I'm in Salem, VA at a Starbucks refueling before continuing my trek back north to NY. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve been in Little Switzerland, NC since Monday doing a playwrighting residency at the Wildacres Retreat.
As you may or may not know, when I’m not eating, working out or writing about both, I’m an actor, dancer, writer and teaching artist. I have three new plays in the works, but carving out time to sit down, relax and let the writing happen is difficult. I can write a page of blog material in ten minutes, but it could take me three hours to write a page of dialogue for a play. Creative writing is just a slower process (for me, anyways). After writing and performing my one-woman show, A Woman In Progress, I found myself with a renewed passion for writing. When I found out that I had been accepted to Brooklyn College’s MFA Acting program, I knew that in the fall, I would have very little time for anything but my studies. If I wanted to crank out another play, or two (or three), it HAD to happen this summer.
I applied to a few residencies not really knowing what to expect. I was THRILLED to find out that not only had I been selected for a Wildacres residency, but that I had received this particular week (my teaching schedule only permitted me to attend this week). After Day 1 and Day 2 of my roadtrip adventure, I was eager to get out of the car and settled at my new home for the next week.
Wildacres exceeded my expectation in EVERY regard! The artist’s cabin is separate from the main retreat to allow for privacy and focus, a brisk 20 walk (/hike) down the gravel road. The cabin is beautifully appointed, generously sized, and inspiring in and of itself. The grounds and facilities are gorgeous. The best part by far, though, is the staff. I have never felt more at home with a group of people I just met. I’m referred to as the “cabin dweller”- the affectionate nickname given to the current resident artist.
I won't lie- I wept like a baby all morning as I prepared to leave, and then cried for the first thirty minutes of my trip. It feels a bit like saying good-bye to your favorite relatives who live far away. I wrote more in one week than I would have in three months at home. All in all, an AMAZING week.
Do you create? How? What/ where inspires you?