Trouble Child
art + literary magazine

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An Interview with Summer Freed

Bridget Dugan discussed event planning, improv, and filmmaking with Summer Freed, Trouble Child’s marketing associate and event planner.

Bridget Dugan: What are some little things you want to accomplish in your life?

Summer Freed: This is more a dream than a goal, but I have this funny little dream where ten or so years down the road I’m in my lovely home sitting at a long dinner table with a whole bunch of friends. We’re enjoying a big delightful meal and everyone at the table is doing really well. Some people are artists and change-makers and leaders or teachers or parents or people with a neat garden and a pet bird, but everyone is doing really well and is so fulfilled by their activities. We’re having a great conversation, and people are making new connections and feeling close to the people they already love. We’re eating great food that I probably made. It’s the best party we’ve ever been to and it’s not even really a party.

BD: So you're interested in event planning—if you had an endless budget and endless time to plan, what would your ideal event look like?

SF: I have a huge soft spot in my heart for artsy Como house parties, so it really just draws from those. I’d shell out to have artists transform all the rooms and yard into performance spaces and rooms to talk, check out installations, or watch a few minutes of a projected film. Lots of little appetizers to eat if you get hungry or need a break. Probably some really social cats wandering around. Hopefully the guests are the perfect ratio of your favorite friends, acquaintances you wish you knew better, and exciting strangers. The basement is just a huge dance party.

But if I also had control of everyone’s lives and minds, definitely the one I described for the last question.

BD: In addition to being an event planner extraordinaire and a film buff, you also teach improv! What drew you to improv in the first place?

SF: I love that you can tell a story without having to revise. I’ve never been a huge fan of endless revisions or rehearsals, but I do love stories and being intentional, so when I found an art form where spontaneity was the whole point I was immediately hooked.

BD: What is the best class you took in college and what impact did it have on you?

SF: I signed up for Super 8 Filmmaking with Sam Hoolihan because I wanted the chance to edit physical film, and I left the class looking at light and nature and people and cities and film in a whole different way than I had before. I learned how to groove with a silent twenty-five-minute nonnarrative film, and that changed my whole frame of reference. Shooting on film also has a lot of the same appeal as improv for me. It gave me an opportunity to push my limits, and if something didn’t turn out as planned it just added to the character of the piece. The projects I’m proudest of came from that class.

BD: This question is from my all-time favorite piece, called "The 36 Questions That Lead To Love": Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?

SF: I’ve lived in Minnesota for almost my entire life, and I’ve always wanted to try living somewhere else. I think the main reasons I haven’t yet are that I’m afraid of committing to something I won’t like, even if it’s just for a few months; I’m afraid of missing out on stuff here; and I’m afraid of spending money.