Yes, This Will Be On the Test

Writing, Reading, Laughing

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Making the Bold Choice

I have the good fortune to live in a family of artists. My son is an actor, my daughter a writer, their dad a scenic designer, and his husband a graphic artist.

Chats around the dinner table drift to subtext, intention, symbolism, and artistic risk-taking.

The winner of this summer's boldest choice goes to my son, Cameron Rose. He is part of the repertory theater company, Theatricum Botanicum, in L.A., founded by Will Geer. This summer he performs as Claude in Moliere's, Imaginary Invalid.

Claude is a fop, full of pretense and entitlement. So you're picturing something like this...


Now add to the over the top wig and chunky heels Cam's acting choice. His characterization of Claude is a man influenced by the chickens he grew up with on the family farm, embued with the physicality of head-pecking, squawks and wing flaps. 

And it the point of hilarity.

The costumed visual would have been enough to incite giggles, but taking the farce to poultry proportions took guts. It could have fallen on its face and been "pooh-poohed" as too silly, but a slew of thumbs up reviews validated the bold choice.


As a writer, I'm taking a page from Cam's book. Take the risk. Don't settle into a comfort zone of storytelling. Stretch, reach, and go to a place that might not be in my wheelhouse...yet. 

The payoff just might be a delicious chicken dinner.

What has inspired you to bust through that glass ceiling in your writing?