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Up Close and Personal with Writers Sarah Higgins, Daniel Galiano, and Maxamillian Wallace

By June 11, 2014October 30th, 2014News
Each of our one-acts from our Short Play Showcase sprouted from the mind of a gifted, most-likely neurotic individual with imagination where reality is supposed to be. Catch a glimpse into their heads with this up close and personal ask / answer session. Scroll down to read the minds of these fiendishly clever writers.

Writers Sarah Higgins (an•thro•poph•a•gy), Daniel Galiano (Happily Ever After), and Maxamillian Wallace (Love and Light)

Sarah Higgins – an•thro•poph•a•gy
Daniel Galiano – Happily Ever After
Maxamillian Wallace – Love & Light
Where did you draw inspiration from for this work?
SH: I drew inspiration from my own life, and from the canon of zombie films. The plague element was always my favourite part of zombie stories, and I wanted to explore that. I also have diabetes myself, and am frustrated that it’s rarely portrayed in the entertainment industry (and certainly not as anything more than a stakes-raising plot point). And thus diabetic zombies were born.
DG: Happily Ever After came to me while laying in bed late at night thinking up ideas for short plays I could set in a living room, as my play was required to use the same set as the others. Prior to writing it, I did a couple days worth of research by watching several bad family movies and Disney animated films.
MW:Every person who graduates from Studio 58 has to write, produce, and perform a 15-20 minute solo show as their final project at the school, and my offering for this project was Love & Light.  In my final term I had been playing around with several different ideas for my show, but nothing was giving me that “AHHHAA! YES THAT’S IT!” feeling, so I decided to procrastinate for a while and watch one of my favourite movies… Anchorman.  As per usual, I was howling with laughter after the character Brick played by Steve Carrall blankly stated “I love Lamp.” I laughed and laughed, but eventually the laughing changed to thinking, some deep thinking. I started thinking about love, and how and who we love, and eventually that brought me to this show.
Favourite movie & why?
SH: One of my top five movies is Bon Cop Bad Cop. It is hilarious, and lovely to watch a film in which Canada is proudly being Canada. That moment with the NHL mascot, in full beaver outfit, trying to escape the cops? Amazing.
DG: Glengarry Glen Ross. First off, it has to be one of the best male casts ever assembled for one movie. Added to that, Mamet’s dialogue is like music to my ears. The original play itself is sacred to me, but in my opinion his screenplay version is ever greater. The addition of the “Coffee is for Closers” speech is an example why.
MW: I have a lot of options for this one, but I guess if I had to choose only one movie to be stranded on a desert Island with for the rest of my life it would have to be Oh Brother Where Art Thou?  I love this movie with all of my heart. In fact during summer vacation when I was twelve years old I would put it on every single night and watch it until my eyes couldn’t stay open any longer. The movie has a fantastic mix of comedy and drama, an unbelievable soundtrack, and it satisfies my strange fascination with the American South. So good. 
Favourite book & why?
SH: One of my top five books is In The Skin Of A Lion by Michael Ondaatje. It’s poetic, beautiful language, and the characters are strong and human and, for me, eminently memorable. Not a light read, but an amazing one.
DG: The Alchemist by Paul Coelho. So simply written yet so profound. In the telling of Santiago’s journey, I think the author has unlocked a clue to the meaning of life, that is to follow the path of our own “Personal Legend.” Inspiring stuff.
MW: That’s an easy one for me. My hands down, favorite book of all time is The Road by Jack Kerouac. Whether it be hitchhiking from New York to California, hopping trains in the Colorado Rockies, or screaming through the Mexican jungles, this book fills me with the yearning for adventure. It makes me just want to forget my life and take off like the beatniks in the story. Not to mention Jack Kerouac’s writing is some of the most poetic, strange and beautiful words ever put to paper. Come to think of it, I should read it again soon.
What other topics are you interested in writing about?
SH: Aside from diabetes, zombies and alternate sexualities, other things I’m interested in writing about are the elderly, family dynamics (especially siblings), music and bones… to name a few.
DG: I don’t have any specific topics in mind, I’m interested in characters. Everything I’ve written, am working on, and am planning to write in the near future begins with the characters, then through them I discover the story, genre, and so on.
MW: I’ve got a ton of different crazy ideas floating around my head these days about what to write about next, unfortunately a lot of them are terrible, but there are a select few I’m seriously considering for the future. One revolves around my Newfie Grandpa and the stories he’d always tell me as a kid, about the tiny outport island (Red Island) he grew up on. I’ve got a lot of really hilarious material for that one, but on the other hand I’ve also been thinking a lot about a hypothetical world where The U.S. invades Canada amidst a worldwide water shortage, so something could happen with that idea as well.  At the moment, I have a lot of dramatic ideas but about 95% of the time I end up writing comedies, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.