SHATTERED at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival talks about the devastation of sexual assault
July 16, 2019  //  By:   //  Edinburgh, Interviews  //  Comments are off

Name of Edinburgh show: SHATTERED
Venue: GILDED BALLOON TEVIOT
Performance time: 2:45 PM
Show length: 1 hour
Ticket price: £11 (£10)

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
I’ve performed most of my life – starting at age 3 at the local library! As an adult, I studied at Boston University School of Fine Arts and several acting studios in Los Angeles – with my main focus being improv, sketch and character work (Upright Citizens’ Brigade/Groundlings). Then in 2017, I used my comedy background to give voice to the greatest tragedies of my life – I wrote and performed my solo show Shattered.

Tell me about your new show, what it is all about?
Shattered is a dark comedy solo show that uses humor to heal. It’s a fast-paced comedic journey through dating, dysfunction and sexual devastation – told through the voices of 35 characters. Shattered ultimately tells the story of one individual – me – picking up the broken pieces of myself and putting them back together again.

How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2019?
I premiered Shattered in January of 2017 at the White Fire Theatre Solo Fest in Los Angeles and have toured Shattered to several festivals over the past 2 years. Now in 2019, we’re in the post #metoo era and talk much more openly about sexual assault and harassment, but the experience is still often judged or misunderstood. Shattered offers an inmate and unapologetic look into the impact of trauma on an individual – in an effort to help people understand. Most importantly, the show is for survivors – to help them not feel alone and to encourage them to take hold of their own story and path toward healing.

Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
This is my first time at Edinburgh Fringe! So I’m more than happy to accept any advice! Shattered is an extremely physical show – so my strategy is to enjoy being part of the festival, but mainly take care of my mental and physical health during my stay. I’m really grateful to Fringe Central for their tips and resources on healthy mental wellbeing while at the Festival.

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
My show is really physical, so I tend to sweat a lot. At a recent rehearsal, I thought I was sweating, as I normally do…turns out I had gotten my period. The show is only an hour long but somehow, unbeknownst to me, I was completely soaked! Like supersoaker soaked. *Sigh*

Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
I’m inspired by my fellow solo artists and friends for sharing their stories. I’m also in tremendous awe of the silence breakers that came forward in #metoo – and for Tarana Burke for her work and starting the movement over a decade ago. I’m inspired by Michelle Obama, Brene Brown, Malala, Oprah-  and that’s even before we get to comedy influences! There are so many powerhouse women creating amazing strides in furthering our status in the industry and in the world.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Even though I’ve been on-stage most of my life, I still get extremely anxious. So I usually have a tea and do breathing exercises to calm me. Then I drill parts of the performance with rapid character changes to get the show in my body. I also do a couple improv warm-ups to get the energy flowing.

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
I’ve been mainly into prep-mode so haven’t yet been able to plan my schedule. But I can’t WAIT to see what’s on at Edinburgh Fringe!!

Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
Shattered is important to see because it speaks to a number of important topics – sexual assault, domestic violence, suicidal thoughts, the power of shame, post-traumatic growth, etc – in a unique and enjoyable way. It’s a dark comedy rollercoaster ride through topics that far too many of us experience. On a personal level, performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year is exceptionally important to me because it is the 10th year since the assault that I talk about in the show occurred. Anniversaries are hard for survivors – that’s something people might not know – so regardless of who comes to see this show, it’s a personal triumph for me to tell my story every day in August and my time at Edinburgh will live on as a priceless piece of my journey. I’m really excited to bring my story to Edinburgh Fringe – I appreciate you having tea with me!

Thanks for having Tea With Wilma

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