The worlds of theater and film often seem impenetrable and full of barriers, especially for people from less privileged backgrounds—how can we navigate it?
Many of us dream of writing a screenplay that becomes a blockbuster or of having our play open on Broadway. But the worlds of theater and film often seem impenetrable and full of barriers, especially for people from less privileged backgrounds. To learn more about how emerging playwrights and screenwriters can navigate these challenges, we sat down with the writer Colette Freedman. Colette is a longtime faculty member of Antioch’s MFA program and has had her stage plays and screenplays produced around the world. The conversation touches on how to produce films yourself without asking for permission, how Colette transforms the injustices that enrage her into strong stories and the important place of humor in her writing and teaching.
Visit Antioch’s website to learn more about the low-residency MFA Program that Colette teaches in.
You can find the profile of Colette’s student John Richards on Common Thread.
This episode was recorded on November 29, 2022, via Riverside. FM and released on December 14, 2022.
The Seed Field Podcast is produced by Antioch University.
Host: Jasper Nighthawk
Editor: Johanna Case
Digital Design: Mira Mead
Web Content Coordination: Jen Mont
Work-Study Intern: Sierra-Nicole E. DeBinion
A special thanks to Karen Hamilton, Amelia Bryan, and Melinda Garland
To access a full transcript and find more information about this and other episodes, visit theseedfield.org. To get updates and be notified about future episodes, follow Antioch University on Facebook.
Colette Freedman is an internationally produced playwright with over 50 produced plays and musicals. Her play Sister Cities has been produced around the country and internationally, including Paris (Une Ville, Une Soeur), Rome (Le Quattro Sorelle), and Australia. She also wrote the novel and the film which stars Jacki Weaver and Alfred Molina. She has authored ten books and is currently working on her eleventh.
S4 Episode 8 Transcript
Jasper: This is the Seed Field Podcast, the show where Antiochians share their knowledge, tell their stories, and come together to win victories for humanity. I’m your host, Jasper Nighthawk, and today we’re joined by Colette Freedman for a conversation about the challenges and possibilities of socially just storytelling, specifically in script writing for film, TV, and the stage.
This is a live question in the world of writing today. What obligation do we as writers owe our readers and our society? And I think that the central place where we see this debate playing out is around the specific stories that we tell. Do we need to ensure that these stories embody values of social justice?
Some people answer this question, yes. And others say, you can write about anything, but do it thoughtfully. Think about if it could have some kind of harm, and I think other people yell “censorship” the second that you bring a book or a TV show in for any kind of critique. At any rate, regardless of where you fall on this, it’s a really live question today, and this question extends beyond just the content of books, also to the circumstances of creation behind books and movies and TV.
Oppression can show up there too. So, before we actually read the words in a book or watch a scene in a movie, there can be these layers of editors and producers, these big corporations, the massive machinery of distribution that intermediate, and decide whose voices get heard and what kind of
media is being produced. So a lot of people, including many Antiochians, are hard at work trying to change these power structures too. I think of the #dignidadliteraria movement and also organizations like Women Who Submit, and there are many other places where activists are asking the people who wield cultural power to allow more diverse voices to be heard.
Jasper: To me, it’s not always totally obvious how specific writers are supposed to navigate these questions, and that’s why I’m super excited to welcome Colette Freedman to the Seed Field Podcast for a conversation about just this. So, let me introduce Colette before I bring her right onto the stage.
Colette is a celebrated playwright, screenwriter, and novelist. Her plays and musicals have been produced all over the world. Her play, Sister Cities was widely produced and later adapted into a movie and a novel, both of which were also written by Colette, which I think is very impressive. Colette has written and produced award-winning films, including, And Then There Was Eve and Quality Problems. Her latest novel is The Last Bookstore, which you can get in a bookstore near you. And her film, 7,000 Miles is currently in post-production, so look out for that on the festival circuit in the next year. Colette’s also a great teacher and a longtime faculty member of Antioch’s Master of Fine Arts program, which she now helps run. A few years ago, I had the chance to profile one of Colette’s former students, John Richards, and I loved how he described Colette as a teacher.
