Millions of people around the world are in self-isolation during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Despite museums, sport venues and theatres closing their doors, lovers of art are still finding creative ways to inspire and entertain.
Sam Houston State University alumnus Bryan-Keyth Wilson is one of those artists getting creative from the comfort of his couch. Since March 19, this Houston-based author/playwright/publisher has been using social media to offer free online writing classes. Topics covered in his online courses range from The Snowflake Method to helping writers develop their characters and storyline.
“This class is for every level from novice to pro,” Wilson said. “Oftentimes, we get in our heads and we think our ideas aren’t good, and in this class, we take a thought and turn it into an endless possibility.”
Wilson is currently the artistic director of the Creative Co-lab, an interdisciplinary creative arts company located in Houston, Texas, and also manages the daily operations of the Artists In Motion Performing & Visual Arts Academy. His artistic journey took off at Sam Houston State University where he received a scholarship from the Department of Dance and wrote his first play titled, “No Ways Tired.”
“Sam Houston State gave me the confidence to conquer the world and made sure I was prepared. I received a multifaceted theatre and dance education where I learned to always show up ready and prepared for anything,” Wilson said. “SHSU Theatre and Dance courses taught me every aspect of production, from stagecraft to performance to management. I learned it all at SHSU.”
His advice to other Bearkats pursing their dreams is to “never let someone hold the key to your destiny” and “if there isn’t a lane for you, create it.”
Wilson is often inspired by the creative process, and enjoys collaborating with new artists. It is his hope that the online classes will encourage more entertainers to express themselves and that each attendee leaves with the tools to be successful on their own personal projects.
“These times we are living in have drained us emotionally, physically and creatively. Theatres have been closed, contracted playwrights have been asked to give their advances back and we are at a standstill when it comes to working, but our creativity has to continue to flow and, we, as an artistic community, have to make ourselves accessible to the people,” Wilson said. “If you have a gift, share it and teach us. This is the perfect time to start on that book or play that you have been thinking about. Now is the time to get it done and I want to help. This time of social distancing does not mean that we have to distance ourselves creatively.”
Wilson plans to offer more writing classes in the near future.
“We need a distraction from the noise that's causing anxiety and paranoia,” Wilson said. “We need art to thrive and survive.”