Artistic motivation can be as ephemeral as the experience of theatre itself. My artistic statements, like this one, have evolved as I have as a writer. The change is the only constant.
When Sam Shepard died in the summer of 2017 I remember being on a long road trip. I was in South Dakota when I learned of his passing. As many people did when he passed, I dove back into his work, his interviews, and commentary from others about him. One of the things I stumbled on while gazing through the passenger window, mesmerized by South Dakota’s landscape between the Crazy Horse monument and the Bad Lands, is a quote from Sam. He said “I’m not doing this in order to vent demons. I want to shake hands with them.”
That quote rattled me, not because it’s also my motivation. I don’t want to touch my demons. I don’t want to shake their hands. I’m not even sure I can name them. I am on a journey to identify them and, if I’m lucky, comprehend them.
We all share these bad boys and the purpose of my writing is an act of reaching out for help in understanding them. Perhaps they can be tamed. Perhaps not. At the very least I yearn for my small acts of creation to seek understanding, and empathy for this mysterious, fleeting life and all its joys, challenges, and… demons.
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