He told me that she was, “Very tough. To the point. Never minced words. If my writing was crap,” he said, “she’d tell me.” Very to the point in his own case, but he also said that as he studied further under her, he loved that she was, in his words, “Very inspiring, a good coach, respected your work, very encouraging and complimentary when it was truly earned. John told me that Colette’s class was the primary reason why he’d started writing plays. And I know that Colette has so many other students who have found a passion, a calling, and in many cases a career in writing and in writing these specific types of writing that I think a lot of people are interested in.
So, I feel really lucky to have this chance to interview Colette. I know she has a lot to say about teaching Creative Writing and navigating careers in a field which can really be tricky to navigate.
And I think this conversation’s going to be interesting both to writers and to anyone who enjoys books, TV, movies, any kind of entertainment. So with all that said, welcome to the Seed Field Podcast, Collette.
Colette: Happy to be here!
Jasper: So, since our conversation today is going to be centering on social justice and sharing stories that can be underrepresented in popular media, I want to take a moment to disclose for our listeners a bit about the positionality that we’re bringing to this conversation. I’ll start off for myself.
I think people listening should know, I’m a white cis-gendered man. I’m not straight, but I’m married to a woman, so I move through the world with a lot of straight privilege. I’m not living with a disability currently, though I do struggle with anxiety and depression, as I think a lot of writers do, and just a lot of people in our society.
I also should mention that I have steady income, and steady housing, I take neither for granted. Colette, as much as you’re comfortable, could you tell us a little bit about where you’re coming to this conversation from?
Colette: Oh, I have so much anxiety. I think every writer I know has anxiety right now. I’m white, I’m cisgendered, I live in an apartment. I’m pretty much the same, I’m very similar to you. I definitely come from a place of white privilege and work daily to try and understand that, and try not to subscribe to white fragility, and have an open mind. And I love that our world is finally waking up and with it. I’m trying to learn daily. I love learning. I’m a, I’m, I guess we all are lifetime learners and I’m always trying to be better.
Jasper: Thank you so much for disclosing those things about yourself, and also for talking forthrightly about the work that you’re doing to be better, because I think some people come in with an attitude of like I have all the answers, and certainly as somebody who interviews people and wants to know more, I think it’s great to not have that attitude with you.
My first question for you is, how did you become a writer? I don’t really know your early story and the path that you took towards writing in all these different media.
Colette: I guess anyone who’s a reader is a writer, and I’ve always been a reader, but the short answer is that I moved to Los Angeles to become an actor, and I was in a theater company with all the other actors, and we had a playwriting competition, and I was on the reading committee, and I had that “aha moment,” which is, “Oh, I can do better than this”. And so I submitted a play under a pseudonym, Naomi Lefkowitz, about a nerdy sperm who convinces a self-important egg that he’s the one. And it was the one play that everyone loved and made it into the festival. And I had been a struggling actor for ten years, and all of a sudden I write a ten-minute play that does very, very well. We did a short film with it. It won a bunch of competitions, and I thought, “What is the universe trying to tell me?”
And so then I, I started writing more plays. I adapted Iphigenia in Aulis in iambic pentameter because I’m a Shakespeare nerd. I put up a play at the Odyssey called, Deconstructing the Torah, and then I was really frustrated that a lot of the roles for women in TV and film used to be the girlfriend, the maid, the third or fourth person peripherally to the lead. And so, I wanted to write a play with all women. And so I wrote it for myself and my friends about death with dignity essentially, but a comedy.
