Elaine Gale is a California-based writer, performer, storyteller, humorist, fourth-generation educator, speaker, journalist (www.elainegale.com) and Nebraskan who loves artists, writers, community, humor, play, possibility, healing, border collies, and exploration. She is an Associate Professor in the department of Communication Studies and Journalism at California State University, Sacramento, and has been the Writing Center Director for Antioch University’s PhD Program in Leadership and Change for the past 14 years. She has published work in literary journals including “Under the Gum Tree” and “The Manifest-Station” and has been a freelance writer for many national magazines including Entertainment Weekly, Variety, Stuff Magazine, Cosmopolitan, and Good Housekeeping. She holds a doctorate in Human Communication from University of Denver, an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles, and a BA in English and Religion from Boston University. Elaine’s mission is to create possibility, freedom and happiness in people’s lives by encouraging and amplifying their authentic creative expression—both on the page and on the stage. She is passionate about building community, empowering others, our shared humanity, unconventionality, joy, and all creative self-expression. All About Solo caught up with her to chat about her solo show, “ONE GOOD EGG,” and the depth and humor it took while creating the piece.
Pat McAndrew: I understand you work as a journalist. How did you end up discovering theater and, more specifically, solo performance? Elaine Gale: I was active in theater in high school, but then became a journalist for the LA Times and then got my doctorate and became a professor. I wrote “one woman show” on my whiteboard in 2015 when my husband and I moved to Santa Barbara and I found Ann Randolph and Terrie Silverman, both amazing performance teachers. I developed my solo show over that first year, then did three workshop performances and then did the world premiere in Santa Barbara in 2017, now heading to United Solo in 2018.
What inspired you to create “ONE GOOD EGG”? It sounds to me like there is a lot packed into the piece! Depression and general despair. Then hope. Then joy. Then discovery.
How is “ONE GOOD EGG” important for today’s audience? This piece deals with issues that we struggle with in contemporary society and also with the transformation of the spirit. This is the show’s blurb: What do eggs, Wendy’s baked potatoes, kale, Mr. T., Crush the turtle, Uma Thurman, infertility, ayahuasca and frozen dog testicles have in common? Come to ‘ONE GOOD EGG,’ a story of one woman’s resilience through the absurdities of loss and the twists and turns of life, and find out!
The blurb certainly peaks my curiosity! How does “ONE GOOD EGG” speak to other work you have done? This show is a mash-up of storytelling, comedy and theater. It’s a unique style. It incorporates my ten years in journalism as it’s a totally nonfiction show, and also my ten years in academia as I still have a podium, although I call it an eggstand.
What were some challenges that you faced in developing your solo piece? I live in Santa Barbara and I drove down to LA every week for six weeks to put the show together.
What do you hope the audience walks away with after seeing your show? That they have felt a range of emotions and feel more free, more joy and more capacity to be themselves, to be authentic in an inauthentic world, to be real.
With all that said, what would you say is your favorite part about this show? The cosmic comedy that we all live in. There is a lot of comedy that I really enjoy in the show. And poignant moments, too. I like the range.
“ONE GOOD EGG: It Will Crack You Up and Crack You Open!” Written and Performed by Elaine Gale Oct. 19 (SOLD OUT), Oct. 20 at 2:00pm Directed by Julie Fishell Stage Manager: Tyler X. Koontz Photo: David Bazemore United Solo 2018 Theatre Row 410 West 42nd Street New York City
For more information: www.onegoodeggshow.com
Pat McAndrew is a NYC-based actor, writer, and consultant . As an actor, he has performed Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway, and in various locations throughout New York City, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. His one-man show, REEL, was performed in the 2017 United Solo Theatre Festival and featured in the new documentary, Electronic Crack. Using his background as an actor as his foundation, Pat consults with individuals and organizations on how to communicate effectively and build deep, meaningful relationships in the digital age. He is the Founder of The Low Tech Trek, an organization devoted to discovering a better balance between human interaction and how we use technology. He is a member of Village Playback Theatre, Endless River Arts, and Svaha Theatre Collective. Pat holds an MA in Theatre from Villanova University. Check out patmcandrew.com for more information.