Monday, March 30, 2009

Opportunity Knocked But I Was On The Can

So, I missed the deadline. Well, am in the process of missing it but am past the point of no return. I have many feelings about it, few of them good. Why don't you read my artist statement while I go off and stew in a corner. Someone should read it.

Aaaaaaaaand true to the form of this project I clicked over to try and open the doc with the statement in it and it won't open. Let's see if it works in the other place I think it might be saved.

Well, what do you know, the entire process isn't cursed after all.

Please tell us who you are as an artist and articulate why you chose to apply for this space grant at this time

I have written fiction nearly all my life, generally preferring prose and ultimately finding my stride in dialogue. Trained as a mime in childhood I have a love for nonverbal storytelling as well. I spent my undergraduate years learning about narrative dance and experimental theater. I studied with Marleen Pennison while attending the Playwrights Horizons Theater School and went on to dance with her company. My original narrative dances were performed around New York City at the American Living Room and Pace University among other venues. Soon after graduation my delight in words reasserted itself and I went to London to work on the classics for a year. I attended the London Academy of Performing Arts as an acting student performing in various styles from Greek tragedy to contemporary musical theater.

Back in the states I struggled to meld these disparate courses of study in my own work. I continued to create physical work, incorporating found text and small chunks of my own writing. Eventually I returned to traditional playwriting. I’ve discovered that playwriting is the medium in which I find satisfaction, completion and success. At first I adapted the words of other writers like Shakespeare and Chekhov into historical biographical portraits then moved on to adapting fiction and am currently leaving the support of other people’s words behind so mine can stand alone.

I also come from a musical background. My parents were music educators and my predominant performing experience up through my teen years was musical My first experiences of theater were musicals and I loved the classics, like West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, and The Music Man, before I knew they could be seen on stage or screen.

As an adult a support job has been necessary to fund my everyday life and my creative work. By a number of strokes of fortune I have been working in the financial industry for almost a decade. I have known since I accepted my first office job that I need to use the inspiration of my support job in my career. Working in an office alongside a lyricist brought up the possibility of expanding my body of work to include writing the book of a musical. Actor and lyricist Audio Girl and I have found that we work well together in both an office and a creative setting, supporting each other’s endeavors, sharing ideas and honing performances. Her partnership surprised me into realizing that I’ve been working my whole life, in one way and another, toward creating a musical. I just didn’t know it was within my grasp but now I do.

Six months ago Audio Girl and I began talking about this project in concrete terms. It turned quickly from an offhand remark on a difficult day, “That’s totally going in the musical.” to specific scenes, songs and arcs. We began to take notes, made an outline and made big promises to each other. We have, in these challenging economic times, been unable to afford rehearsal space in order to get together regularly outside of the office and do the essential work of this piece, from brain storming to plot outlines to writing scenes and lyrics for that plot. In the meantime the financial industry, from which we take our inspiration, is providing more fodder than two active, creative brains can hold. I feel strongly that the story we have to tell needs to be told now and cannot wait for our own finances to recover so I decided to apply for a BAX space grant to speed us toward completion.


  1. So now it's written (and well-written, by the way) for the next grant app.

  2. Looks fine to me! I can't wait to see your musical.

  3. beautiful and honest. it actually brought tears to my eyes as i can relate to the office job while trying to remain creative. there will be a better time and place for this application.

  4. Quit.
    Quit beating yourself have your statement, and you'll dust yourself off and do better next time. you are fabulous and brilliant. don't forget that.

  5. This is a kick ass statement. Just needs the right grant. It will show itself.

  6. miflohny12:57 AM

    Great work! I'd give you money!

    There'll be another opportunity to use this work... Everything always takes longer than expected. Just think of this as a jump start for the next one.