They called it a little play when we opened. They said, “Oh, everyone enjoys this little play,” and then that little play has been done all over the world and translated into a bunch of languages and it really swapped my artistic identity because I’m definitely a writer first. I still love to act and act in my project, in a smaller role, and I’ll act when friends offer me parts and I don’t have to drive in traffic to Culver City at four o’clock in the afternoon. But, I identify as a writer now because I love it and I’m good at. That was kind of the roundabout way reading a bunch of plays and thinking I can do better. And I always say to my students, you, you’ve probably had that “aha moment” already by enrolling in Antioch, because you’re following your passion. You’re following your dream. I didn’t know what my dream is until it kind of smacked me in the face, and woke me up that, “Oh, this is what I want to do.” I want to empower myself and have the stories that other people can act in, or I can act in, rather than just waiting to act other people’s words.
Yeah. I imagine that you bring a specific understanding of what is going to work on the stage from your years of acting though, I mean, Do you feel like that plays into your ability to write for the stage?
Colette: 100%. I think all writers should take an acting class, whether you’re a novelist, or a poet, or a screenwriter. It’s a big difference working from the inside out. You understand the motivations of the characters. When you’re an actor because when you’re an actor, you have to look at a script and make choices and sometimes the least obvious choice is the best choice.
So, doing all of that kind of analytical deconstruction of plays or screenplays really informs you as a writer of how characters behave. So, I always say, please take an acting class even if it makes you uncomfortable, because it’s going to open up the possibilities for you as a writer of all the directions your characters can go, and perhaps you weren’t even aware.
Jasper: I love how you say, even if it makes you uncomfortable, but I think so much of what teaches us the most is when we are kind of made uncomfortable, or forced to consider things that previously hadn’t been in the realm of consideration.
Colette: 100%. And that’s why I love crossing genres. I like not only being a playwright, not only being a screenwriter, not only being a novelist. When I’m really sad, I write poetry, for some reason, that’s my release. I’m always concerned when someone says you can only do one thing because I believe we can all do lots of things and stories are meant to be told in several different ways.
So again, with Sister Cities, it was a terrific play, but then the movie came out. And the movie, even though it had lots of famous people in it and had more exposure because everyone could see it. It was incredibly limited because the camera takes over, and directors have to cut words to let the camera inform you how characters are feeling. So then I immediately wrote the novel to give the backstory of all the characters. There’s so many different ways to tell stories and different stories to tell so, I know I’m kind of going off on a tangent but, what do you write? You know My favorite thing to write is funny, chicklet. I’m a funny chick who writes lit. That’s my comfort zone, my sweet spot. But I love writing horrors. I love writing thrillers. I do a lot of script doctoring and ghostwriting, and I love getting inside people’s heads and understanding where they’re coming from, and doing biographies and memoirs. I’m not as strong at historical fiction because I’m not great at research and development. I will start researching on the internet and then go down an entirely new rabbit hole and think, “oh wait, what was I doing?”
Jasper: That’s incredibly relatable.
Colette: Right? So one of my favorite things about Antioch, it’s a smorgasbord. I love residency because even though I help run the writing for dramatic arts program. I love sitting in on seminars by poets, by creative nonfiction speakers. Because I learned so much and it excites me to see what I don’t know and to think how I could adapt it into a film, or how I could make a play of it. You brought it there, Sister Cities, and it exists across all of these different media. Like the novel version, the film version, obviously these different productions. I wanted to ask you just kinda a more basic question about that, which is when that did start having distribution across the nation, all sorts of different people showing interest and popularity, what did that feel like for you as a writer? It felt great.
Colette: I still remember we had the premier of the Sister Cities movie at Paramount, and I had a panic attack right before because it was on the Paramount lot. I had my eyelashes done. It was a big deal. There were lots and lots of press there and famous people. And I thought this all started with me sitting in my childhood bedroom, visiting my parents in Baltimore, and writing this story. And the pressure all of a sudden exploded inside my heart and I thought, “What am I doing?” And I didn’t have imposter syndrome I, I’m incredibly confident and
Colette: I, I know how good it was, but I, I all of a sudden had social anxiety. So I took a deep breath. I had a glass of wine, and then I marched down that red carpet. I love celebrating successes like that, and I always say to people, when something wonderful happens, and it doesn’t have to be a premier at a big festival, it could be writing the end. Okay? It could be any success. It doesn’t matter how big or little, but something that makes you feel wonderful artistically. I always say buy a plant. So, buy a 99-cent plant at Lowe’s, or it doesn’t have to be at a nice garden, because every time you look at that plant, you think, “Oh, I finished a play,” “Oh, I finished my novel,” like it’s just a really nice physical manifestation of the success you felt in that moment that you can water and nurture like you’re watering and nurturing your creativity.
