Friday, August 19, 2016

Spotlight On...Meghan Gambling

Name: Meghan Gambling

Hometown: Hillsborough, NC

Education: UNC - Chapel Hill, Communications, Minor in Writing for the Screen and Stage

Favorite Credits: Three previous shows at Fringe NYC: The Kitchen Sink, Naked and Crazy, Happy Birthday, Mom. "By The Clock", a mini series on Mary Pickford, "One, Mississippi" about the last abortion clinic in Mississippi, winning LA Comedy Festival and being featured on TruTV with my comedy band, Identity Crush.

Why theater?: It's a snap shot in time! Never to be recreated the same way!  Especially now, when it seems like every moment of life is filmed, and so much entertainment consumed is unscripted. Plays are the opposite, you're seeing something that is very planned, but also different every night. There is something magical about physically getting people in a room together for the sheer purpose of being entertained by other people that are physically in that room with you. As a writer and director I love sitting in the back and watching the audience members. The exact same material can hit or miss, depending on who says it and who's watching. On the other hand you can start to predict what will hit and that's a really nice feeling, that.. "here comes the laugh!" But the "live-ness" of theater has always enticed me. Also, it's cheaper, requires less equipment and is a great way to make friends!

Tell us about Bonnie's Future Sisters: Bonnie's Future Sisters is about a self help author who hosts her own engagement party. She's got this fantasy about forming the perfect family by uniting her future sister in laws and her current, somewhat estranged sister - together for a night of hotel bonding in honor of...herself. Bonnie has fallen into a career as a writer, whereas her older sister has been working on the same piece for a decade, so there is this clear discrepancy in what they've achieved in life.  I wanted to hold up two characters, one with skill and one with success and really ask the question - what is important here? Ultimately Bonnie just wants her sister to be proud of her for something, but she's really clueless at how to achieve that.  And for Corey, the older sister, it's a struggle to sort of... forgive Bonnie for being who she is. The party is actually surprisingly successful, until one of the sisters goes missing.

What inspired you to write Bonnie's Future Sisters?: A bachelorette party that I went to coupled with seeing the movie, Bachelorette.  The party reminded me how much fun groups of girls are together -- how weddings really do sort of bring everything to the surface, emotional highs and lows. The movie reminded me how simultaneously villainous/hilarious women can be. I loved seeing modern seemingly evolved women reduced to their most base tendencies in the face of the bastion of tradition: The Wedding. Which, sounds sort of stereotypical, but when done correctly, it's delicious. For Bonnie, I wanted to write someone really earnest who just missed the mark on everything, particularly social cues. Also Bonnie is abrasively clear about what she wants and that's often something that turns both men and women off in a woman. Bonnie's party is a way of showing off her success and pleading with her sister to love her. Meanwhile she idolizes the relationship between Kayleigh and Larissa, the other sister set, which we of course find out is not quite what it seems. While I was working on the play I saw,  Mike White's HBO series, Enlightened and thought, 'Oh my God, Laura Dern's character is an older version of Bonnie.' That show really reinforced what I was trying to do with this character -- this woman who has so many good qualities but is also sort of delusional when it comes to the impact she's having and the way people are receiving her.  And Bonnie is a human resources professional turned author, so she thinks that she is an expert on people.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Anything that illustrates the grey area of life. I enjoy simultaneously liking and disliking a character. Also musicals. They make me cry, and in general during the bows of anything, I am crying.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?:  Joan Didion, Rachel McAdams, Mike White, Coach Taylor, Chelsea Handler, Marcia Clark.

What show have you recommended to your friends?:  I saw Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey at the Kirk Douglas a few months ago and it was phenomenal. James Lecesne seamlessly played about 10 different characters charting the progression of a hate crime against a gay teen in a small town. Hilarious, tragic and brilliantly executed. I also love TV so I'd say Stranger Things (NC represent!), Bloodline, Season 4 of Orange is the New Black is heartbreaking and so timely, and Chelsea Handler's documentary series, Chelsea Does. And Narcos.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Rachel McAdams entitled "Why wasn't I born Rachel McAdams?" I just love her. Um. That's a hard one. I mean the title part. Not the Rachel part. My boyfriend calls me Megizz and I have this saying, "What's Up With The Megizzzz" which I like to bellow so maybe that would be the title of my movie, just a general, Hey, what's up with her? "What's Up With The Megizz?" But there's always a different amount of "z's" in the answer. Or "Growing Up Gambling" cause I used to have a blog with that title, filled with stories on how I "gambled" with fate.

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: I would watch Once on Broadway, again. I would see Seminar cause I really wanted to see that. And Grease and West Side Story on Broadway just cause they're classics. And Leslye Headland's play, Bachelorette, since I liked the movie so much.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Pie.

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: At a cat sanctuary.

What’s up next?: Finishing "One, Mississippi". Also, making Bonnie's as a movie, finishing my novel and writing a new play. I really like to be in the middle of a lot of things.

For more on Bonnie's Future Sisters, visit