In September, RSO was featured in The Dramatist, the Dramatists Guild’s official magazine.
What was your most memorable theatrical experience as a child?
It’s 2004, I’m 20, and I’m music directing a production of Hedwig at the LGBT Celebration Theatre in Hollwood. My truck driver father attends, and I’m thinking, “Well, at least he’s here.” During Hedwig’s climactic, unfairly powerful “Lift of your hands…” lyric, my father, who once voted Republican, raises his hands first, and how. And I think, “Yet, if theatre can be this…”
Is there a production you wish you’d seen?
The original production of the Benjamin Britten opera, Peter Grimes.
Who was the person who made the biggest impact on your career?
Oh, I’m sure it’s my mother. One of those moms a son could convince the moon was a figment of her imagination, she remains the most blindly supportive, understanding and compassionate person in my life, and that has allowed and ironically encouraged me to write the sorts of stories and characters I do well: fucked-up cautionary tales featuring brutal and horrifying monsters, often mothers or wives themselves. I suppose we’re all fascinated by things of which we know naught.
Who are your heroes (writing/composing etc. or otherwise?)
I think Stephen King is a remarkable storyteller, Ayn Rand wrote the Bible (see below), and Tarantino makes super good movies. Plus, lately I’ve felt Shirley Jackson and I could have been buddies. Compared notes.
If you could be anyone (past, present or fictional) who would you choose to be and why?
Howard Roark from The Fountainhead, the epitome of artistry and integrity. I find myself often asking W.W.H.D.? (“What would Howard do?”)
If you could have a love affair with anyone (past, present or fictional), who would you choose?
Jesus? I mean, if you’re asking. I’m an atheist but it would probably be a good story to tell at parties.
When you sit down to work, what must you have with you in the room? Caffeine, or a sense of purpose, whichever is more readily available.
When you’re in despair with a piece of work, how do you maneuver out of that?
I remind myself that, though this here work may be the most important thing, this is just a small piece of a lot of work already completed and more yet to come. Keep going, jerk.
If you hadn’t become a dramatist, what profession would you have chosen?
Agent. I am obsessed with the careers of others, and am invested in making sure people – especially those of the young ilk – make the most of themselves. I believe hard work is a currency that will pay off eventually, with interest. Laziness sucks.
Which of all your works is your favorite, and why?
Because my other works are in their often distressing adolescent years, I suppose the child whose pictures I show off the most is 35mm, a show which, :plug: is now available for licensing and has an album out on Ghostlight.