Jasper: That’s so sweet. That’s such a sweet idea. I want to steer this to the broader topic of social justice and these questions within fiction, but I think we can stay with Sister Cities a little bit longer. The topic has to do with death with dignity, it also stars four different sisters. They’re multiethnic, multiracial. It has different intense topics and social consciousness around it. So could you tell us a little bit about why you decided to write about these issues and the decisions you made to write about them the way that you did?
Colette: I have a lot of opinions, which a lot of writers do, and, you know, everyone has their own journey as writers. For me, my go-to is always comedy. So, the darker the subject matter, the funnier I’ll be, because when I started writing I made the mistake, the way most young writers do of, preaching. Preaching what I felt to my audience, to the point where I actually had a play called Soapboxing, where a conservative and a liberal were fighting each other. And it was all, rhyming and I still remember it twenty years later, “Can you put a Starbucks in Walmart? Buy your latte as you pick up your gun? Can you put a Starbucks in Walmart, subscribe to corporate fun.” because it was just me soapboxing. So now
Mm-hmm, I hide strong opinions. I envelop them in characters and their motivations and their choices and the conversations they have with each other. So, death with dignity has always been a huge topic for me. I watched my grandmother die a very slow death to Alzheimer’s. I watched my best friend die, a very slow death to Alzheimer’s. I watched my husband die a very quick death to meningitis. I’ve,I’ve been around a lot of death and I know death sucks. It’s also scary. We don’t know it. And so of course I’m drawn to it. I’ve always felt very strongly that we are in control of our own bodies and it shouldn’t be someone else to tell us what to do. So this entire play was basically my ode to death with dignity and a way that a mother convinces her daughter to help her die. And with four different daughters, there are four different opinions, and every opinion is valid. I don’t preach anymore cuz I’m a grown up, so I understand that. But I really like to try to find each side of a topic.
And there’s not just two sides. There’s so many sides to topics, especially with the sisterly conversation, there’s a subtext. There’s a shorthand that they all have with each other, so a lot of it comes out in arguments and it gets mean. We can get really mean, but there’s an authenticity in meanness that’s hard to turn away from. It’s an authentic car wreck, so to speak. So, you know, there are lots of, many issues that were in Sister Cities as are in all of my plays and screenplays, but death with dignity was the big one for Sister Cities.
Jasper: Yeah, no, Thank you for that idea that when people are together and they’re being mean to each other, you can often see things more clearly and think through ideas more clearly. I think that is definitely the sort of thing that when you see it on the stage, it’s very hard to turn away from.
I wanted to ask about how that also comes into your teaching. You’ve been teaching at Antioch for a long time now, and Antioch’s MFA programs, as all of our programs, have this strong social justice mission. Often it, at least for me, it can be easier to kind of conceptualize that when it comes to high-brow poetry or literary fiction, but I think when it comes to things more commercial, especially writing for Hollywood, these ideals can seem sometimes to run counter to the market, and so, I wonder how you integrate these concerns into your teaching and into your preparation of students?
Colette: I’m a big fan of helping students find their individual voices. There’s no boilerplate way to teach screenwriting or playwriting. Structure is its own beast, and I love teaching structure, but once you understand the structure, I always ask them, what is their purpose, what story do they want to tell. And it’s not an absolute, as I’ve gotten older, ageism has become a big thing for me, and now I’m incorporating that in a lot of my work. The 7,000 Miles that you mentioned, it stars as a seventy-year-old woman, which is almost unheard of these days in Hollywood.
