5 With: Elizabeth Braaten Palmieri

October 22, 2014

A common theme in these 5 With interviews is make the work you want to see in the world; don't wait for permission. I see a lot of that outlook in Liz's work. We studied theater in college together, and since then her life has included a few moves, massage school & a good amount of resourcefulness in continuing to find creative opportunities-- regardless of location. Now living in Columbia, Missouri, I was excited to see that Liz  co-founded a theater company & has been writing her own work. I'm excited by the risks she's taking & the way she's dedicated to figuring out how to Make Sh*t Happen. 

Describe your current artistic work:
I am an artistic, aesthetic and entrepreneurial slut these days, working on projects that span from my roots in live theatrical performance to film, and recently, a newly formed collective of themed, curated experiences. I am the co-founder and artistic director of GreenHouse Theatre Project, a professional experimental theatre company based in Columbia, Missouri that focuses on process and creative collaboration. My other project is a short film that I wrote, produced, co-directed and performed in last summer titled Perch. It will be premiering at the Citizen Jane Film Festival in November and will make the festival rounds this upcoming year. And my latest endeavor is a collaboration with a photographer and a fiber artist. This 'curated experience' workshop will be framed by a theme and incorporate slow food, a beautiful landscape/location and documentation of the whole production. Working with passionate, talented artists who share my aesthetic is what really turns me on.  

What are your biggest creative challenges?
Keeping my self-motivation going with independent work. Self-promoting. Trusting others with my work: I tend to be protective of my writing, and don't let anyone read my works-in-progress. Much of my work comes alive in the rehearsal processes, while workshopping and playing with material, and because of this the words look flat to me on the paper. I don't know if others will get what I see in my head until we are on our feet moving with the words.

How do you balance paying your bills with making your art?
I just had a huge fundraiser for my theatre company.  It was a success, and much of that credit goes to my board-- a group of professional, left-brained, art supporting people that keep me on track.  Otherwise, money is a dirty word to me. It is necessary, as we pay all involved in our projects, but it mucks up my idea of pure art-- art created for the necessity to live. 

Aside from my performance work and teaching, I am a massage therapist. That is where my consistent income is derived. Bodywork for me goes hand-in-hand with my work as a performer, and it keeps me stable amongst the crazy, inconsistent schedule I keep with performance.

Share some advice for other artists:
  • Brainstorm & meet with other creatives: have tea & drinks together; go on long walks in the woods and throw ideas out there
  • Find mentors: if possible write them & meet with them
  • Document: write your ideas down & collect images, writings & objects that feed your ideas
  • Find inspiration-- it's everywhere: see art, listen to music, watch movies, read 
  • Be open & avoid saying 'no' to others' ideas or your own (the #1 rule of improvisation)
What's inspiring you right now?
This past year I saw an incredible documentary film, Art and Craft about a prolific art forger. The little man was a character like no one could write: quirky, scheming, schizophrenic and lonely. I fell in love with his story and connected with the film makers. I am currently working on an original piece called The con-ARTIST, a three person, experimental piece based on his story. My company will premiere it in May, 2015 at an art gallery in Columbia. 

You can find out more about Liz's work over here and read more 5 With interviews here


  1. I love everything about this, thanks for sharing Laura and telling Elizabeth's story :)



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