SPOTLIGHT | Laura Thornton
I met Laura years ago when I first began to call myself a writer. She interviewed me for a theatre youtube channel & I remember her energy thrilled me then. It thrills me now. Little did I know she would become a woman whom I consider a colleague and a beautiful example of what it means to have joy for life, work and creation. Laura continues to amaze me with her work and her outlook on life.
How would you describe yourself?
A loaded question! I’m a free-spirited organizer and an impulsive control freak. I’m a laid back goofball, and weirdly competitive. I think I’m just finally coming to grips with the fact that I’m a complicated and layered human being – which apparently happens once you hit your 30s hahaha! I’d like to think I’m driven and loyal and generally a good person?
What role does creativity play in your life?
Creativity is my life. I grew up in a home that encouraged early and repeated exposure to the arts – performing and fine. And I was really lucky that we were able to afford that luxury. My Mom was a music teacher when I was young (as well as having a music/theatre career between university and getting married and switching to teaching), so I had a diverse and immersive education in music from the jump. Theatre had always been there, and after high school I was able to dive in. It’s my happy place and the petri dish for all the weird ideas my friends and I want to experiment with. I’ve managed to find myself in a place where I live my entire life surrounded by wildly creative an intelligent human beings – and it’s really cool.
What are you currently working on?
At the time of writing this, I’m in rehearsals for Whale Song Theatre’s Fringe Show “The Birthday” – written by local playwright Ali House. Sarah Richardson is stepping out from behind the piano to direct, and we have local up and coming actor Briony Merritt as the other actor. It’s been about 6 years since I’ve done a proper show as an actor (I did a zany little skit for ObstacleFest earlier this year), so I’m nervous! But it’s going to be so much fun. I have a few things in development for Whale Song, we’ve had a pretty whirlwind start, so now’s the time to slow down and make smart choices while we figure out what exactly what the team wants the company to be.
What was the last book/movie/podcast etc that left an impression on you?
I watch an obnoxious amount of movies and television. I fall in love with different things for different reasons. I’m late to the party but I recently watched the entire run of “The Newsroom”. Aaron Sorkin’s last tv show starring Jeff Daniels. And I was reminded what great writing is. Impassioned, thoughtful monologues, quick pacing and great acting – it was delicious. “Get Out” is a movie that I’ve loved recently and I’ll shout out “SickBoy” as a local podcast that makes me laugh and breaks my heart sometimes.
What advice would you give to other creatively driven people?
It’s worth it. No matter how frustrating it can be trying to find time to do your art or support yourself while you create, it’s worth it. If you want your creative spark to be your career, find a way to make it happen. Train, practice, say yes to opportunities and keep learning. If you just want to have fun with what turns your crank – lean into it. I think we’re so scared to fail that we forget that being creative is FUN. If you’re not enjoying it, why are you doing it?