Or you know, sometimes they’ll do the cocoon and there’ll be a bunch of older people, usually men, but this is one seventy-year-old woman, and then she has a cast supporting her, but I always ask them, “what do you wanna say?” This is your opportunity. No one wants to sit there and watch a play or a film about people just having a cup of coffee. There has to be some kind of conflict. Someone has to want something and there has to be an obstacle which prevents them from getting it. So, what obstacle do you wanna talk about? Is it racism? Great. So, Character X wants Y, but racism is preventing her from getting it. Or, antisemitism. I’m Jewish and there’s been such a slew of antisemitism lately, so I’m like, something I’ve also been enveloping in my work, so, bad example, but, Shoshana wants to join the country club, but the obstacle is she’s Jewish and they still in 2023 have a silent restriction on Jews.
Figure out what your obstacle is, which is what you’re fighting for. In Sister Cities, it was the matriarch of a family wants to die because she has a terminal disease, but society is preventing her from it because it’s illegal. So she has to enlist her daughters to help her. So,I always ask them, what is your thing? What is your obstacle? What most interests you? And start from there.
A lot of times people are stuck. “I don’t know what to write. I don’t know what to write.” So I say, make a list. I will encourage each person to follow his or her own list, but make a list of what you’re incredibly passionate about and not from the neck up. Intellectually, we are all passionate about things. People can talk about politics forever. People can talk about race relations forever. From the neck up, where does your body stand? Where does your body feel sick to its stomach? When it hears things, or viscerally feels incredibly angry when something happens. That’s where you have to start because it means you can’t not tell that story.
Jasper: Yeah, that embodied feeling. I mean, I think a lot of us are estranged from our bodies. It’s hard to actually tap into what it is, but then as we’re writing we’ll find that suddenly we’ve written ten pages, almost without thinking, because we’ve hit that kind of seam of something deeper and less intellectual, more embodied. I’ve certainly had that experience.
Colette: Sure, and I, I always say too, I say, get away from your computer. I’m a cyclist, so I’ll ride hundreds of miles every week, I get all of my good ideas when I’m biking, and then I’ll quickly, you know, have to write them down or speak to my phone to my phone, “Don’t forget that you thought this,” because you’re not staring at a computer and feeling anxious, you’re allowing your entire body to freely associate with what you want to say. And sometimes it comes out of your subconscious that you weren’t even aware of. But I always say get out, walk, run, bike, swim, do something physical and open yourself up to where your story wants to go, and you’re gonna be surprised what comes back to you.
Jasper: So I wanna ask, continuing on this idea of how do we produce work that has a social consciousness, and how you as a teacher foster it, and I think it’s really interesting to hear you talking about finding those things that we are really passionate about and using them as kind of the engine of conflict for these more popular media. My next question is, you know, Hollywood, theatrical spaces, at least, in the last hundred years have had many occasions gatekeep and to choose which stories get told so that often they are very white, very straight. And so do you still see a lot of barriers in these industries to producing this type of work? Written by people who aren’t straight white men, et cetera.
Colette: Hollywood is so messed up. The conversation has started. So, people of color, people who aren’t straight, old white men do have an “in” now, but it’s still a huge problem. That’s only one of Hollywood’s many problems, and I love working here, and I’ll work here indefinitely, but, but you know what, its biggest problem is also his biggest opportunity. And I’ll tell you why, because everything right now is Marvel and Disney. Which is essentially the same thing. Everything is for independent films. So, as someone who is the queen of independent films, make an independent film a year.
I love making independent films because there is no rule book. You can do whatever you want and tell whatever story you want. And now phones are so capable to make movies. You know the way they used to say, every waiter has a screenplay, now every Uber driver has a camera. So, there are people out there who want to get their stories made and have the ability to do it.
