In 2010, I was commissioned by the Southern Theater to write The Vaudevillian, for their 100th anniversary season. This was my first play that required words, so I approached my neighbor, friend, and master storyteller Kevin Kling, who agreed to collaborate with me on the script.
Before this collaboration my stage productions were performed without words because my credo is that theater should make you feel first, and then make you think. Studies cite that 90% of communication is on a non-verbal level. Thus I create what I call “visual poetry,” of pure image and gesture.
In stark contrast Kevin can just sit on an empty stage, and draw me into an inner landscape of pure emotion through words alone. In an attempt to learn Kevin’s secret I asked him – “Teach me how you make every word a hero?” He shrugged and said, in typical Kevin fashion – “That’s easy, just put ’em in harm’s way.” Through our year-long collaboration, Kevin Kling transformed my work and gave me the courage to begin to believe in myself as a writer of the spoken word.