My directorial and playwriting debut’s end is in sight. I must say that I am so proud of myself that I actually had the patience to deal with other actors and their… Acting; I am also proud of myself that my play was chosen and that I directed another play I didn’t write - somebody else’s vision - and gave it my own spin. I love hearing the audience respond to my actors, to my creative work, to my play. I love seeing their faces: joy, disgust, sadness, fear, all at the same moment.
Directing has truly been a great experience for me, making me grow as an artist and forcing me to make stronger decisions for myself when I act. One thing that I’ve been asked the most when the show is over “Where did you get the idea for ‘Hippopotamoidea?’” I hate that question. Sometimes I wish people would just watch it and like it, then contemplate with their friends, but I understand the urge to ask since the playwright and director is standing right before them. And the answer is very simple, or rather complicated, depending how you look at it. It’s a “chicken and the egg” conundrum. You see I don’t remember if the inspiration came first or simultaneously as my fingers tapped at my computer. Perhaps it was a combination of both, where subconsciously I remembered images and stories from the past I wanted to wet my feet in and swirl around myself.
A huge inspiration for the visual style of “Hippopotamoidea” was Björk’s music video for “Bachelorette,” directed by Michel Gondrey. The set pieces seemed to be made out of paper, or cardboard, really thin material, and it was all brought to her.
I was also inspired by Greek mythology of the underworld. In particular the image of the two wells and the buckets with holes. The damned had to fill the empty well with water from the full one using a bucket with holes in the bottom. By the time they reached the empty well, their bucket had drained completely from the bottom.
And finally, I was inspired by my own stupid self and the stupid shit I say. When I hear a song I don’t like I tell myself that’s the song I’ll be forced to listen to forever in hell.
I wrote the play in about 30 minutes. The inspiration came before, during and after the play was completed… And I’m still being inspired to amend the play.