So if you’re not in the Marvel and Disney World, which is good for them, there’s a lot of money and they do some great entertainment, the field is wide open. So we just made a film this summer that, and you’re not even supposed to say how much a budget is, but I always say it cause I don’t care. It was less than five thousand dollars and we just went and did it. And it was one of my Antioch students had a cabin in Big Bear, and pretty much in exchange for me script doctoring her pilot, we stayed there for six days and shot 50% of the movie and then guerilla-ed around town and got the rest done. So, the movies I make have strong opinions that often wouldn’t find their home in Hollywood. But if you’re
Colette: unapologetic and you don’t ask for permission and make art, and it’s good, it will find a home somewhere. My stuff always gets distribution because someone is always gonna open its door for your project. You have to have the patience and the temerity to see it through.
Jasper: That’s such a powerful attitude that you just have to make the thing that you need to make and then trust that it will find its people. And I think in my own experience, I know a lot of people get hung up on wanting to have that big contract, have the, the marquis star, have is the marker of success and that gets in the way of actually doing the work because you can sit waiting for your turn at big shot game forever.
Colette: You can sit forever. And then life constantly reminds me how short it is. And I think we all get very comfortable and forget that anything can happen around the corner, good or bad. It’s morbid, but I kind of live my life as if I’m gonna get hit by a bus tomorrow. I don’t want to have any regrets. My grandmother, when she passed away, had this really beautiful silverware with an F engraved on it. And for years I would buy silverware like Ross, Dress-For-Less in the cheap department and it would break, and it was gross. And finally I thought, what am I waiting for? My grandmother’s silverware is sitting in the back of my closet somewhere.
So now I eat my cereal with a silver like F thing. I don’t care about that kind of stuff, but why wait, eat the dessert first. Make your movie, publish your book. Get your play on its feet. The gatekeepers are still there, but there’s so many ways to get around it. And if you have a strong story to tell, and my Antioch students, they all do. They’ve written some amazing, amazing stuff. It doesn’t necessarily take money. It just takes a lot of creativity getting it done. And I always say if you’re a good person, okay, if you’re a good person, people will want to work with you. They will want to hang out with you. They’ll wanna be a part of your production.
I know, because I wanna be part of other people’s productions who I love. So when I ask people to join me in whatever creative endeavor I do, I’m a good person. So they’re like, sure, we’ll hang out with you, Colette, we’ll make a movie with you.
Colette: For advice. I’m like, just make your stuff, be a good person and make your stuff, and it’s the whole, “build it, it will come,” it will come.You have to believe in it more than anyone else does. You’ll get in trouble when you give up hope, and no one can believe in your project more than you.
Jasper: And you bring up wanting to work around other people. You have this story of being up in this cabin in Big Bear and running around town doing guerilla filmmaking and trading your labor for rent. And that makes me think of collaboration as a question. A lot of writers have spent their entire writing life like, alone in a garret or on the subway writing in their journal. And writing for the stage, writing for the screen, these things require collaboration with a lot of different people. So, can you talk a little bit about how you approach collaboration, how you find collaborators, and also how you help your students take something like a script that they’re workshopping in your class and actually like, go about getting it made?
Colette: Sure. So I love collaborating. I always have because writing is such a solitary profession. So I’ve been collaborating from the beginning, my first collaborator was an Irish writer called Michael Scott, who had a book series called The Secret Life of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, and he found me through the play Sister Cities, and we wrote a book together where, because of the time difference in Ireland and Los Angeles, he would write, then I would wake up, rewrite his chapter, write, then he would rewrite my chapter, right? And we just went back and forth the entire time, and that introduced me to, “Oh, two of us are sharing a baby,” and it’s, it’s any parental relationship. You’re gonna argue over the kid, and what’s best for it, and who feels more strongly tends to win, but it’s also, you’re not lonely. And I love combating the loneliness. My best friends my writing partner, and she and I have written fourteen Lifetime thrillers that have been made, and that’s sell your soul, kind of rent money stuff, and what we do is we write until we say, ” I just can’t, I just can’t here, you do it, you do it.” So that’s a different kind of relationship. For my students, Antioch is a great place because the way the low residency program works with the mentorship is that it really is, script doctoring and working back and forth to help them craft the best screenplay, or play, possible. Then, in the particular case of that, I say enter contests. That’s the best way to kind of get your name out there. Agents aren’t gonna look at you. It’s the same as books probably. They’re not going to look at you if you don’t have any credits to your name, and they’re not gonna wanna read an unsolicited script.
