Meet the Fellows: David Mallamud

What was your first experience with Theater?

My mother used to sing to me as a child. Much of what she would sing would be songs from Musicals and Rock Operas. Some of my earliest memories are of us singing Guys and Dolls and Tommy together. So theater music was always around me.

When did you recognize you were a writer? Or when did you start writing?

It was always just something I did in one form or another. Guitar was my instrument and I’ve always been very into rock music, where writing and performing go hand-in-hand, so writing music was just kind of second nature. I don’t know if I actually focused on the fact that I was a writer until high school, though I had written a lot, including some musicals, before that.

Where does your inspiration come from? Or who do you look to for inspiration?

I usually start with visuals. I can’t write music for characters until I can see, feel, and then hear the world that they’re in. As much as possible, I’ll surround myself with images or even objects which might be found in that world — or at least help to define it. Once I know the world, I can usually hear how the story and characters sing within it.

What are you most looking forward to as a fellow? Or what do you hope to accomplish / learn this year?

I’m looking forward to being back in a setting where I can just focus on writing and on growing as an artist. I’ve been doing a lot of “real world” writing for quite some time, so being able to go back and just focus on craft should be a pretty incredible experience.

What do you find most rewarding about being a writer? Or what do you find most rewarding about the writing process?

Seeing everything come together in a meaningful way. It doesn’t matter if it’s with huge sets and a good sized pit orchestra or a black box theater with kazoo accompaniment — if it’s something I believe in, there’s a kind of magic in seeing all the elements from everyone involved combine in a way that creates something that’s more than the sum of its parts.