RDS7: Jess Sayer writes for you

Posted on August 13, 2014 by Basement

Thanks to gmail I was able to have a quick internet interview with one very prolific Auckland Theatre artist, Jess Sayer. Here is what she had to say about here play, Fix, and her writing process in general.

Dawn Glover: How old were you when you wrote this play?.

Jess Sayer: I’d been writing bits of dialogue since I was 18 – some of which I used. I never thought it would turn into anything. It became a play when I was 21 after I saw August Strindbergs, Creditors..

DG: Has anyone ever asked you if you’re going for a whole, Eugene O’neil, thing with all these plays about families? And are you….?.

JS: Haha no, you’re the first to ask me that. I haven’t actually read any of his plays yet – though my friend Ben keeps trying to get me to. Terrible, I know. I do have a collection of them! I guess I just write what comes out when I sit down..

DG: A review of your writing on The Basement page talks about your ability “to flip things” on your audience. In the case of Fix, did you write from the “twist” or did the twist evolve as the rest of the story?.

JS: I think I’m involuntarily twisted. It just comes out. With Fix, I think I wrote the second scene first – possibly not even knowing the outcome of the play..

At the moment, I am so inspired by the idea of three particular actresses working together, that I started a new play last night after I got home from Fix. And I’m just writing bits of dialogue as they come to me, as I hear that actress saying it in my head. I woke up this morning having dreamed a potential twist which I think I’ll go with, but I never know until I get there..

DG: How did these characters (in Fix) find you?.

JS: These particular characters are very dear to me, especially Grace, Dorothy and Zak. They are based on quite personal experiences – the whole play is..

DG: When you read the reviews on Fix and on other plays that you have written do you feel like people get you, your writing, your perspective on the world as an artists or do you get the feeling it’s all near guesses?.

JS: You know what, I like reading reviews. I constantly want to grow as a writer and I think taking the good as well as the bad is important. I love hearing different people’s opinions on my work – I find it really interesting. I don’t think it’s a matter of getting me or not. I think as long as my work makes people think, talk and discuss things they don’t usually think about, then I’m doing my job..

-DG