Artistic Statement

Artistic Statement

Here is what writing is like for me: When I was 6, I tried to write a story in Microsoft Word about a clear blue salad bowl that was actually an alien. It’s one of my most vivid memories. I felt hopeless because the words on the screen weren’t matching the picture that was in my head, and squiggly red lines kept popping up because I couldn’t spell, and I cried because I was so frustrated. But I spent hours trying to get the words to work, because I felt like if I could get it right, it would crack something open. I had a persistent idea about this salad bowl’s internal life and I needed other people to understand it.

Here is why I continue to write even though it makes me cry all the time: I write as an act of service, which to me looks like radical honesty. I believe that finding honest words helps us understand hard things, and understanding makes it easier to be alive, and for me, the process of finding those words as an act of love. It helps other people feel seen and it’s a good thing in this world I can do well.

I love theatre because it's about creating a communal experience. You build not just a language, but a physical space. Every sense is activated, it's a bodily journey, and it's a bodily journey that you share with a room full of other people. I think that's magic.

I love fiction because it's intimate. It's a confessional, and a shakedown, and a hug. To read a book is to be alone with some words and that closeness enables a deeper connection with the work than any other medium. I love the one-on-one relationship between a writer and a reader.

A big part of writing, for me, is supporting other people. I love being a cheerleader because I am literally surrounded by geniuses all the time and holy shit how can you not get excited about that. I am made better by other people constantly and I've learned that I love to help other people feel good about their work too.

As of right this minute, in 2019, I'm telling stories about the contracts we have with our bodies, and the times when our bodies violate them. I'm thinking a lot about what it means to have a human body. I've also been writing about wealth inequality and how extreme wealth brings out the worst in people. I've been writing a lot of comedies and I'm doing a lot of magical realism right now.

Here are some writers whose work I love and think about all the time: Shirley Jackson, Paul Beatty, Kelly Link, Karen Russell, George Saunders, Rajiv Joseph, Dan Giles, Annie Baker, Diana Oh, Leah Nanako Winkler, Karin Tidbeck

Here are some pop culture things that I love and consider influences and think about all the time:

TV: Vanderpump Rules, Bojack Horseman, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Bob's Burgers, The Eric Andre Show, Key & Peele (literally all of it but especially this sketch and this sketch)

Movies: Creep, When Harry Met Sally, The VVitch, Hausu, the cat show documentary on Netflix, Green Room, The Transfiguration, Super Dark Times, They Came Together (like this)