What did you do last weekend? Laundry? Dinner with friends? Last weekend, University of Houston theater student Kendal Kaminsky had the world premiere of her play The End of Side A. The 22-year-old was selected from several other playwriting students to develop a full-length play. Working with UH Professor Rob Shimko, who directed the premiere, Keminsky wrote The End of Side A. The play, Kaminsky says, focus on a college-age brother and sister who discover some tapes their father recorded years before. She first began thinking about the project after seeing a documentary on the audio vérité movement; that gave her the idea to use found sound.
Kaminsky came to playwrighting "late" she says. "I was a senior in high school. I had been acting but I knew I didn't want to continue acting. I liked writing but I knew I wanted to write dialogue not prose. It took me a while to put two and two together, but I finally did my senior year. Along with The End of Side A, she's written two short works that she entered in the UH 10-Minute Play Festival.
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What She Does: "I don't think I've called myself a playwright yet," she says. "Technically, yes, I've written plays and they've been produced but I am very shy about taking on that label. Usually I just say I'm a student who studying theater and writing. That's the most accurate description for me right now."
Why She Likes It: "With fiction, when you write a book, somebody sits down and reads it. There's nothing really very physical about the experience. Theater is different. You're there, there's movement, it's real. Everybody's in the same space and yet everyone's having a different experience. That seems more tangible for me."
What Inspires Her: Kaminsky says she's found inspiration in a variety of sources, not the least of which are her friends and family. "I'll use things my friends have said unashamedly. Usually I'll tell them, 'I borrowed this funny story that you told me once and now it's in a play. Sorry.'"
If Not This, Then What: "I would really like to be a great video game designer. That's one of the great new mediums and it's just so fascinating to me."
If Not Here, Then Where: "I'm hoping to land in some city up north where I can write and that has a lot of bizarre people. I've looked at Chicago, which is great for writers. I've looked at Toronto and Washington, D.C. which has a surprisingly good theater scene. Not New York - not yet, that's too big of a pond for me right now."
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What's Next: "I'll be writing another full-length play working with playwright Teresa Rebeck, who'll be at the university next semester. I've got another 10-minute play in the upcoming UH 10 Minute play Festival.
"I'm applying to some internships out of state. I'd like to get an internship that pays me and that also provides my housing for the year. If not, I'll close my eyes, find a point on the map, pick up and move there. I'll just try to write as much possible, observe and experience things as much as possible."
More Creatives for 2014 (In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).
Christopher Turbessi, pianist Chuck Norfolk, filmmaker Reginald Smith, Jr., opera singer Luke Hamilton, dancer, choreographer and actor Jera Rose Petal Lodge, metalsmith and jewelrymaker Lauren Burke, dancer and choreographer Ben Fritzsching, comic book show promoter and character actor Will Ottinger, novelist Greg Starbird, theater lighting designer Dominique Royem, symphony orchestra conductor Marc Boone, Sneaker Gang founder and designer Andy McWilliams, sound designer and composer Maria-Elisa Heg, zine queen Allan Rodewald, artist Anne-Joelle Galley, artist Michelle Ellen Jones, ballroom dancer and actress Morris Malakoff, photographer and filmmaker Terrill Mitchell, dancer Deji Osinulu, photographer Mason Sweeney, artist K.J. Russell, sci-fi author and writing teacher Emily Robison, choreographer and filmmaker John Cramer, violinist and concertmaster Shipra Mehrotra, Odissi dancer and choreographer Winston Williams, comics artist Octavio Moreno, opera singer Dylan Godwin, actor, storyteller and teacher McKenna Jordan, independent bookstore owner Steven Trimble, mixed media artist Sandria Hu, visual artist and professor of art Robert Gouner AKA Goon73, photographer Shawna Forney and Erma Tijerina (aka SHER), culture gurus Mark Bradley, photographer James Ferry, comics artist Keith Parsons, author and philosophy professor Alonzo Williams Jr., photographer Rudy Zanzibar Campos, painter Paige Kiliany, director Betirri Bengtson, visual artist Melissa Maygrove, romance novelist Natalie Harris, bridal gown designer Larry McKee, cinematographer Tiffany Heath, filmmaker Jonathan Pidcock, Jewelry Maker Mallory Bechtel, actor, singer, dancer Janine Hughes, visual artist Nyssa Juneau, artist John Merritt, artist Leslie Scates, choreographer and dance educator Denise O'Neal, producer, director, playwright Jason Poland, cartoonist Courtney Sandifer, filmmaker, actor, writer Lloyd Gite, gallery owner Henry Yau, The Children's Museum of Houston's publicity and promotions guru Angeli Pidcock, fantasy writer and mentor Jennifer Mathieu, author Scott Chitwood, writer Anat Ronen, urban artist Amber Galloway Gallego, rockstar and sign language interpreter Michael Weems, playwright Lane Montoya, artist Jordan Simpson, SLAM poet Joey & Jaime, designers Suzi Taylor, photographer Ashton Miyako, dressmaker T. Smith, artistLindsay Finnen, photographer Kaitlyn Stanley, tattoo artist Eleazar Galindo Navarro, video game maker Kate de Para, textile and clothing designer Shawn Swanner, video game painter Andy Gonzales, painter Chris Foreman, comic book sketcher Theresa DiMenno, photographer Jessica E. Jones, opera singer Atseko Factor, actor John Pluecker, writer, poet and language justice worker Ricky Ortiz, painter, tattoo artist Rabēa Ballin, artist David Wald, actor Lisa E. Harris, performing and visual artist Stephanie Todd Wong, executive director of Dance Source Houston Pamela Fagan Hutchins, novelist Heather Gordy, artist Mark Nasso, comic artist Shelbi-Nicole, artist Marian Szczepanski, novelist Jonathan Blake, fashion designer Doni Langlois, interior designer Kat Denson, dancer Blame the Comic, comedian Margaret Menchaca Alvarez, artist Jacquelyne Jay Boe, dancer Rene Fernandez, painter Teresa Chapman, choreographer and dancer