We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Germaine Shames. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Germaine below.
Hi Germaine, thanks for joining us today. We’d love to hear the backstory behind a risk you’ve taken – whether big or small, walk us through what it was like and how it ultimately turned out.
Some decades ago, in what seems another lifetime, I served as a junior executive to Hilton International Hotels. Ill-suited to the conformity exacted by corporate life, exhausted from the stresses of global business assignments, I awoke one morning in white light and heard an inner voice assert, “There’s nothing that this company can give you that means anything anymore.” Trusting the voice, I composed a letter of resignation, tendered it that same day, and have never looked back.
A life in the performing arts is ALL risk: every word placed on a screen from “lights up” to “end of play,” every performance before a live audience. One learns to let go.
Germaine, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
I was born with an inner narrator whispering in my ear. Across art forms and genres, I tell stories that open hearts and minds, make issues achingly and inescapably personal, and don’t let go. This has been true the whole of my writing career, whether reporting from a combat zone, crafting a novel, or writing for the screen.
But it wasn’t until 2013 when I began writing for theatre, musical theatre and opera, that I felt my stories truly come alive. Nothing stirs me as deeply as the current of shared excitement that runs through an audience when a live performance is working its magic. These past years, I have created a body of work consisting of eight full-length musicals, six operas, three song cycles, and several dozen plays and have had works produced in such cities as NYC, London, D.C. and Phoenix. I attribute such successes less to life experience than to a receptivity to the new and constant redefining of the possible.
What do you think is the goal or mission that drives your creative journey?
Feminism and anti-racism inform all that I create. Having earned a Masters degree in Intercultural Studies, I write from a global perspective with the conscious aim of fostering intercultural, interracial, and cross-gender understanding and healing.
My overarching goal is to make a contribution in spirit and substance to the communities that have welcomed me by engaging audiences with inclusive, barrier-breaking stories that challenge, inspire, and bring about positive change.
For you, what’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative?
In a word, connection. Creating the work is rewarding; sharing it can be transcendent. For me, there is no greater joy than watching audience after audience enter the theatre careworn and leave glowing.
- Website: http://germainewrites.wixsite.com/buzz
- Instagram: @germaineshames
- Facebook: @germaine.shames
- Linkedin: @germaine-shames
- Twitter: @germainewrites
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTXuVm9eOLIhOmiIq6e6K5A
- Other: New Play Exchange: https://newplayexchange.org/users/2551/germaine-shames