Category Archives: playwriting

Because

by Constance Strickland

Because Djuna Barnes’ “Nightwood” has been a safe haven for free thoughts. Because these days I function better with s’mores ice cream. Because I’m occupying a new and unknown space. Because I write physical plays. Because I could survive with a simple dress, vintage heels, and a collection of weathered hats. Because after nine years Theatre Roscius is a non-profit. Because finding financial support to create new work has been an enormous gift. Because I’m proud of the struggle. Because I’ve had to fight for every opportunity. Because without the graciousness of strangers I wouldn’t be where I am today….closer. Because this Sunday came with tight cuddles, moments of silence, uncontrollable tears, and deep laughter. Because there are no words to express imminent joy. Because actions matter. Because I continue to find truth in solitude. Because the past no longer casts a dark shadow. Because this has been one hell of a year. Because Theatre Roscius created five new works. Because community and tribe have two different meanings. Because I know love always heals. Because I know this all to be the truth.

Stonehenge (seen in an aerial view taken in the late 1990s) may have been protected by a green barrier, archaeologists say.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JASON HAWKES, CORBIS

An Unfinished List of Lessons from a Writing Workshop In Which I Was Broken and then Rebuilt

One week ago I returned home from a six-week short fiction writing workshop in San Diego. For six whole weeks out of my life, I was basically a full time writer. Except for one or two day job things that trickled in, I mostly cut myself off from the real world, friends and family. While I’ve gone to one- or two-week workshops before, and even had a one-month residency once, I have never experienced what it is like to actually and truly have writing be the priority of my day, every day. That in fact it was expected of me to show up to the page, and it affected those around me if I didn’t.

I was in workshop for 20 hours a week, was close-reading up to 100,000 words a week of my peers’ writing, and writing a new short story a week – which would be read and talked about for a full hour not only by the 17 other writers but by the successful and highly acclaimed faculty (which changed from week to week). If I wasn’t doing any of those things, I was in craft lectures, business lectures, public readings, or one-on-ones with faculty. A friend and I also tried to find a few hours to work on our novels together.

Now, this model is not sustainable, of course, and I’m not even sure if there’s an equivalent that would work for playwriting. I realize this is a playwriting blog and not a short fiction blog…but one writer’s problems are all writer’s problems.

Because I’ve been home a week and have not written a word. My brain has be sputtering trying to understand why I need to be in meetings about fundraisers and marketing and grants and not writing a new ghost story. I’m back in a world in which no one cares if I write today or tomorrow or this week or this month. A world where I have to actively make rent. Half of me is back on my routine bullshit, the other half is asking – but…what about the writing?

What does prioritizing your writing even look like?

I wanted this blog to be a “here is a list of things I learned at my writers workshop” kind of thing but…I’ve only been home a week. And I just don’t know if I can articulate it exactly yet. Some of the lessons won’t sink in for a little while.

But I’ll tell you this.

In week two, I was basically told I was too weird in every sense of the word to really have a career. All of my arrogance and confidence was beaten out of me, and I was a bloody mess on the floor, feeling like I had wasted my life. I used that energy to write one of the stronger stories of mine at the workshop in a kind of fever dream for week 3 – refusing to stop writing for fear that I wouldn’t be able to pick it up again, that I had to see it through otherwise I’d talk myself out of even trying. I lived in that terror for the next three weeks. Worried that the things I was interested in exploring, experimenting and fucking around with were stupid and embarrassing.

If I was torn completely down in week two, then in week six I was built back up again. I wrote quite possibly the most vulnerable story I’ve ever written in a fit of rage (with myself, with the world, with how I’m perceived as a person, a woman, a woman-writer) and it was also a fusion of my fiction and playwriting life and voice. It was completely me.

And I walked away from week six not feeling like that weirdness is a weakness and an air I was putting on, but if focused well and layered with truth, it is my superpower.

