Proud Stories: Silas Gordon Brigham (He/Him/His)
Q: What kind of performance artist are you?
Q: When did you first know that you wanted to be a full-time artist?
When I was 18 years old and studying acting and writing in school. I grew up in a family of performers and my family get togethers were like extended improv classes. But for some reason it never occurred to me to do it professionally until I took my first acting class in college.
Q: How are you keeping yourself inspired to create during this unprecedented time?
Good question! Honestly, sometimes I am not. I can feel overwhelmed and frozen by it all and it can feel strange to do anything that isn’t directly related to social justice work, and political progress. I’ve been inspired by my fellow artists finding ways to create. I’ve watched some great shows and movies and readings. And then I have bursts of creativity myself. It’s gradually getting easier to feel creative amidst the chaos in the air. We’ll see!
Q: What is the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome as an artist and how did you overcome it?
Earlier on I had a lot of anxiety before going on stage and during and just in general! Ha. When I had my first professional stage role in DC, something I learned from an amazing martial arts teacher really helped me relax into the risk of it all. When attempting to learn a difficult new way of using our bodies in order for a martial technique to work he said, “Failure must be an option.” In order to experience something new we can’t hold on to what we already know, or what we think we know, too tightly. I found that when I would go on stage wanting everything to work out smoothly, I was more tense and less flexible in my response. Before I walked on stage for this gig, I would remind myself that “failure must be an option.” It’s a scary feeling but it’s also exciting. Instead of hoping things would go smoothly I was excitedly looking for what was new and fresh and what might go “wrong.” I still experience anxiety, but I find that leaning towards the risk, however scary, improves my performance and it’s way more fun. I think acting is a wonderful mirror that allows us to see if we’re present or not. Leaning into uncertainty and being present are at the heart of what acting is. That’s my understanding so far. And, of course, things go wrong all the time! But failure must be an option!
Q: What are you most proud of in your career thus far?
There’s so much that I am grateful for so far! The Wolfe Twins at Studio Theater is one of my favorite acting experiences ever. I feel like I could have played that role and worked with all those wonderful people forever. I just co-produced and acted in a short film called, The Legacy Sessions. It is making its way around the festival circuit now. It was such a wonderful experience from beginning to end. We all worked so hard on it and I grew very close with the folks working on it. The whole experience felt like a confluence of all these different skills that I’ve been working on for years. It was so fun and I am so proud of everyone that worked on it and I really love the finished film. The writer/director/producer, David Ashton, is amazing at gathering generous and talented people around him. I’m really grateful and proud that I was a part of it!
Q: Is there anything you are working on now that can be shared and supported?
The Legacy Sessions. We are playing next at Virginia Film Festival October 21-25. Alexandria Film Festival is after that.
Find us on IG: #thelegacysessions
Check out our festival run here: Virginia Film Festival