The multi-talented playwright Tracy Weller is the brains behind NYC theater company Mason Holdings, and we were lucky enough to pick her brain about art and personal style.
What do you consider the cornerstone of your arts practice?
For me the fundamentals of making theatre include: an unquenchable fascination with the human experience, a desire to tell untold stories, self-discipline and work ethic, and a small team of generous, smart and kind collaborators.
What does a day in your work life look like?
My day depends largely on what stage I am at in any given project. My morning routine, however, is always the same: exercise, make breakfast for my children and deliver them to school. Yesterday, after I took my children to school, I spent the morning rewriting a scene for my latest show, Holiday House. I then spent the afternoon rehearsing and in the evening I went to the theatre, did a good physical and vocal warm-up, and performed. Additionally, I am always taking care of the all the basic maintenance and development of my theatre company, Mason Holdings.
When you have so many responsibilities, how do you practice self care?
Solitude and quiet are essential to my sanity. And I am a great believer in rewards – yoga and an aimless walk on a cool day, followed by cookies and milk with my children -- those are lovely rewards. A new dress and a glass of chardonnay are also pretty great.
Tell me about how you create physical space for your work. What is important to you about your office and place of work?
My little office is my work’s home, but I find that I have gotten better and better at working almost anywhere. I have done some of my best writing in the shower, at Whole Foods, on the subway. And, when I’m performing, I run through scenes anywhere and everywhere. I am always reminding myself that my mind is my own – that is my work space, and, no matter where I am, I always have that. I would also like to sing the praises of ear plugs – like two little security guards for your brain!
What does work hard, dress smart mean to you?
Working hard and dressing smart is a simple recipe for success. A great looking dress should support you and your work – so it must be flattering (a confidence boost) and comfortable (accepting and tolerant of your body’s higher priorities). And if you are not already driven to work hard, a smart outfit will inspire you to raise the bar.