Updated: Jan 27, 2020
Welcome to the latest edition of Monument's Get to Know series! Here is our interview with co-founder and Business Manger Caleb Clark! Along with his role in Monument's leadership, Caleb is also an experienced director, playwright, and designer. You can see some of his sound design prowess in the upcoming production of Hers is the Head of a Wolf.
MONUMENT: Caleb, are you ready for this?
CALEB CLARK: I think you said the same thing to Cherish.
M: I don't think you are.
M: Let's do this. What’s your favorite color?
CC: Uh, green, I suppose.
M: Favorite food?
CC: Tough one. I’ve actually become a fan of seafood lately.
M: Seafood? Anything in particular?
CC: Well I've been shopping around for the best fried Fish in Indy (please someone give me recommendations) but probably the most enjoyable thing I've had lately is Bluegill.
M: Favorite article of clothing?
CC: I’m going to have to go with the signature beanie.
M: Do you have any tattoos?
CC: Not yet, at least.
M: Favorite weather or time of year?
CC: I’m definitely a fall person.
M: Are you a sports guy?
CC: I’m not big into watching a lot of sports. Hockey fights are pretty cool though.
M: Coffee or tea?
CC: Coffee. I drink a lot of tea when I’m sick, but there’s something about the aroma of coffee that gets me thinking a lot.
M: Cat or dog?
CC: Certainly a dog person. They’re just goofy and a lot of fun.
M: What are some hobbies or interests of yours?
CC: Well, reading and writing certainly hit the top of the list. I also enjoy a good video game every now and then. I try to watch TV when I can, but I rarely have the free time for it.
M: What do you do to relax?
CC: The best way for me to unwind is just to escape to a quiet place and be alone with my thoughts, either in writing or reading.
M: Dream vacation?
CC: Backpacking across Europe. There’s just so much history and so much to see there, and something about doing it all with next to nothing on your back is weirdly idyllic.
M: If you weren’t in theatre what would you do?
CC: This may not count – since it’s pretty cross-compatible – but I would probably focus more on film work, particularly video editing.
M: Who is a favorite author/playwright/poet/screenwriter?
CC: Oh, geez. Where do I begin with this one? Author? Kurt Vonnegut because of his poignant, humorous, and often times scathing views of the world and particularly American culture. 'Breakfast of Champions' will always have a place on my shelf. Playwright? This one will have to go to Daniel McIvor. He just has a really compelling way of telling vastly complex stories with grand ideas and tons of layers in a simple and straight-forward way. It’s really magnificent really. Poetry I don’t read a lot of, and I’ve tried. As for screen-writer, I’ve really become obsessed with Taylor Sheridan lately. He wrote the film 'Sicario' and wrote/directed the film 'Wind River' (the most unappreciated film of 2017). Sheridan really likes to explore hard realities and cold truths, and that’s what makes him so amazing in a time where artists constantly seem to praise watered down work.
M: Do you have a favorite actor or director?
CC: Another big one. There is something really amazing about the quiet intensity Ryan Gosling brings to all of his roles. 'Drive' will forever be one of my favorite films. Sam Rockwell was under-appreciated for a long, long time, but I think 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri' has finally gotten him the main-stream attention he deserves.
M: Who is a hero or inspiration of yours?
CC: I’m going to bring this back to Kurt Vonnegut. He was someone who saw a lot of horrible things, as he talks about in 'Slaughter-house Five', and he was someone who struggled a lot with depression. And his ability to take those moments and those feelings and twist them into the humorous and uplifting stories he wrote is what is really endearing about him.
M: What do you admire in people?
CC: I admire people with a strong sense of integrity. I’m not a fan of wishy-washy “let’s meet in the middle” people. If you have the right convictions and the desire to stick to them, you’re an admirable person in my book.
M: What do you despise in people?
CC: Recently, I’ve grown very tired of this notion of pandering to everyone. I really hate this idea that every point of view, opinion, or thought is somehow valid just because someone thought it. If you can’t back up what you say with resounding logic or evidence, I really don’t want to hear anything you have to say.
M: What charms you in a person?
CC: A dark sense of humor.
M: Where are you from?
CC: I’m from a little town called Tipton, about thirty minutes north of Indy.
M: What was it like growing up there, can you describe how it affected your worldview?
CC: It was a small farm town, so I inherently clashed with a lot of the people around me. I think that’s what drove me to reading and watching so many films. That also probably had a huge effect on my worldview and how I shaped my values.
M: When did you develop an interest in theatre?
CC: It developed later on in high school, junior year in fact. I originally showed up for drama club to meet girls (classy, I know) but what I found instead was something I would dedicate the rest of my life to.
M: When did you know this is what you wanted to do?
CC: I saw a musical production of The Secret Garden at Taylor University that same year in high school, and everything about it was endearing to me. Not so much the singing, but the rotating stage and the lights and the passion of the actors. It was everything I had been looking for.
M: You went to college and studied theatre. Why Indiana State University? Were you comfortable in your pursuit of this degree?