Where do I look for inspiration? Everywhere. It finds me! Both in singing and working on Shakespeare I’ve been told the furthest one has to look is the breath. Every new breath is an opportunity for a new thought. When I’m working on a piece or know that I’ll be working on a role I am constantly open, looking for something that clicks with my vision and gives it energy. As an example: I’ve been working on this piece with a small group of women, inspired by fairy tales and reflecting our own lives. I found inspiration while touring Kykuit House with my in-laws. Set in the Hudson Valley, the building and the grounds just spoke to me and gave me the nugget of a vision that helped me write the first draft of my monologue. The fence separating the garden from the grotto was suddenly the fence that separated Cinderella from the outside world. I now return to the photos to re-kindle that feeling, the emotional place where my character lived at least one moment of her life.
From an image, to a taste, to a flash of color worn by a passer-by — inspiration can strike when you least expect it. You never know what you will need to call upon to connect you inside and out to a role, a play, a story or even a website.
People, other artists and stories inspire me as well. I love to talk to other people about their hopes and dreams, what they wish they could be if life knew no bounds; and inevitably the ideas start to flow – visions of another way of being.
One time while having drinks with some friends I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do next with my search for acting work, and I was struck by the idea of my own TV cop campaign. Inspiration gives way to imagination gives way to inspiration to do the work and to share the vision. All we have to do is breathe!
Anna Nugent trained at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, Ireland. Founding member of AboutFACE Ireland. Member of tangentArts (Tivoli, NY), Playwrights Gallery and LPTW. Creator & Director of Story Haven, creativity workshops for kids in Jersey City. TV Cop Campaign: Northern Blue. Find all things Anna Nugent at AnnaNugent.com.