Although I had a sense of spirituality, since I did attend church a few times as a kid, a large part of what resonated in me as a higher power emanated from the vast expanse of nature I found myself surrounded in. With parents who admonished killing and violence and held to the idea that all living things have feelings, I began to have a very personal and profound connection to the plants and trees, the wild game animals I occasionally spotted and the birds I attempted to imitate in whistles. The insects and arachnids and all of their cousins and the lichens they wandered over caught my attention and wonder. I even had the sense that the rocks and rivers were made of the same energy that I was. Even to this day I gather immense peace from nature, as if the forests and oceans and mountains and plains are part of a great cathedral which is sacred and uplifting. If I am ever overwhelmed by the frantic pace of modern living, I can look outside at that which lives in the wild and feel peace in my heart and spirit.
So isolated from people, I began to have a powerful interest in humanity. What do different people believe? What are the factors that bring societies together or tear them apart? How did ancient civilizations consider the world around them? How do modern ones? This curiosity led me to explore all different political affiliations and religions, along with anthropology, sociology, psychology and theater.
It was theater that really started to bridge that gap between ‘normal’ people and my weird little family. I started to understand the universal emotions that run through us all and how they are colored by personal experiences. This has led to a sense of connectivity and admiration in me for the struggles others have in life. All things are relative and someone who grew up in the middle of suburbia and attended twelve years of public (or private) school and went to church every Sunday may feel just as (or more) disconnected from other people than some long haired little boy who grew up in the woods.
So my films contain real people, with human struggles, that are catapulted into fantastic scenarios which are both grounded in – and at the same time – out of this world.