Tell us a bit about the background to your piece: how did you come up with the concept, what was your process in terms of bringing it from concept to final product?
Any chance I get to share my poetry with someone, I jump on the opportunity, so there was no question in my mind what I was going to submit to the festival. What was difficult was determining which poems to submit. I write from my own experiences, so each poem is a part of my story, and it only felt right to perform a selection that was joined by the same thread. So after literally digging through boxes and email folders to collect everything I'd ever written, I came across a bunch I had written about one particular person. Someone I had loved very deeply. We grew apart as we aged and one night, a few years ago, I tried to open up about something personal and new, and they said something to me I couldn't forgive. I think it's something a lot of us can relate to, so it felt like the perfect story to tell. I spent days arranging and rearranging the order. I revised the heck out of the oldest pieces, wrote a couple of new ones, and in the end, none of these poems are what they were when I started. They're better for it.
And then there was the filming of it all! I had some really lovely plans for the shots I wanted to take, that unfortunately were not feasible to accomplish in quarantine with the resources I have. So that was the next big challenge: figuring out what I could get done and then wrestling with myself to let go of all my beautiful plans so that I could have a clean and finished project even if it didn't meet my high expectations. This meant filming in my closet, because it was the only place where I got clear audio in my apartment. That's just how the cookie crumbles sometimes! I'm still very happy with what I made and I hope you are too.
What do you hope audience members will experience or take away from your performance?
After a life-long pattern of people hurting me for trying to be my authentic self, it broke my confidence a lot, but I've managed to grow it back stronger. I love myself so much more now than ever before, and that's the heart of what I want to share with all of you. People will be hateful, they will disappoint and hurt you. They will leave. And all this can happen no matter how close you once were, how much you love them, or how much you want them to love you. So what I hope people take away from this is that, you decide who you are. Love people with all your being, be open and honest and gentle, but understand that even when you do your best, someone in your life will try to be dead weight, so don't let them drag you down. Don't feel guilty about letting things go, because you'll be lighter for it.
Also, I hope you cry. Partly because it means my work is successful and partly because it's cathartic for you. I think we all deserve to cry whenever we want these days.
Anything else that you feel is vitally important for audience members to consider as they engage with your piece?
I write in a more freeform/spoken word/loose-whatever format. I write it with a voice, it is meant to be read out loud. It'll sound more like a monologue than any poetry you've likely heard before but I promise, it is poetry! I also encourage you to watch with some instrumental music. I always feel like music enhances the mood of performed poetry.
Dreams of a Ghost will be screened on October 16 & 17 as part of Abby Theatre Fest: Stage to Screen Edition. For complete details and to purchase tickets, please visit HERE.