Hi all! My name is Erin. I am a brand spankin’ new member of InViolet Rep and quite
thrilled about it.
One rainy Wednesday afternoon last May I got an email. The subject line read: A Question from InViolet Rep. “Oooh,” I thought. “I like what they do.” I’d seen their workshops and productions and was consistently struck by how good the work was- the acting, the writing, the directing….everything. In the email, Angela, one of the co-artistic directors, said that the company was in an exciting place and was looking to welcome a few new members in the upcoming year. They wanted me to come to one of their monthly meetings to learn more about the company. Apparently Melanie, my friend and an original InViolet member, had recommended me. “Gosh that was generous of Melanie,” I thought. It didn’t take me long to discover that the kind of generosity Melanie showed me was not abnormal in this company. That’s just how InViolet operates.
Cut to two months later when I receive another email from Angela. This time she asks
if I’d like to join InViolet for their annual summer retreat, where they spend 4-5 days in
some country-like location to work on scripts all day and all night. Well, that sounded like pure heaven to me, so I fired back an effusive email filled with “hell yeses,” “can’t waits” and “thank yous.” Angela responded with “Are you interested in bringing up some of your writing? Let me know if you have preferences as far as working as a director/writer/actor.”
More music to my ears! They want ME to tell THEM what I want to do? As someone
who’s always been an actor, yet secretly kept a closet filled with writing trapped in notebooks that had never seen the light of day, I was delighted to find myself in this position. I wasn’t asked the usual “Well, are you more of an actor or a writer?” I wasn’t asked to prove which passion was stronger. I was only asked what it was I wanted to do. And… I wanted to do both. Now, InViolet is giving me, and all of its members, a wonderful vehicle to do that very thing.
In my short time with the company, here are just a few examples of the kind of support I’ve grown accustomed to hearing among our members:
“I’d like to send your writing to my literary agent friend. Is that okay with you?”
“Could you think about some ways I can support your work and then let me know?”
“May I send your play to some theatres for you?”
Delicious, huh? I think the generosity InViolet members show to one another (and to the
entire community through their performances, workshops and volunteer work) is possible because they started by being generous with themselves. They formed the company with the belief that they didn’t have to be only “one thing” in the theater. If an actor has a desire to write, then by all means he should write. A writer wants to try her hand at producing? Well, hop to it, girl.
InViolet artists give themselves the time and space to be whatever they are. And they let
that definition change over time too (that is, if they even felt the need to “define” themselves in the first place). This inspires me to no end.
The more time I spend with InViolet, the more I learn that despite what you may have heard (and believed) in the past, you can do it all… and you can do it well. The fact that you have the desire in you is proof enough that it’s time to get started.