Here’s the second interview for SoloWeek — presented by The Tank — a week-long festival of solo shows that’s coming to Standard ToyKraft in Brooklyn from December 7-12. This one’s with Marc Abbott, who will perform Of Cats and Men: The Rise and (Somewhat) Bitter Fall of a Writer on Thursday, December 10th at 7pm. Learn more about the show and get tickets here.
What’s your show about?
Of Cats and Men is a about the inspirational effects my father and house cat had on me as I struggled in my early years to be an author. Through a series of events, I tell how my dad’s encouragement combined with his worry for me help shepherd me through my time in television. Then how my cat, Hobbs, during my years as a playwright, helped me make some key decisions in both my casting and writing.
Why did you create it?
I had always wanted to tell the story of how these two individuals played such an important role in my life. Over the years I have told some of the story in parts. But this allows me to tell the entire story. I put his together because I have had a lot of people over the years ask me how I have been able to continue to push forward as a writer. Also for all the people who have been curious about my dad and what kind of man he was. A lot of my stories include my father but only briefly. This gives people more insight as to who he was and what he meant to me.
Have you done anything like this before?
I have done a long format storytelling show before but I wasn’t alone. It was part of a duo performance. This will be a brand new experience for me being onstage alone and being one with the audience.
What else have you done in storytelling?
I’ve been involved with storytelling for the last four years. I started out going to a monthly storytelling show in Brooklyn, Tell It: Brooklyn, and I caught the bug. From there I have attended many storytelling shows, including the Moth. This solo show, next to the Moth, will be the biggest stage for me.
Where do you think storytelling is headed? As an art form? As a commercial medium?
I discovered that storytelling has been going on for some time. One person told me the Moth has been around since 2000. Since I started, I have seen more and more shows appear. The community is definitely growing. Much like how spoken word and comedy shows have grown due to their following, I think we will see storytelling grow exponentially as well. It’s definitely an art form and culture that’s just going to get bigger. The great thing is that it’s so open to people. Everyone is welcome and everyone has a story to tell. I can see it becoming a great medium.
What else should be know about you and what you’re doing?
Currently I’m working on a new horror novel, which I hope to have out sometime next year. I’m staying pretty active with the storytelling circuit and will be in the Moth GrandSlam this month. I keep busy writing short stories and will have a couple of short films out next year as well. I am also the lead in an upcoming scifi film called Impervia due out in 2016. You can find out more about me at my website whoismarclabbott.com