Tough Talks: Mikey

Presenter: Carla McDonough

Research Category: Humanities and Arts
College: College of Arts Media & Design
Major(s): Theatre
Graduation Date: 2022

Tough Talks: Mikey is an interactive creative work with the aim of engaging with challenging conversations and the ways in which we communicate around them. In order to guide audiences through this process, this project focuses on my familyÕs experiences around a traumatic fall my brother survived. Using this as a framework for engaging with and questioning challenging topics within interpersonal relationships, audiences are asked to consider their own challenges as they are guided through a series of interviews between myself and my family members. Inspired by the sound walks and procedural authorship works we engaged with in Dani Snyder-YoungÕs Creative Storytelling for Social Change course, these interviews are compiled into four audio files. A final reflection sets up the next steps for audiences to continue their own conversations. The goal is to make these conversations more accessible and to assist in addressing the obstacles that prevent us from engaging with them in a meaningful way. The project ends with the option of engaging with smaller audio clips that give more context to the relationships I have with the interviewees, allowing participants to decompress before stepping away from the piece. Going forward, I will provide a space for participants to upload their own reflections and pieces to the projectÕs website. In the end, this was a deeply personal experience that an academic prompt allowed me to better understand. I hope that Tough Talks: Mikey can serve as a prompt for others to develop a similar understanding of their own.