Who are we and why do we believe in making art that matters? This series of brief interviews with Out of Box Theatre staff members aims to let you in behind the scenes on our staff and why we feel passionate about our art at Out of Box.
Will Brooks officially joined our staff as Production Manager in February 2016, while he was preparing for his role in OOB's production of Good People. Will also performed on the OOB stage in Bedroom Farce, the first show that we presented in our current space.
OOB: Is there someone specific in your life that influenced you and showed you that art was important?
WB: My father is an artist and a graphic designer so there was always something going on in our house that was creative. My brother and I both showed early on that we were leaning towards the arts and my dad was always there, along for the ride, providing help and encouragement. He's always said that there's art and design in everything. From the double yellow lines on the road to a Van Gogh painting, there's a reason and an inspiration in all of that. I've taken that thought with me in every creative project I've ever taken on. There's a reason why a playwright used those words and there's a reason a set is that particular color and a reason the lights are that dim in that scene. It's all art and it's all important. That's directly from my dad.
OOB: What drives you to keep creating?
WB: I think the struggle, the wall we inevitably hit in each production is what makes it worthwhile, because working to get past that obstacle is where your best work tends to come out. In every show I work on, whether it's acting, directing or designing, there comes a point where I say to myself "I don't know what I'm doing! I know nothing!" But I've committed to the production, so I take a breath, move forward and eventually find that thing that makes sense and ends up being a piece of art that hopefully an audience can find some appreciation for. That struggle and challenge ends up being what I miss when a show ends and so before too long, I need the next one. I guess I'm just a glutton for artistic punishment.
Will Brooks started out as a theatre kid and wasn't smart enough to become something different. As a result of this poor life choice he has lived in various theaters around the Southeast for over 20 years. Most of those years were spent standing under hot lights pretending to be someone else in front of paying customers he'd never met. Lately he has spent most of his time in small, dark, cramped booths, up on ladders, and in various hardware stores, although he still occasionally pretends for strangers. A few years ago he was lucky enough to meet a fellow former theatre kid who made the same poor life choice as him and together they made the excellent choice to combine their powers. As a result they are now a package deal here at Out of Box serving as Production Manager and Technical Director. If you're at OOB and you run in to a slightly round, bearded guy covered in paint and sawdust, don't be afraid, it's only Will.