, as an official entry for The New York Theater Festival, their “SummerFest” program. The director, actors and actresses, and crew did an amazing performance. It was wonderful to see the musical come to life on stage, with such a talented cast and crew.

Do you plan on staging the musical again?
Yes. I would like to find a space to stage it and run it for a Friday and Saturday night show. Pre-sell the tickets on EventBrite. There’s a lot of churches all over Manhattan and Brooklyn and a lot of these churches have basement and ground level stages. It would be great to find a stage where the owner would allow me to rent it for a portion of the ticket sales and also to allow rehearsal.

I’d like to do the full length musical, which has about 17 songs. Some of the songs would be shortened. It would be a 2 hour run-time with a 15-minute intermission. Pack the houses. Put 4 keyboards on stage. One of the string violin sounds. One for the melody with piano sounds. One for the additional synthesizer sounds. One for the sound effects. With multiple keyboards, and a great lighting system, this musical has the potential to be amazing.

Click here to watch the full performance of Dumpster Diver the Musical

What’s your ideal vision for Dumpster Diver the musical?
Get it produced in an off-broadway theatre and get enough interest and good reviews so NetFlix or Amazon or some other production company offers me a few million to buy the rights.

Do you still dumpster dive?
Yes. LOL. There’s a plethora of free food in dumpsters and in bags on the curb all over New York City. I usually bring an industrial strength garbage bag that I’ll tie off, to prevent any stinky odors on the subway train ride home.

What do you do for work?
I work as a BackGround (BG) actor aka “extra” for film and television in the New York City area. I also do freelance photography, make money online by selling ebooks that I’ve written, and offer copywriting services as well.

Kris Kemp
writer (book/score) Dumpster Diver the musical

Kris Kemp

Kris Kemp is a writer, musician, actor, photographer, traveler, and creative entrepreneur. He specializes in writing copy for landing pages, squeeze pages, sales pages, and email marketing campaigns. Although he has a variety of interests, they share the common theme of freedom--creative freedom, travel/location freedom, health freedom, and financial freedom.