So, if I had to offer a few loose words of wisdom, or just nuggets of a jumbled mind that may or may not be useful to you, this is what I’d write down:

  1. If you’re scared to write something, that means you should. Sometimes that means you have to write in a fever dream, straight through to the end, to burst through the dam you’ve built between what you think your writing should be and what it wants to be.
  2. Prioritizing writing looks different for everyone. But it deserves it. You deserve it.
  3. Find your superpower. This is stolen wisdom from our week six teachers Gwenda Bond and Christopher Rowe but…if you’re good at language and interesting characters and structure, it’s okay for your plots to be more basic and straightforward. If plot is your thing, it’s okay for the other stuff to be straightforward. Everyone has a superpower.
  4. Everything will always seem more important than the writing. Everything else is shouting for your attention, everything feels like an emergency. But be careful not to hitch yourself to other people’s emergencies. If you’re not discerning, if you default into a state of reaction, then everything else will feel like the most important thing in the world, and your writing, sorry, will never scream as loud as that email from your day job. Do I mean you should drop obligations or showing up as a sibling/parent/friend/worker/etc? Of course not. But if you’re only reacting to others, then you are helping them build what is important to them and what is important to you can get lost, can become background.
  5. What I’m saying is…internalize your commitment.
  6. Procrastination happens when we want to avoid negative emotions. So time management is often more about emotion management.
  7. We will never be satisfied. That’s part of the job.

Anyway, that’s more words than I’ve written in a week. I’m exhausted.

This is the blessed unrest.

Intention, Time & Tapas

by Analyn Revilla

This blog was originally posted on the blog site of Fightmaster Yoga (www.fightmasteryoga.com)

Sometimes the things we love to do or are passionate about can be our prison also.  I’m talking about my love of reading and writing, playing guitar, and also practicing yoga.  It’s so strange to me, until recently, how I can hit a wall with these activities.  I will be religious about doing these things then I find my passion and interest waning, as though these things become a chore rather than a source of joy.

I get into a rut and it’s a lot of work to dig myself out of it with a new perspective, and sometimes it’s not the one I expected or wanted.  To give an example, I’ll talk about my yoga practice.  I was doing the 90-day Shine Program (available to people who join an app called MyYogaPal, which I came upon from following YouTuber, Lesley Fightmaster. She influenced my personal practice because her teaching philosophy and practice was “You don’t have to be perfect, because it’s not about the pose.”). Around the 70 to 80 day mark of the program I started to get stuck, because I repeated the classes 2 or 3 times, maybe even 4 or 5 times. I did so, because I felt I didn’t do it justice.  What I mean by that is my focus wasn’t there, and my best intentions weren’t present.

I almost wonder if we should give ourselves some kind of a graduation ceremony for accomplishing a feat of doing 90 days of yoga as a recognition of completion and getting ready for the next step.  What could that be after 90 days of the Shine program?

So what perspective did I gain after I had to re-boot myself from the rut?  No pain, no gain.  I am being a bit facetious in thinking and writing those words, but I’m not editing them out.  The reason is there is truth to the cliche (as cliche as it may be).  Here’s my real life experience about this.  I have two stories to share.

I’ll start with my recent project that I started about 2 months ago.  I decided that I want to be able to do at least one pull up before the end of this year.  So, after teaching my twice a week yoga classes at a private club, I go to the weight room and work on my pull ups.  One of my yoga students is dedicated about his weight training.  He started to notice me be a regular in the weight room.  He offered me advice on how to reach my goal.  First, he asked what my goal was and analyzed my workout.  Then he said that I needed to also do some weights to strengthen my pectoral muscles. I followed his advice.

Two weeks ago, one of my other yoga students joined me in the weight room as we continued a conversation after class.  ‘What are you doing here?’, he asked, so I told him.  ‘Well, have you tried doing one without the machines?’  I said no.  ‘Try,’ he said, ‘You might surprise yourself.’  I was doubtful, but I did it anyway and guess what – I almost got to one… I was able to lift my weight higher than I ever expected.  He said, ‘you’re almost there?!’  ‘Really?’ I beamed.  ‘Yeah.’  My coach was there too, working on his usual routine.  He said, “To be successful you have to be ready to endure pain.”  I haven’t forgotten those words since.

The other story is I have been healing an injured rotator cuff or a very tight knot around my right neck and shoulder area.  It’s been rather painful, that I can barely do a chaturanga dandasana (four-limbed staff pose). While I heal, I do a modified chaturanga dandasana.  Here I am, a yoga teacher, and I’ve suffered an injury.  I hope I’m not teaching anyone the wrong way.  I’ve always always been mindful of making sure my shoulders are aligned with my arms, wrists and hands.  It could be a combination of repetitive motion injury and arthritis plus my new pull-ups program.

