February 8, 2021
The production was led by Wilma HotHouse Acting Company Member Krista Apple, who created it collaboratively with three other company members – Jered McLenigan, Brandon J. Pierce, Brett Ashley Robinson – and Audio Engineer Twi McCallum.
Early in the process of creating the script, Krista sent prompts to the other artists to brainstorm ideas. One sample prompt: “List three items, or groups of items, you own that are just baffling to you that you actually have.”
Prior to Clay‘s release, Apple answered some questions over email.
Question: What was the initial spark for your HotHouse Short?
Krista: There’s a poem by David Whyte called “Everything is Waiting for You.” It’s a beautiful meditation on the aliveness of everything around us, and how the universe is always around in unexpected ways to carry us along. I’ve loved the poem for years; and the experience of being in quarantine, and the ‘small life’ of constantly being in my own home surrounded by my own things, had me meditating on all that even more over the past year.
What was the most rewarding part of the process?
Collaborating with my fellow artists – Jered, Brandon, Brett, and Twi.
What was the biggest challenge?
The moment when I had to actually take the lead and make something specific out of all the amazing group conversations and brainstorming sessions we had. There were so many fantastic ideas that the group brought to the table. We could have created an entire season of episodes. It was devastating to have to let some of our favorite ideas go.
What would you like audiences to take away from the work?
When they’ve finished listening and take off their headphones, I hope they look around their own homes / spaces and see them in a new way. That was the goal of the project from day one, before any character or story had emerged.
What did you learn from this experience?
Writing is hard. Narrowing down ideas and editing for brevity and clarity is hard. Working in quarantine is lonely even on Zoom. And also…. I’m not the only one with a basement full of weird stuff! LOL.