WHAT WE DO Interview Series: Terry Guest

WHAT WE DO is a visual interview series where we briefly talk to Chicago theatre artists about their art — what they do, why they do it, and what their creative process is like, even as it shifts in the midst of a pandemic. We’ve given each artist 8 written questions, as well as 3 prompts for photographs that capture their current headspace. 

Today we’re hearing from Terry Guest, Chicago-based actor, playwright, and teaching artist. His works have been featured at Story Theatre, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Random Acts Chicago, and others.

SELF-CAPTURE: A selfie, self timer portrait, a baby photo, or just a really awesome picture of yourself that you love.

Pre-pandemic, how would you have described your job, in a sentence?
I was an actor, playwright, teaching artist and barista.

How is it different now?
I am an actor, playwright and teaching artist.

What’s something most people might not know about your job?
Sometimes it feels like play and sometimes it feels like manual labor.

Who or what inspires you?
Musical Theatre, Black women, family, character driven indie films, fashion instagram accounts, kids on Tiki’s Tok, pop music, white women who sang alternative music in the 90s, etc etc.

What’s one tool that is central to your work?
Pen and paper.

How are you resisting?
By resting.

How are you taking care of yourself?
Calling my mama.

What’s something about your community that needs to change moving forward?
The bravery to try something new.

SOUL CAPTURE: A picture of something that is making you feel good, or bringing your soul inspiration.

SURROUNDING CAPTURE: Show us where you’ve been spending your time, whether it’s your workspace or the place you unwind.

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