Steven Rishard in "Hold Fast," a HotHouse Short. Photo by Johanna Austin.

“Rough Around the Edges” – An interview with “Hold Fast” creator Steven Rishard

June 16, 2021

Hold Fast is a new digital video short from the Wilma HotHouse Acting Company, streaming beginning Thursday, June 25 on the Wilma’s web site, available for free with registration. It was created by HotHouse Company Member Steven Rishard.

What was the initial spark for your HotHouse Short? 

Steven: Initially, the piece began as a way to talk about grief or the process of moving through grief, but other interests I had eventually glommed on in the making of it. I was already making some costumes I could inhabit, and thinking about rituals and their use in healing and transformation, the process of making something as an act of transfiguration. Of course, 2020 was filled with inspiration and things to scream about. That said, I don’t like screaming, so I had to find another way. 

What was the biggest challenge? 

Steven: There was no time and no money for reshooting. Puzzling together what was in my head with the material that was useable. Knowing there are elements of a created work that are less than intended, but still being ok with releasing it into the void is always an artistic challenge. 

What would you like audiences to know before they experience your piece? 

I really hope they watch it in the dark if they can. I would recommend it. 

What would you like audiences to take away from the work? 

This piece turned out to be so personal. It’s a bit dark and rough around the edges, but has a soft center, much like myself.  My only wish is that they find it relatable. 


Steven Rishard in “Hold Fast,” a HotHouse Short. Photo by Johanna Austin.