Sunday, January 06, 2013

An Interview with Cory Finley

Youngblood member Zhu Yi interviews Youngblood member Cory Finley.

Cory Finley

ZY: When did you decide to be a writer? And why?

CF: I’ve always been into storytelling: I always used to monopolize creative duties in childhood pretend games, and the hard drive on the old family Windows ’95 is loaded up with fifteen to twenty of my unfinished fantasy novels. When I started writing and staging plays in college, I got really into the discipline of it, the limitations. It felt like what I’ve always loved doing, but a real craft, a practice -- something I could refine and master. I’ve been doing it ever since.

ZY: What are your favorite and least favorite parts of your body and why?

CF: I’ve got great hands. Tremendous, but surprisingly delicate and kind. They can palm a basketball and also hold a baby bird. My feet, though, look like the feet of an alien. I can’t walk in a straight line: I often run my walking companions off the road. I blame the feet.

ZY: When you are at a party, people (usually non-theatre people) try to start a small talk with the question “So what kind of plays do you write?” How do you respond?

CF: That does always seem to happen, doesn’t it! Things would be simpler if I had a clear answer, like “Southern family dramas” or “plays about cats.” Unfortunately, I’m at a stage in my career where I’m determined never to repeat myself -- in terms of plot, style, or subject matter -- so usually I just dodge the question and try to say something witty about the hummus in the buffet spread.

ZY: COMBO-QUESTION: What is your favorite food, who is your favorite writer, and what do you think that writer would think of that food? Or, alternately, what do you think that food would think of that writer?

CF: I really like a good burger. I also really love Caryl Churchill. I have a feeling Caryl Churchill doesn’t like burgers. But since every burger I know is a big fan of formal experimentation, subtextual menace, and feminism, I bet they’d feel great about Caryl.

ZY: What is your most irrational fear?

CF: Short people.

ZY: When was the last time you were sad? What happened?

CF: This is a great question. I’m sad right now. Because the caffeine from my coffee this morning is fading, and I know it’s all pretty much downhill from here.

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