Lesley Fightmaster in Chaturanga Dandasana

But I recognized there’s something deeper going on here, so I stopped looking externally as to why I’ve suffered this set back. I decided to investigate inwardly.  What is it in my life that’s really bothering me and that I’m avoiding or running away from?  I decided to revisit writing on a daily basis again to help draw out this invisible elephant in the room.  I went back to my roots of spending more time alone which I need on regular basis, because it’s always been my nature. Also, I have had to start being honest with myself and recognize to put myself first.

I was very spoiled when I lived next to a national park that bordered my home in Vancouver, Canada.  I would spend hours in the trails of the forest with my dog running, hiking, jumping and being alone but not lonely in nature.  I was one with the sounds of the forest – the rushing waters of the creek, the call of the birds, the soft wind through the needles of pine trees and leaves of deciduous trees.

That was my meditation.

Now, it’s 20 minutes if I can steal it from the heavy schedule of a regular job, and the pets (chickens and dogs), cleaning, cooking, shopping and teaching yoga.  I got lost in all that and lost a vital part of me – just spending time with myself doing the things I enjoy without the pressure of the walls of time closing in.  Isn’t it funny how we perceive time.  It could be infinite or finite, depending on our state of mind.

I really meandered on this blog.

But it all ties in with the words of intention, time and tapas.  To get to the next level of where I imagine my life to be then I have to be in tune with myself – aligned.  I need to continually evaluate when I’m not tracking to my intention and put in the sweat, effort and time to re-align and stay in-tuned to my inner voice – that calling that cannot be silenced until there is no more.

It’s easy to get thrown off my path and I have to guard my time wisely because I haven’t got a lot of it measured in human years.  I want to be generous with others, but I also need to be mindful to be more generous to myself.  This is my authentic self when I’m taking care of myself.

#FringeFemmes Check-Ins: Noor Inayat Khan: The Forgotten Spy

by Heather Dowling

Quick peeks at #HFF22’s “Women on the Fringe” by Fringe Femmes who are behind the scenes this year. Click Here for all Check-Ins

Fringe Femmes

WHO:  Almanya Narula 

WHAT:  Noor Inayat Khan: The Forgotten Spy

WHERE: The Broadwater (Black Box) 6322 Santa Monica Blvd.

WHY: This story, beautifully crafted and performed by Almanya Narula, brings to light the story of an extraordinary woman. Meet Noor Inyat Khan, an Indian princess, Sufi royalty – and a spy who played an important (and until now) unrecognized role in the defeat of Nazi Germany. The show paints an incredibly vivid picture of a piece of history never told. The story is captivating and it offers such a powerful point of view of the Nazi occupation through a lunique lens that just makes you want to know more not only about Noor, but also, about the world from which she came.

HOW: https://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/7519

Click Here to Find More “Women on the Fringe!”

#FringeFemmes Check-Ins: Looking Past Loss

by Constance Strickland

Quick peeks at #HFF22’s “Women on the Fringe” by Fringe Femmes who are behind the scenes this year. Click Here for all Check-Ins

Fringe Femmes

WHO: Charlotte Galbreath

WHAT: Looking Past Loss

WHERE: Asylum @ Thymele Arts (California Room), 5481 Santa Monica Blvd

WHY: Because you’ll see a young artist use her voice and body to heal a pain you can’t name at first. Because when Charlotte morphs into her mother, in voice and posture, the familiarity nearly broke my heart. Because I understood the anger, the grief and the empathy involved in accepting a once-healthy mother’s new physical reality. Because Charlotte reminded us that the loss of a loved one will touch us all and how we respond to that loss matters – community matters. Because when Charlotte begins to sing, a light shines from her whole being and we see her, we hear her, we are her.

In a time where all seems woeful, it felt good to bear witness to another human’s story of resilience – right here in your own neighborhood there is someone always finding ways to live a full life. May director Debra De Liso’s Theatre of Compassion continue to bring forth original projects from the voices of those who are not always heard.

HOW: https://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/7605

Click Here to Find More “Women on the Fringe!”

#FringeFemmes Check-Ins: Made in America

by Constance Strickland

Quick peeks at #HFF22’s “Women on the Fringe” by Fringe Femmes who are behind the scenes this year. Click Here for all Check-Ins

Fringe Femmes

WHO: Teruko Nakajima

WHAT: Made in America

WHERE: The Complex Theatre and Studios (Ruby Theatre ) 6476 Santa Monica Blvd

WHY: Teruko! Teruko the Original! This solo show will have the hardest of humans laughing unexpectedly and then, with a whisper of a word, bring you to stillness. As I sat watching Teruko, I was struck by her authenticity, her powerful ability to honor her true self and to manifest her destiny despite the pains and tribulations she has experienced. There was a freedom exuding from Teruko that made me in awe: a freedom that only comes from finding ways to continue out of the dark into the light.

