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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Living in the Fragments

  • Author(s): Schulte, Garrett William
  • Advisor(s): Robichaux, Richard
  • et al.

Before grad school, I never could trust that my work could stand by itself. I was always seeking validation of the process I took to reach that point. I was always wanting to show everything and not reveal anything.

My engineer speaks to my artist, “All bridges hold things up, but each bridge is different. You don’t need to see all of the equations behind each one to know it works!” An audience will only ever see moments onstage; they won’t see or understand all the work I do to foster those moments, and maybe they won’t even care. It’s my personal gift, as the engineer of my art, to create the character, discover the pathways it runs on, and then allow myself to flow on everything I’ve crafted. To trust that the character lives through me the way it needs to when it needs to.

Segismundo was the catalyzing lesson of this. He was the first character I’d played that could clearly be anything. I had to make choices about things audiences would NEVER know about. I realized if the man behind the curtain ever tried to come out to “explain”, Segismundo would never actually get a chance to exist. We’d see the equations, not life.

I realize now as an artist and human that I don’t have to be everything and show everything at once. Each moment brings forth the exact fragment of the mosaic that is called upon, allowing the whole mosaic to be everything and anything.

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