But if you submit it to a contest, you submit it to blacklist, then you’re starting to get buzz. I always say jump past that and write a screenplay that you can make yourself. One of my incredibly strong students did that this term. He had spent the last term writing big futuristic, robotic films, and I said, write something you can direct. He’s a super smart guy, he has access to actors and equipment. Write something in one location you can direct because that’s gonna get you exposure. And agents and managers and Hollywood are gonna come to you and say, “what else do you have?” And then you can give them your big robot script. So I always say, try to write something that you can produce. Same with plays, plays are incredibly producible. So write something without twenty-five characters. Sister Cities had five characters in a living room location. So it was an incredibly producible play and that’s why it’s been produced so much.
Jasper: So I feel like I’m hearing that you’re saying, these worlds may seem to have these very strong gatekeepers and kind of opaque institutions, but the answer to that is just to do your thing and find ways to do it with no budget or with a small contest, or with your friends in your backyard and to just press forward, and of build your cv, on the fly without asking for permission.
Colette: 100%. I think my website says, “Stop asking for permission.” That’s what the Duplass brothers did. That’s what a lot of incredibly successful people did. They just started telling stories themselves and if it’s good, people will take notice.
Jasper: That’s beautiful. We are coming to the end of our time for this interview, unfortunately, because I feel like we could talk forever. And, I also feel like I’d like to take a class for you at some point. As I was researching this, I was looking at the Amazon page for your book, The Last Bookstore, and it has many rave reviews from readers, and I love this one review, the reviewer said, “I’ve been in a book rut till now. For years, I waited to find a story that gets me so involved that I want to finish the whole book in one day and give up meals and Netflix for a chance to delve into another world. I devoured this book, and as a mom with two toddlers in quarantine whilst working, I don’t give up my free time easily. Absolutely love the story, the characters, the message, and the love behind the story.” and that’s a great review. I have to say.
Colette: Until you said it was a mom of two toddlers, I was like, did my mother write that?
Jasper: No, I, it, it seemed incredibly genuine. And I just was reading that and I was like, man, what a lovely impact to have on somebody’s life. And so I just wanted to close with the question, like, what has it meant to you to have this career in writing and teaching?
Colette: I love it. I would not do anything else. I always ask people when I meet them, and it doesn’t matter if they’re fifteen, fifty, or seventy, I always ask everyone the same question, which is, “What do you wanna be when you grow up?” And it’s fascinating hearing all the different answers. And then when people say, Hey, what do you wanna be when you grow up? I always say, “I’m doing it. I’m doing exactly what I want to be when I grow up.” So I feel incredibly gracious and lucky and happy. I think if you do what you really love, that’s what happiness is.
Jasper: Well, thank you so much Colette for coming on the Seed Field Podcast. It’s been such a pleasure having a chance to talk with you.
Colette: Thank you so much for having me.
Jasper: Colette teaches in Antioch’s low residency MFA program. And we’ll link to more information about that program in our show notes. We’ll also link there to Colette’s personal website, to my Common Thread profile of Colette’s former student John Richards, to her book, The Last Bookstore, and to the IMDB pages for her films, Sister Cities and 7,000 Miles.
We post these show notes on our website, the seed field.org, and visit there to find full episode transcripts, prior episodes, and more. The Seed Field podcast is produced by Antioch university. Our editor is Johannah Case. I’m your host Jasper Nighthawk. Our digital designer is Mira Mead. Jen Mont is our web content coordinator. Sierra Nicole E. DeBinion is our work-study intern. A special thanks to Karen Hamilton, Melinda Garland, and Amelia Bryan. Thank you for spending your time with us today. That’s it for this episode, we hope to see you next time. And don’t forget, plant a seed, sow a cause, and win a victory for humanity.
From Antioch University, this has been the Seed Field Podcast.