As I left the theatre I found myself still smiling and shouting: Teruko the Hero! As the show came to an end she brought us all to our feet and each person in that audience was not only rooting for her continued success in living her best life, we also came away with a better understanding of how vital it is for each of us to bet on ourselves – the necessity of having empathy for one another and a better understanding of who we are collectively. And perhaps greater care for what it means to be an American. I swear to you: DON’T miss this show!

HOW: https://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/7419

Click Here to Find More “Women on the Fringe!”

#FringeFemmes Check-Ins: A Terrible Show for Terrible People

by Eloise Coopersmith

Quick peeks at #HFF22’s “Women on the Fringe” by Fringe Femmes who are behind the scenes this year. Click Here for all Check-Ins

Fringe Femmes

WHO: Bonnie He

WHAT: A Terrible Show for Terrible People

WHERE: The Broadwater (Black Box) 6322 Santa Monica Blvd.

WHY: Fun!  The playwright/actress, Bonnie He, has created an engaging 45 minutes where the audience is treated to a zany and at times delightfully naughty evening of laughter.  The audience is part of the performance and Bonnie invites (surprising willing) participants onstage to serve as part of the merriment.  Creative and committed to every moment of her performance I walked out refreshed and delighted… The Fringe is back and it is artists like Bonnie that remind us how wonderful individual voices can be. Brava!

HOW: https://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/6450

Click Here to Find More “Women on the Fringe!”

Bonnie He – this fabulous image was taken before the show.

#FringeFemmes 2022! Meet Mareshah Dupree & Jairis Carter

By Constance Strickland

Fringe Femmes 2022 are a bold cohort of women who are presenting new plays, original works and solo shows that have raised the bar on what it means to be an artist, tell one’s story and continue the work by any means necessary. Each year I am reminded that no matter the obstacles or the times in which we live, you cannot stop theatre as an art form from expanding, thriving and being a vessel to reveal, heal and nurture. LAFPI has the special ability to connect women from a wide variety of cultures and experiences together in their shared love of theatre.

This year continues to expand on that legacy and it is my honor to introduce you to Mareshah Dupree and Jairis Carter, the creators of Abortion Weekend. These two talents are widening the lens on performance, writing and creating in real-time a new way of existing in the theatre.

Constance Strickland: What’s been your biggest battle in terms of your development/process?

Mareshah Dupree & Jairis Carter: Our biggest battle was quite unique as the script was initially written for the screen. It was challenging to convert it for the stage especially because our show is a two-person show. Since the Fringe process is so fast-paced the script was undergoing edits all the way up until the opening night.

Constance: After the lights and the audience disappear what do you hope one takes away after seeing your show?

Mareshah & Jairis: We hope that everyone who is able to attend gains a better understanding of agape Love. We want them to remember that God is Love and their Love is unconditional.

Constance: What joy did you discover when creating your show? Did you face any obstacles? What has been the most delicious discovery?

Mareshah & Jairis: The greatest joy came on opening night when our loved ones attended and told us how proud and emotionally moved they were of the work we created. The biggest obstacles were self doubt, insecurities, and an aching inner fear that our families would be offended by the production. The most delicious discoveries were the realizations we made about each other. We learned so much about each other throughout the process putting up this production and it’s been beautiful to witness the growth that has occurred within us both.

Constance: How does it feel to have an opportunity to share your work with an in-person audience? COVID expanded in many ways how the work can be seen and done, what personally changed if anything for you in how you approached creating your show?

Mareshah & Jairis: It feels surreal. It’s so incredible that we are finally at the space to share our three-year passion project. We were both like “finally someone can see what we’ve been working on for the past three years.” The major change is the fact that we adjusted the film script for the stage, however we still do plan on making it a feature length movie as it will be our thesis film for CalArts. It is eye-opening to see the reactions in person and very gratifying. We are immensely grateful that we have been blessed with the opportunity to be the vessels that tell this story.

Constance: What influenced this new work? How long have you been sitting with this work? Why now?

