by Rick Park
Having lived in Boston for over 20 years, I find that I draw a huge amount of inspiration for my writing from the Boston community. I have been lucky enough to have lived in so many diverse neighborhoods over the years—Somerville, Beacon Hill, South Boston, the South End—and each place I live provides me with a plethora of material from which to draw. I am particularly enamored of the really working class communities like South Boston, filled with people who work hard, play hard and live hard; who take what the world has given them, good and bad, and make some kind of sense out of it all; and who have a way of speaking and relating to each other that may sound rough and brash to the outsider, but which is actually colored by sentiment, tradition and love for each other and the place that they were often born and raised in. The duality of not only what is said but how it is said intrigues and delights me as a playwright and I hope that everything I write about the people of places like Southie reflect the utmost respect that I have for the people and attitude that thrive there.
I am also inspired by another community in Boston: the theatre community. Some people think Boston has always been stuck in the shadow of New York, but to me, Boston is a place for actors to thrive. It’s a place where more actors get more chances of practicing their craft; where directors get the chance to try and soar (or fail) and are learning constantly. And having worked as both an actor and a director in Boston, I have had the privilege of working with a myriad of talented men and women. Now, as I push further into the realm of playwriting, I find myself often inspired by the actors I know and admire, and use them as a springboard from which to write characters I would like to see them play. Being able to write for a specific actor is a delight; being able to build a monologue or scene that not only builds on their strengths but which also stretches them in new and interesting ways is fulfilling for both of us.
Every once in a while, people ask me why I never moved to New York to pursue acting and writing and for me, the answer is obvious: Why? I have everything I need to be an actor and playwright right here in beautiful Boston!
About Rick Park:
Rick Park is a writer and actor living in Boston. His monologue, There’s Always Tomorrow, will be featured in Boston Actors Theater’s, Boston Holiday Show, in December.