This month we put a Member Spotlight on Charlotte Wirth in our latest “Inside the SMC studio,” a monthly blog post highlighting our members and their incredible talent! Charlotte is a new member with SMC and a volunteer on a production highlighting Artisan’s Asylum, one of our community partners. She is an incredible asset to the greater SMC community and we love having Charlotte here as a new community member and volunteer – thanks for being a part of SMC family! Keep reading to learn more about Charlotte!!
1. Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Charlotte Wirth, and I volunteer around SMC as a camera operator. I haven’t got a show in the works (yet. We’ll see what happens in the future). Mainly I’m just here to do whatever needs to be done. So if you need help shooting something or setting up or whatever, I’m here, ready to lend a hand.
2. What was the strangest job you’ve had?
My strangest job was probably the brief time I worked at a catholic TV station. Who knew there were catholic TV stations? I surely didn’t. But my aunt is a catholic nun (which is a long weird story by itself, since the rest of my family are pretty solidly secular), and she gave me a glowing recommendation, so I got a job at a catholic TV station. Which was sometimes pretty awkward, like when the head bishop held a little mini-mass to send good vibes (or whatever the catholic equivalent is) to an employee who got into a car accident. (Do I eat the holy sacrament? Are non-Christians allowed to consume Jesus’ body and blood?) But is was also pretty educational, since, due to my aforementioned secular upbringing, I knew nothing about the catholic faith, and so I got lots of questions answered (though not about the sacrament. I didn’t eat the wafer, just to be safe).
3. Where is your favorite place to retreat for mental or physical health?
I love taking a nice relaxing walk in the woods. The house I grew up in has a big stretch of conservation land behind it, so I spent a lot of time kind of running wild back there with our dogs. As long as I’m surrounded by trees and can’t hear any traffic nearby, I feel rejuvenated.
4. Who were your early creative mentors or source for inspiration?
I read a lot of fantasy books when I was a kid (and I still do). One of my favorite authors was Terry Pratchett. He skillfully blended humor with scathing socio-political commentary, all while delivering the message that people can be good and ideals are worth fighting for. I think it’s really important to remember that you can be mad when you see injustice and you can fight back, but that doesn’t mean you have to throw away the notion that, overall, people are worth the trouble.
5. How do you get past creative roadblocks?
I don’t really see myself as a creative type. I’m far more confident in delivering what a director asks for than being given 100% free rein to make something look good. I’m more likely to make something weird because I’m playing around trying to do something experimental. As such, I don’t really feel like I run into creative roadblocks. But I do find fuel for my weird experimentation by just sitting down and consuming media. You never known when inspiration will strike. Sometimes I’ll just fall in love with the visual style of a show, or maybe I’ll be reading a poem and just be struck by a vivid image that the author created with their words. So I guess just slow down, watch a movie or read a book, and wait for something to trigger that creative itch.
6. How has Somerville Media Center been a positive influence in your creative career?
SMC has helped me get back into being involved with creative video projects. I used to volunteer more often when I was younger, and then that kind of lapsed for a bit after college. For a while there, I wasn’t making anything creative (unless you count tweaking recipes I find online to match my definition of perfection). But having found such a fun group of people at SMC, I’m really glad I got back into it. It’s really nice to have a place where my random selection of skills can come in handy, and feel like I can help people achieve their vision. It’s also sort of kick-started my creative thought process. I’ve got some ideas for shows kicking around in my head now, and maybe they’ll actually become something through SMC.
7. What is your favorite music album?
That is a tough choice, because I’ve got pretty eclectic taste is music. One of my favorite examples of craftsmanship in music is J. S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations. It’s astounding how many diverse and beautiful pieces of music he was able to make by exploring a single theme. But in terms of general listening, I’d say American Beauty by The Grateful Dead is one of my favorites. It’s got a good blend of upbeat tunes to get your foot tapping, but also some really beautiful introspective pieces that I just love.
8. If you could have entrance music, what would it be?
It seems like entrance music should be dramatic and get people’s attention. But I’m not really that dramatic. So I feel like my kind of entrance music would be something like Simple Song by The Shins. It starts kind of slow and soft, but if you give it a second, it gets light and fun.
9. What’s your favorite spot in Somerville to hangout or visit?
I really like Davis Square. I love, and I mean love food, and there are so many places to get delicious food in Davis Square (Dave’s Fresh Pasta, Caramel Bakery, Tenoch, the list goes on). And I also love the Somerville Theater. The fact that Somerville still has an independent theater that shows movies on film is super cool. It’s a pretty unique experience to watch an old 35mm film with live musical accompaniment.
10. In 140 characters or less, how would you pitch your show or who you are?
I’m just a friendly local nerd who’s here to help out. If you need an extra set of hands to complete your project, I’m your girl.