Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Spotlight On...Paul Cameron Hardy
Hometown: I live in Brooklyn, grew up in Wenatchee, Washington
Education: University of Washington, with a brief stint at the SUNY Purchase Dramatic Writing Conservatory
Favorite Credits: Anything and everything people have let me put my grubby hands on.
Why theater?: The money. Also, the power of a bunch of people all in a room, performers included, letting themselves be vulnerable together.
Tell us about feeling.?: I wrote a play about a woman who attempts to cope with the unexpected end to what she thought was the romantic relationship of her life, and the subsequent loss of control over her life, by hallucinating a friendship with the long-deceased Jeffrey Dahmer. It is interested in the desire for perpetual relationships, and the different ways we cope with unmet expectations and finality. It is interested in memory's ability to preserve and distort. It is interested in obsession. It is interested in our attempts to reconcile the extremes of individuals' actions. It is interested in time not healing all wounds. It it interested in people caring for people.
What inspired you to create feeling.?: I spend a lot of time with all sorts of types of grief on my mind (I am a hit at parties), and some of that mixed with some radio interview I had heard, in which people discussed Dahmer's professed lonliness, and I thought it would be fun to try and draw some analogues. The idea of reconciling another's actions with the type of person one knows (or has experienced) that person to be quickly became an entry point.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Anything that allows itself to be vulnerable to everyone participating. Things that aren't concerned with how things are supposed to be done. Things that don't care to hold my hand too much. The people inspiration list is too long, here is a peak: Young Jean Lee, Susan Lori-Parks, Caryl Churchill, Wallace Shawn, Heidi Schreck, Mac Wellman, Erin Courtney, Maria Striar, Brendan Hill, Clare Baron, Gail Bennington, Zoe Winters, Eliza Bent, Sibyl Kempson, Doug Howe, Jeremy Bloom, Richard Maxwell, Adam Greenfield, Annie Baker, Phil Elverum, Bill Callahan, Michael Gira, Calvin Johnson, blah blah blah. As far as things, pretty much everything is inspiring, in one way or another, and you never know what or how it will sneak up on you.
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Young Jean Lee. I'd work with her as, like, her personal eyeglass polisher, if it would get me around her brain and her process. I don't think that she wears eyeglasses.
What show have you recommended to your friends?: I saw a chunk of Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play a while ago, and I am telling everyone they need to see it, even though I haven't seen the full thing yet. I have also been talking up this amazing Heidi Schreck project that I have no idea what the timeline for finishing and producing is. That probably doesn't count, or at least isn't useful.
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: My biopic would probably be called "Napping Towards Obscurity", and I would be played by that one ugly, creepy actor from that one movie.
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Sweet treats. More accurately, a seemingly total lack of regard for what I put into my body, or the concept of 'diet'. I don't tend to feel guilty about any media that I consume.
If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: Even more depressive.
What’s up next?: I have an odd little play about solipsism that I am trying to get people interested in.