Kathleen Hamilton is an Artist at Large. She is unabashedly multidisciplinary, multitalented, and multi-accomplished. Not only has she won awards for her screenwriting, poetry and plays, she is also a successful actor, director, and teacher. Not to mention memoirist. Dare we add that she is a devoted mother who homeschools her child?
“I give myself full freedom to follow my enthusiasms,” says Hamilton, “New challenges are what entice me out of bed in the morning. And they have to be worthy challenges because I have a very comfortable bed.”
She wants it all and she can do it all. It’s a style. One that may seem unconventional to some, but that has developed organically, according to Hamilton. In her career she has evolved easily from newspaper and magazine journalist in the 80s, to PR practitioner and owner of the firm Renaissance Communications in the 90s, to project manager in the 2000s. Despite these demanding “day jobs”, Hamilton has placed her life as an artist front and center.
“I took up acting,” she says, “because the story editor for the screenplay I was writing told me that acting would help me as a writer. I wrote my plays, Shameless Hussies and Blonde Moments, because I wanted stronger roles for me and my actress friends. I keep coming back to acting because now I’m addicted to it. I agree with what Daniel McIvor says, that actors are professional human beings. It’s a privilege to be an actor, to go deep into another person.”
Hamilton created SoloWorks because, after she workshopped her one-woman play, she wanted other artists to experience the satisfaction of writing and performing their own monologues. At a different point, when she was exhausted from the long process of writing a screenplay, she discovered how much she appreciated the instant gratification of writing poems.
Described by her writing students as “PEI’s own Julia Cameron and Natalie Goldberg wrapped into one”, Hamilton reports that teaching has also come naturally and joyfully. “Teaching I do because I love it and I know it’s my ticket into heaven: “Hey, you encouraged people to write! Come on in!”
Hamilton considers her son Cuyler a vital part of her artistic life. “He’s my biggest, best, most beautiful creative project,” she says. “And he’s truly a free spirit so he sets a great example. He’s good at knowing what he wants and doesn’t want.”
While some might think that homeschooling a young child could derail one’s creative work, Hamilton has experienced a sharpening of focus. “I’ve learned to focus on what really matters to me, and let the rest go. I wrote my book, Sex After Baby: Why There Is None on what I called mommy time, short chunks of two or three hours, once or twice a week. I have a mantra: I always have plenty of time. And I do.”
When Nelson Mandela said, “The world is not served by your living small,” he wasn’t talking to Kathleen Hamilton. She’s always lived large.
To order or read about Kathleen’s book, Sex After Baby: Why There is None, click HERE.
Click HERE for a feature profile of Kathleen, published in the BUZZ (January, 2005).
Click on the words below to learn more about Kathleen:
Kathleen’s artistic career is grounded in the firm foundation of journalism. She sold her first freelance story to The Toronto Star newspaper while she was a student of the 3-year Journalism Print program at Conestoga College in Kitchener, Ontario. She interned, in 1982/83, as a weekly reporter/photographer at the Eastern Graphic newspaper in PEI and has had over 100 stories published in magazines and newspapers including Atlantic Lifestyle Business, Food Service and Hospitality, IslandSide Magazine, The Buzz, Common Ground Magazine (also served as editor for three issues), Guelph Profile, The Downtowner, Lifelong Learning, Kitchener Waterloo Business Digest, Cambridge Business Digest, and The Toronto Star.
You can contact Kathleen at Kathleenhamilton@eastlink.ca.