Cinema & Writing: How They Influence One Another by Rosalind
As a writer raised by an actress, my cinematic exposure and theatrical lifestyle has come in large waves throughout many years. It has influenced a lot of things in my artistic life, and my writing certainly has benefited from such. This month we are talking about monologues, and when we think about monologues we often think about theater and cinema as well. One of the first experiences I had in theater came when I was a toddler. I sat on the same stage my mother lectured on, rehearsed on, and preformed on; I was 6 years old when I saw Rocky Horror Picture Show. I’ve seen front, side, and backstage; my mother is a thespian, and I am a thespian’s daughter. The exposure to cinema and theater at so young comes in as a factor that gives a raw truth to other art. Theater is spring. It’s winter, summer, and fall. Theater is big hair, tight jeans, cigarettes, spiked heels, and fat cigars. Theater is blood and guts, dancing bodies, murder, and romance. Theater is a widest frame, it is a telescope we look through. It is a past and present and future time machine. It is thrilling, it is sad. It is heaven and it is hell. It is every idea that the human race has ever had in the most uncensored and diverse of styles. It is every color in your paint box mixed together. It is God, Buddha, Muhammad, and Mother Earth. It is Life. It beats like a heart and it cries like child; it barks like a dog and it screams like a banshee. It’s ugly and its loud and its exciting and it’s Now.
It’s writing in a live action form. Maybe this is why so many of us feel so inspired by what we see in the day-to-day with the operation of theater and cinema. It’s an inspiration that reminds us that the world is so complicated and we can become attached to the most random of things at any moment. One line in Hamlet could inspire your next novel, one idea from a TLC documentary could bring you to your next poem. There is an interconnection with live action and literacy. What we see ends up on the pages of our notebooks every day. One of my first novels was inspired by Cast Away. My inspiration to chronicle my feminism and activism experiences through nonfiction articles came from a popular play by Eve Ensler. My novel idea for the 2014 NaNoWriMo challenge came from the play Stop Kiss, and my novel idea for last year came from the movie If These Walls Could Talk. Theater and cinema brings us into realizations, and shows us things we too wish to communicate through passions and creativity. So when we look at monologues, and start at writing our own, we often look in places where the monologue begun: theater. We sometimes don’t see how connected the two art forms really are, and how really, they could be considered all the same. They are of the same species, but have evolved as we all have. They have one common ancestor just like ourselves, but as the world grew they branched out. It’s a reflection of our social and artistic humanity, and it speaks to us on a deeper level than I think most imagine is possible.
Without one we wouldn’t have the other, and their influences in one another’s everyday existence has become a crucial aspect. To love one it is always best to open up and love the other. It betters us in more than one way.