Q&A: Tom Wolferman
Tom Wolferman has followed a lifelong writing path that has been interesting, eclectic and unpredictable. Navigating a balancing act where creativity often is at odds with commerce, he has written advertising copy, employee communications, the occasional humor piece for publication and fun-filled oxymoronic projects involving corporate comedy. When Keith Ecker and Alyson Lyon first invited him to read his work at Chicago’s Essay Fiesta, he stepped in front of a mic and vowed never to do it again. He would have a better understanding of why he continues to do live readings in Chicago’s vibrant storytelling community if he could only get in touch with his neurotic inner child who refuses to respond to text messages.
Tom brought a big piece of the pie to episode 11. He provided Shaman John’s story of enlightenment. This week, Tom talks a little bit about his own journey to enlightenment, in our PleasureTown Collaborator Q&A!
How would you describe Shaman John?
Metaphorically speaking, I envisioned John as Andy Taylor if he had forsaken his righteous life in Mayberry to follow those live-it-up blonde “Fun Girls” to Mount Pilot.
What do you have in common with the Shaman? How are you different?
We both are of the age where we are on the hunt for purpose against a ticking clock. We share the torment of pondering, though I tend to view life with more levity. And unlike Shaman John’s struggle with a Mormon past, my own spiritual upbringing coincided with the popularity of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” I’ve always viewed religion as a rock opera with bluesy guitar riffs.
What was the greatest challenge in finding your character?
Since I fleshed out an aging character established in earlier episodes by Josh Zagoren, I wanted to do his work justice. I can relate to the angsty internal searching. I tried to channel my own tendency to ruminate and added some unfiltered Oklahoma dust.
If you lived in PleasureTown, what would be your occupation and or/pastime?
I would leverage my listening and observational skills to serve as psychotherapist. But because it’s PleasureTown, I also would work part-time at a salacious bookstore.