When I was 10, stories were told in my room, without an audience. 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. Years later in architecture school, I wondered how structure can guide or stagnate the creative impulse. If there is a center between chaos and order, where new forms are created from states of 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 to go, the thought kicked in - Maybe architecture isn't the only way I can express myself?
Across the street from the design studio, was where the college's drama club met. My last semester, I acted 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, when I received a letter informing, I was not invited back for year 2, it wasn't surprising.
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 and Julie McKee. Today I meet monthly with the Greenhouse Ensemble Writer's Group, where I realized that every idea, good or bad, touches the surface, and it 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. Whether an answer is found, the 10 year old who told stories with legos, has bargained to leave the creative hunch from the beginning, imperfect . . . at least a little bit, till the end.