Published : Thursday, November 30, 2017 | 12:20 PM
Would you die if you couldn’t laugh?
Flattened by the world’s tragedies, could you muster the strength to get up if you thought you would be walking through perpetual gloom?
“I don’t like taking myself seriously,” admits Laura Holliday.
The 2011 Idyllwild Arts Academy alum was subsequently a graduate of The Second City Los Angeles and Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre.
Let’s ignore what she says and ask her a really serious question: were “Splitting Rent with Your Childish Roommate” and “Borrowing Clothes from Your Childish Roommate” inspired by someone else who would be remembered in Idyllwild? Can’t she tell us who her childish roommate was?
Politely overlooking her interviewer’s bad manners, Laura steers their conversation back on course.
“I love comedy, and now that I’m writing, directing, and acting in comedies, I’m doing exactly what I want, although on a small scale. My goal is to sustain this in TV or independent features.”
That’s no joke. Shorts like “A Movie for Women by Men” showcase her talent for communicating with actors, which “comes pretty naturally to me.”
It’s a precious gift for a director who must put performers at ease so they can be funny.
What aspect of directing does not come quite as naturally as the others?
“Visuals and working with a cinematographer. But practicing at ArtCenter College of Design [in Pasadena] has helped me think visually. Now it’s something I love.”
She will graduate from ArtCenter on December 16, in a ceremony, beginning at 2 pm in the hillside campus’s Ahmanson Auditorium, which will include a show highlighted by film screenings.
During her last year at ArtCenter, her film “Persephone Goes Home” has earned her a 2017 Sundance Ignite Fellowship (https://www.sundance.org/initiatives/ignite), qualifying her to be mentored by the documentary filmmaker Kristina Goolsby.
Finally, proving that she doesn’t play everything for laughs, Laura recently directed her first dramatic piece. Her partnership with the nonprofit organization SafeBAE (http://www.safebae.org/) has resulted in a short film called “Disfluency,” which addresses rape culture on a college campus.
Sometimes finding the strength to get up and go on is about courage rather than laughter.
Idyllwild Arts, 52500 Temecula Road, Idyllwild, CA 92549-0038, (951) 659-2171 or visit www.idyllwildarts.org.