I’ve had a few careers in my 35 years in this life. Growing up, I always said I would be the next Baryshnikov, but like most kids my infinite imagination also told me I would be a doctor, lawyer, lighting designer, broadway star, computer programmer, producer, director and only my mother knows the rest. After 18 years in the dance studio for nearly 40 hours a week, I realized that my passion wasn’t there to perform. Next Baryshnikov.
When I was 18, I started working for an advertising agency. I quickly moved up the corporate food chain from lead generator (the person calling every potential client to see if there’s any interest) to Account Manager to Account Executive. I wrote some fabulous proposals and reports for our prospects over three years, but that wasn’t enough creativity for me. Ad Agency Exec.
Then I picked up a camera and was “Free at Last.” That’s partially a lie. I first picked up a camera when I was in high school, but I realized that maybe there was a career in photography in 1999/2000. After quitting the job at the Ad Agency, I called myself a “Photographer” and have ever since, but over the last 15 years I’ve added more titles under my name: Producer, Director, Director of Photography, Creative Consultant… Hmm. Okay, some of my childhood dreams actually did come to fruition.
Then, one night, I had an epiphany. I’m not any of those things, but I’m also all of those things. Huh?
Performing in the Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Pippin, Hello Dolly, and other stage performances in my youth. Creating my own perfect world in my photography, and video work, and developing ideal imagery for my clients. Bringing other people’s ideas and stories to life. In all the work I’ve done, I’ve always been a storyteller. My passion doesn’t have anything to do with the tools or skill set that I’m using, it has everything to do with telling good stories.
Over the last couple years, I’ve been exploring my ability to use the written word to communicate stories, but really as just a hobby. I’ve written countless, really bad, short stories that I’ll probably never share. A pile of screenplays for short films sits in a desk drawer. Twenty years ago, I adapted Paul Osborn’s play “On Borrowed Time,” but as a musical with a composer from half way around the world. That still sits in an attache case waiting for the right time for it to be finished. Around the same time, I wrote a screenplay based on Walt Disney’s life. It was bad, really bad!
As I come close to finishing my first feature length screenplay that maybe, just maybe, I’m proud of — and have countless other ideas brewing in journals… I decided… maybe… it was time to call myself a WRITER.
Kevin Michael Reed is a theatre maker from New York City living in Dublin and London. His production credits have included producer, director, playwright, dramaturg and designer. He is Artistic Director of Squire Lane Theatrical UK, a theatre production company specialising in developing new works for the stage. He holds a BFA in Photography from the Fashion Institute of Technology (SUNY), a MA in Playwriting from City, University of London, and a MFA in Theatre Directing from The Lir, National Academy of Dramatic Art, Trinity College Dublin.