Mareshah & Jairis: Our ultimate influence for this work has been from the Great Creator since they placed this idea on our hearts and simultaneously in both of our mouths three years ago. We said the words “Abortion Weekend” at the same time after a conversation with a friend about the multiple methods that women/femmes all over the world have used to terminate pregnancies. Our sisters have also had a profound impact on the work. Their personal experiences made the text more tangible and alive. This show is dedicated to them. Our friendship also bleeds through the text. The Fringe has been a goal of ours for a little over a year now and we both felt it would be the perfect place to bring our idea to life. It was simply a matter of coincidence that Roe vs. Wade had come back into the political debate. It’s all divine timing.

#FringeFemmes 2022! Meet Charlotte Galbreath

By Constance Strickland

Fringe Femmes 2022 are a bold cohort of women who are presenting new plays, original works and solo shows that have raised the bar on what it means to be an artist, tell one’s story and continue the work by any means necessary. Each year I am reminded that no matter the obstacles or the times in which we live, you cannot stop theatre as an art form from expanding, thriving and being a vessel to reveal, heal and nurture. LAFPI has the special ability to connect women from a wide variety of cultures and experiences together in their shared love of theatre.

This year continues to expand on that legacy and I am thankful to be able to introduce Fringe Femme Charlotte Galbreath. Charlotte’s Looking Past Loss is a personal and vulnerable solo show  that explores the traumas that simmer beneath the surface, yet eventually always rise to the surface. How did COVID-19 force you to reckon with yourself and old traumas? Charlotte investigates her own family stories and what she discovers may be a lesson for us all.

Constance Strickland: What’s been your biggest battle in terms of your development/process?

Charlotte Galbreath: My biggest battle has been honoring the accuracy of my relative’s stories and experiences while exercising my own artistic freedom in the process. With an autobiographical show that features key figures in my own life, I want to do justice to their trauma while also serving the play and message being sent at large. Thus, I’ve had to navigate that balance of preserving their truths while expressing mine as well.

Constance: After the lights and the audience disappear what do you hope one takes away after seeing your show?

Charlotte: I hope that my audience takes away the power of what loss can do for us. While it is undoubtedly a painful part of life, it yields new meaning to our existences if we let it, so I encourage the audience to reconsider how the darkness in their own lives can be turned into a motivating factor that gives us a profound sense of purpose in life.

Constance: What joy did you discover when creating your show?

Charlotte: I discovered the joy of life and the preciousness of it throughout my process. Having to reflect on my losses and trauma has allowed me to have a greater appreciation for everyone in my life. It also has reframed my interactions with others as I’m constantly thinking about how I can be the light in other people’s lives. It was definitely a challenging feat having to reflect upon these losses in my life, but it’s also served as a healing process.

Constance: What has been the most delicious discovery as you created your original work.

Charlotte: As an actor, I’ve always been drawn to the power of theater to enact change, but as I’ve created my work, I’ve realized the extent to which I can reach and move audiences. My solo play that explores different memories of loss highlights the highs and lows of this journey, and guides the audience to the light at the end. Bringing the audience on this ride with me, they’re able to see for themselves how to reframe the darkness we feel during the lows, giving hope to a world that has felt so hopeless the past couple of years.

Constance: How does it feel to have an opportunity to share your work with an in-person audience?

Charlotte: It is an incredible opportunity finally sharing this with an in-person audience because it brings everyone together on this journey, creating a support network amongst the entire audience experiencing these memories simultaneously. Since many of these memories are painful to live through, I recognized the importance of finding levity throughout to make the piece more digestible and to capture the highs and lows of this whole process. 

Constance: What influenced this new work? How long have you been sitting with this work? Why now?

Charlotte: I have been working on this solo play for the past couple of years, but had a change in perspective on how I wanted to end the performance and the message I wanted to leave the audience with over the past year. With Covid, all the political tension, racial discrimination, and losses we’ve all experienced over the past couple of years, I feel like this story needs to be told in order to give hope to our world and show that there is a way out of all the darkness. Theater has the power to take audiences on a journey and make them consider how the story being portrayed and message being sent can translate to their own lives, and this is crucial right now with the play I’m performing.

#FringeFemmes 2022! Meet Natasha Mercado

By Constance Strickland

Fringe Femmes 2022 are a bold cohort of women who are presenting new plays, original works and solo shows that have raised the bar on what it means to be an artist, tell one’s story and continue the work by any means necessary. Each year I am reminded that no matter the obstacles or the times in which we live, you cannot stop theatre as an art form from expanding, thriving and being a vessel to reveal, heal and nurture. LAFPI has the special ability to connect women from a wide variety of cultures and experiences together in their shared love of theatre.

