The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.
Steven Westdahl is an actor, writer, and producer who began a life in the theatre at the age of 9 with the Alameda Children's Musical Theater. He went on to graduate from Emory University with degrees in English and Theatre & Film. While in Atlanta, he co-founded multi-media production company Collective Works and co-created shows like The Wide Open Beaver Festival and The Invisible College. Since returning to CA in 2011, he hosts and performs monthly at Write Club SF and Shipwreck! as well as on the podcasts of the same name. He is a founding ensemble member of the SF Neo-Futurists as well as a playwright in the PlayGround competitive talent pool. His work has been seen in Indonesia and Russia, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and The Second City Chicago, and onstage as an improvisor, standup comedian, clown, mime, puppeteer, DJ, musician, magician, singer, dancer, sideshow freak, and award winning competitive eater.
When people ask what do you do, you tell them... ?
If I've just met them and am being polite, I will say "actor, writer, and producer." If someone asks about my "day job," I tell them I'm a hustler. Professional liar, sometimes. My dad likes to joke that I "act like I have a job."
In reality, I juggle a variety of income sources and expressive outlets. You might recognize me from the Men's Wearhouse online catalogue because I'm their resident plus-sized male model. Sometimes I put on silly costumes and run around San Francisco as a freelance employee of The Go Game's team-building scavenger hunt business. I've designed video game level maps for a start-up in Emeryville, got spaghetti thrown in my face for a Proctor & Gamble commercial, and still occasionally submit myself to drug trials and marketing research. I don't have a boss. I won't set an alarm clock when I don't have to. I only shave when someone pays me to shave. I consume art, food, and drink and produce art, shit, and piss. That's what I do.
What's your biggest struggle -- work or otherwise?
A lack of structure and self-imposed deadlines. Left to my own devices, I'll start a dozen different things and finish 90% of all of them. I suffer from a bad case of 'out of sight, out of mind' and can be easily distracted.More »