This past summer, while at the O’Neill, I was given the task of writing my own artistic manifesto. This task came the morning after learning about the death of one of my first directors and one of my first mentors. Working through my grief, thinking about what I learned from him, helped me not only begin the long road to healing but also made my artistic tenets even clearer. I anticipated changing and adjusting this as time went on, but now, seven months later, I find that it holds up rather successfully. I’m sure it will continue to change and evolve as I go forward on my journey, but for now, I stand by it. It’s helpful to have as I navigate this new year and try to determine what the next step after Commencement will be.
A Manifesto (as of 7/10/13) (still good as of 2/6/14)
I believe that nothing is permanent.
I believe that I only know my own experiences, and it’s deadly to assume my experiences have taught me everything I need to know about the experiences of others.
I believe that theatre cannot become exclusive. Anyone who wants a home should be able to find one.
I believe that the best work comes out of the most challenging circumstances.
I believe that if we’re not asking genuine and tough questions, we’re not doing our jobs.
I believe that the rehearsal room should always be a source of joy.
I believe that a bare stage is always enough.
I believe that respect of self, others, work, space is not optional.
I believe that while most rules have exceptions, the ones about how we work together do not.
I believe that the moment I think I know it all I should stop working.
I believe that theatre developed for the sole purpose of financial gain will never have a true impact.
I believe that I can do many things, even things I haven’t thought up yet.
I believe that fundamentally I work in service to my community. This extends beyond the product on the stage or the words in the script.
I believe that because I would not be successful without my mentors, I must never turn away anyone looking for assistance.
I believe that there are many ways to be brave, and each act of bravery is worth something.
I believe in working hard.
I believe that no one should be made to feel guilty because they experience things on a deeper emotional level.
I believe that I should never apologize, unless I should.
I believe that there are always larger things at play. I am only a small part of something all-encompassing, but I still have my own full load to carry.
I believe that today is only the beginning.
I do not believe that theatre can do it all.
I do believe that it can propel us forward in tremendous ways.