Colorblind'd the PLAY at the 2016 New York International Fringe Festival AND Colorblind'd the SCRIPT on Indie Theatre Now!
An Interview with Kirk White
Indie Theater Now asked Kirk White a few questions about his play Colorblind'd.
Do you ever write about the people you grew up with (family, friends) and how have these people and the place where you grew up influenced your work?
Constantly. Although it does, sometimes go in waves. I'm Southern...I should point that out, (JEALOUS?) and I think there's a moment in every Southerner's life where a Rumspringa kinda thing happens and you have this Matrix Red Pill/Blue Pill moment and you either get the hades out of dodge or you settle in for the long haul. I took the red pill and never really looked back....although BEING Southern has never meant more to me since I became a transplant in a sea of Yankees. I ain't moving back, mind you...but LOOKING back has become more sweet than bittersweet, to paraphrase Lindsey Buckingham. But the Southern thang (couldn't resist) is so deep in my dna that it very often manifests in my work; either location or character or, mostly, in pure family dysfunction. And let me tell you, Southerners get the rap for perfecting prejudice and I'm not going to dispute history but what we NEVER get full credit for is our grand family DRAMA. Pound for pound there is no culture as dysfunctional as one good Southern family.
Why is it important for you to be a writer as opposed to any other profession?
Normally this would be the spot where I'd remember that great TED talk I saw and "fake it til I become it" by speaking as if I was already a professional writer...but the truth is, I'm not a professional writer. I'm an amateur at best...I work a soul-crushing corporate survival job so that I can afford to make uncompromising art. And making uncompromising art is always better than trying to please gate keepers and praying that someone will validate your worth and tell you that you're good enough to sit at the table. If I may be honest…I’ve been trying to quit for as many years as I’ve been in it and ultimately what I found has happened is that one by one the EGO-driven goals of this industry (fame, money, adoration) have fallen away and I’ve been left with something of a pure drive to communicate. I do this now only because I have things in my head that, left un-expressed, would rend me asunder and scatter my atoms to the wind.
What do you do when you are not working on a play (your hobbies, interests, theater related activities, teaching, etc.)?
I have three-year old twins so that is pretty much my world entire and it's a rare thing that pops up with enough importance to have me willingly choose to spend time away from them so usually it's more art-centric pursuits--plays, films, and bass...did I tell you I play bass? I play bass. Grouper. grouper...it's grouper (1st one who gets that reference gets a free ticket to the show.). I've recently read the Miracle Morning though, so LOOK OUT world!
Are there things in this play that have happened to you or to others you know?
EVERYTHING in this play has happened to me or others I know. I can neither confirm nor deny which parts of this play are autobiographical...BUT I will confess that it was, in fact, ME who blatantly added the "C" word back into Our Country's Good despite the gestapo demanding I cut it. and I did never work at that theater again. This used to give me a great amount of pride...but in hindsight it was kinda a jerk move.
What is it about live theater that attracts you most, that keeps you revved and jazzed to work in this form?
I don't want to go off on a rant here....but...we have this society...we live in the "spectacular now", right? And the ultimate achievement of this society is that technology and media have progressed in such a way that everyone has access to pretty much anything at any time at the touch of a button in a hand held device that has slowly morphed into a "co-brain" and the inevitable outcome of all this is that now, through glorious social media, everyone is Truman in the Truman Show...everyone is the star of his/her own reality show, broadcast on Facebook or Youtube or Twitter or whatever the crazy kids are using these days and what nobody has seemed to notice is that as technology and media have made the world smaller by connecting everyone, everyone has lost REAL connection with a bigger world. People get most of their art on their phones now and it's disturbing how withdrawn we have become as a culture. AND the result of this is that we are experiencing art, NOT as a communal experience, where a bunch of people get together in a room to go through something together and laugh, cry, scream their way to catharsis...as the Greeks would say, a "vomiting of emotion" that comes from sharing something with a group…but rather as an isolated, singular event, alone…and let me tell you that in 20 years we will all look up and wonder where our communities have gone and why we are even more out of touch with things that happen beyond liking or disliking them on somebody’s page and that will be the true moment where our sophisticated fine awesome society will go the way of Rome. Except the fire AND the fiddle will be virtual. THAT is why I do theatre. Because I want to be part of the solution and not the problem. See what I did there? I said I didn’t want to go off on a rant and then went off on a rant.
posted August 10, 2016