When I was 10, stories were told in my room. The legos, action figures and stuffed animals spoke and moved on their own. Without rules or steps to follow, it was unrecorded chaos that I lost myself in for hours.
In architecture school, I wondered how a structure guides or stagnates the creative impulse. If there is a center between chaos and order, where forms can grow from nothingness, in a calm within the storm of extremes, when it's grounded yet can soar beyond limitations . . . that was elusive. I was becoming an isolated, aimless façade. With one semester and a thesis project left, the thought kicked in - Maybe architecture isn't the only way I can express myself?
Across the street from the design studio, the college's drama club met, and I joined my last semester, acting in two plays, "Bang, Bang You're Dead," and "Duck Hunter Shoots Angel." After graduating with an architectural degree, I trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. During my first year, while my classmates were honing being present in their "Slice of life," I was trying to be a character. But how can I become a character, if I skipped living moment to moment in my own skin first? When I got on stage, I self-consciously watched myself. After year 1, I received a letter informing me that I was not invited back for year 2.
I continued taking acting classes at HB Studio, and became a member of the Greenhouse Ensemble. In one project, we experimented with dance, movement and dramatic writing to ask, how do you fill absence with meaning? This became my first chance to write for theater. Since then, I’ve studied playwriting with Kim Sharp, Julie McKee, and Lia Romeo. I meet monthly with the Greenhouse Ensemble Writer's Group, where the realization that every idea, good or bad, touches the surface, and takes time, patience, and risk to shed layers, and create something specific, surprising, and moving.
Stories are a way of sculpting a question I don't know the answer to, but the inner child who once told stories with legos, has bargained to keep the creative hunch imperfect . . . at least a little bit, till the end.