Week 1 | Artist 1 of Created to Create 2017 | Thomas Schuster, Actor/Performer
Youngest of six boys raised on a small farm in Maryland. Recent graduate from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. Actor in New York, auditioning for plays and working on creating my own solo work. Robert Wilson and Laurie Anderson enthusiast. Foodie. Bartender. Yogi.
Where were you born?
Where do you live/work?
What fuels your desire to act?
Empathy. The opportunity to see oneself in art and to reckon with ones joys, struggles and place in the world, and to step outside of oneself and be transported somewhere unexpected and potentially inspiring or astonishing. I hope to make work that leaves people outside of their rational selves and ushers them toward awe and wonder.
The best thing about being an artist is…
Everything is part of your work and there is the chance to be inspired in every experience or interaction. Also the ability to make your own rules and path and to feel lost and be okay with that!
The biggest obstacle in working with self is?
Facing rejection. Knowing what you have inside of you and not feeling like it is coming across or having the opportunity to display that.
What advice you would give self at the very beginning of your training and professional career?
Stop comparing yourself to other. Seek out what inspires YOU and not what you think you should be doing or feeling. It takes the time it takes!
Are there any rituals you created to help you "face avoidance" that plagues any artist occasionally?
I struggle with this and need to find better ways of designating time for my creative work. Life takes over so easily and you can get lost in making a living, maintaining a social life, etc. and then suddenly, a year has gone by and you haven’t done the creative things you set out to. I think New York has become a really difficult place for young artists to start out. You get lost in a kind of sink or swim space and lots of things fall to the wayside. I am working towards reclaiming them for myself.
Talk about a piece of work that you experienced recently that moved you and how it found its place in your work?
I recently had the pleasure of seeing Penny Arcade’s Solo Piece Longing Lasts Longer. It’s a piece that i can’t stop thinking about and was enormously empowering for me in the wake of the election. It was imperfect, immediate and a call to action. I hope to make work like this someday.
What other art form do you connect to?
I love Modern Art and in the past, I have created pieces based around a particular painting. This was a really liberating experience because starting from something entirely abstract and subjective allowed me to ignore the logical or reasonable part of my brain and focus on what I found moving or emotional and try to translate that to an audience. I am also an avid reader and love literature and poetry. It definitely has a place in my work and creative space as well.
Describe your ritual or productive day at work?
Coffee, yoga, solitude, quiet.
Describe effective techniques you use to increase your focus/productivity when working on a project?
I am easily distracted or interrupted and need to get better at working under conditions that are not ideal, otherwise nothing will get done. After all, it’s New York, and I have roommates.
How do you reward self for a job well done?
I like to take a couple hours out of my day and make myself a really great meal. I love to cook and it is a great stress relief that lets me focus on simple tasks with my hands and wind down.
In 2017, SUPER SPACE is serving as a vehicle to facilitate Created to Create Project.
CREATED TO CREATE
INTRODUCING ONE ARTIST PER WEEK, FOR 52 WEEKS IN 2016.
Beginning, January, 1st, 2016
ACTORS, ARTISTS, THEATRE MAKERS, FILM MAKERS, DESIGNERS, TEACHING ARTISTS, STUDENTS all chosen because they spend a part each day creating. Artists will be chosen in no particular order.
Introduce artists from different parts of the world. People who use different mediums and whose practice is at a different skill level. A thing they all have in common is unique sense of style and self-expression.