This year continues to expand on that legacy and I am so excited to introduce Fringe Femme Natasha Mercado. Natasha has manifested “Tree,” an immersive comedy experience that seeks to remind us and have us question what we all need most during these times: What does it mean to be alive? Part clown show, part game show and part philosophical discussion, “Tree” explores the duality of what it means to be human.

Constance Strickland: What’s been your biggest battle in terms of your development/process?

Natasha Mercado: It was and is this idea of what it means to take up space as an artist. And I felt a lot of growing pains over that. Doing a solo show feels completely different than any of the projects I’ve done because it’s such a declaration of what I hold close to home. I started to observe my mindset while performing in other people’s projects as, “Well, I’m doing the best I can and that’s what’s important”. But when I first started performing pieces from “Tree”, for whatever reason, it felt like much higher stakes in my body and I didn’t give myself the same amount of space to potentially fail in any given moment. And my theory on that is it’s because I’m a human with an ego that’s been socially trained to take up a certain amount of space at any given time. And so it goes! The way I’ve felt like I’ve been winning, or more so managing, this battle is by allowing myself to absorb the overwhelming amount of support I’ve received from my friends and family throughout the process.

Constance: After the lights and the audience disappear what do you hope one remembers or takes away after seeing your show?

Natasha: I am super happy if someone comes up to me afterwards and says, “This show was about people having the capacity to do really beautiful and also terrible things, right?” And in a perfect world, I hope they feel a little more compassion for themselves, instead of judgment, when they inevitably see an example of that sometime soon. In either direction, you know? Appreciating the beauty or holding space for the terribleness. That’s just part of the human experience.

Constance: What joy did you discover when creating your show?

Natasha: Oh man. As exciting as the beginning of the devising process was, I really felt like a little boat in uncharted waters. Deanna [Fleysher, who directed while devising the show] was extremely helpful in that way and always helped me navigate back to the practicality of getting it down on paper. Every rehearsal we had felt like a win. Kind of like a backpacking trip or something. Where I imagine just getting a little further down the trail is awesome, but the best part is seeing everything along the way. And I definitely feel a lot of joy thinking about how all the pieces came together through hard work. I’m proud of that.

Constance: What has been the most delicious discovery as you created your original work.

Natasha: This show is a living, breathing parable for me about how investing time on a project is always worth it. I am so grateful for giving myself the space to create something that I became very proud of. Because trusting the creative process is not always easy. And I think “Tree” in particular exorcised a lot of “perfectionism” for me. It doesn’t have to be perfect or make sense right away and that’s a good thing.

Constance: How does it feel to have an opportunity to share your work with an in-person audience? COVID expanded in many ways how the work can be seen and done, what personally changed if anything for you in how you approached creating your show?

Natasha: I try to tell people every night after a show that it is such a honor to perform this piece. I feel such an overwhelming amount of love and appreciation for getting to be in-person again. Because the process of creating “Tree” was very insulated. Usually, a lot of clowns in the community devise shows completely in front of an audience. But due to the nature of quarantine, I worked with Deanna over Zoom, alone in my room, in a Tree costume. And I can’t imagine what my neighbors must have thought during my rehearsals.

Constance: What influenced this new work? How long have you been sitting with this work? Why Fringe? Why now?

Natasha: I originally bought a “big kids tree costume” for some one-off bit I did in 2019 – which, while wearing it, made me feel fabulous and completely dorky all at the same time. And then the Bobcat fire happened in 2020, which inspired me to make a short film about a tree who was passing as human but wanted to help the trees that were burning. And the other trees were like, “Fuck off.” And then in 2021, I did The Artist’s Way! Which was extremely inspiring and spoke to all of my soft parts yearning for the creative process. So those three things were in my orbit and thankfully smashed together when I reached out to Deanna later in 2021 about this weird tree thing that keeps me up at night.

But I truly attribute the beginning of this work to have started after I saw Natalie Palamides’ show “Nate” in 2018. That’s when I knew that making a solo show could be so damn absurd and inspiring and fun. That kind of work is important. And finally getting to self-produce “Tree” and bring it to the Hollywood Fringe feels like a celebration with other weirdo, sensitive artists who are also unearthing the art they made in the dark. For me, it feels like it’s all right on time.