Another great story theme has produced another great winner. Andy hails from The Whale & the Petunias. He’s a newbie to the #BlogBattles, but we are so glad to have him join the ranks with his creative talent. It’s amazing to me, each week, to see all the creativity and talent brought out by imagination and a single word.
Andy’s winning story for “Feather,” Right Now, On the Back Porch is a fun and curious bit of fantasy where trees and birds have alter egos. No, I won’t explain further. You’ll just have to go read for yourself.
Now that you’re back from enjoying that short story I’ll introduce you to its author, Andy. We’ve got a few questions to get to know him better.
So . . . Andy,
1) I see from your succinct bio that you’re an actor as well as a writer among other cool things like dog enthusiast. It seems to me that acting can be a great way for authors to better understand characters and learn empathy which can enhance writing. What is your experience between the two?
As an actor, you’re handed a story and a set of given circumstances to work with which is very different from creating something as a writer. But, as an actor, especially doing good work from good writers, you absorb yourself in a story and really learn what makes a good piece. The story is already written and, in most cases, has a beloved history, so examining every part of your character exposes you to all the building blocks of a strong story. The difference in experience really lies in using creativity in different ways. Acting is using your whole body and mind as an instrument to tell a story, traditional writing is all in your head, but offers more control. Being a dog enthusiast is just good for my health.
I love the comparison and contrasting elements of acting and writing. You’ve outlined that so well for us, and it makes great sense.
2) It’s hard to balance all of life’s activities and demands. You happen live in New York City, which is one bustling place! With that kind of experience, what would you say is the best way for someone to not lose sight of their writing goals when the responsibilities and various pleasurable pursuits of life are vying for one’s attention?
New York is bustling, and I manage a bookstore as a job, so my days certainly are full. It’s here I have to reveal that I really wouldn’t find as much time as I do without my amazing wife, who is extremely supportive and constantly pushes me. If you don’t have an amazing wife, don’t worry, because you don’t need one to find time. I’m and actor and musician as well, but I’ve recently reached a point in my life where I really had to focus on something and I really wanted to focus on writing. Sacrifices are not fun, especially for someone who needs to do something creative to keep himself moving, but I really have had to set aside other projects and focus on writing. Making time is difficult, but it can be done; just don’t deprive yourself of the things that make you happy. I still see friends and spend time with my wife, and I know I can’t feel guilty about not writing when I do. If I didn’t take time for myself sometimes I couldn’t bring myself to focus on writing.
Such good points. I know exactly what you mean about having a supportive spouse. Not everyone is lucky enough to have the full support of their significant other when it comes to writing and creative pursuits, but you are wise to remind us that even without one can still do it. I’d just say, believe in yourself, in what you are doing, and make time for your loved ones, because as you say, Andy, it will help you in your writing, too, not to mention your relationships!
Now for the really important question.
3) If an alien were to zip on over to your place and offer you an entire building (think skyscraper) that you never had to pay utilities on but always had lights, heat, and running water but you would have to give up your voice, would you do it? Why?
I’d have to decline that offer, hopefully without creating an intergalactic incident. I don’t think I could voluntarily give up being able to talk to my wife and my friends and my dog while simultaneously shutting myself off from acting and playing gigs. No skyscraper is worth that. Also, with no voice, everyone would miss my funny accents. (Don’t double-check that please, I assure you everyone thinks my accents are great.)
Deprivation of Andy’s funny accents! This must NEVER happen. Thank you for saying no to this alien. Phew. I think you have got the right idea. Your voice is more than a noise and spurs on so much of your creativity.
Thank you for coming on the blog for the interview today, Andy. We really enjoyed getting to know you better.
Thanks for taking the time to meet Andy, and I hope you’ll come back for more of his and the other great #BlogBattle stories. We’re inspiring imagination every week!
If you enjoyed this interview with Andy, I’d encourage you to go back and read some of the other fun interviews, too.