Collin Van Son: Joining Science with the Stage
Lab Work? Not Quite
There was never a moment before college started where Collin Van Son believed he’d do anything but work in science. But now, looking back, lab work and litmus tests are the furthest things on his list of career prospects. In fact, Collin has his sights set on a very different dream. “I had never even gone on stage before college, and never written creatively. And now 3 or 4 years after, that’s all I want to do. My interests evolve pretty quickly.” Those interests seem to pull Collin into two very different worlds: that of science and art. Is the art world winning him over? He likes to think so.
“I don’t want to fully invest in a scientific career because of the new interests I discovered. I’m glad I studied physics though because it gave me a unique perspective on art.” Collin is particularly excited about the scientific process and how it can influence and inform art.
So what is Collin’s writing about? “I love absurdism because life can be so many things at once depending on how you frame a situation. It also carries a feeling of helplessness; characters are thrown into situations where they never really stood a chance, and may not realize it until the end of the piece.”
This framing is apparent as we catch up with Collin about where he’s currently situated in life. His prospects seem limitless and branch into every part of the country. He’s looking into working as a screenwriter in LA through a living-learning curriculum, and a potential stint as a collaborator in an interdisciplinary program in Chicago, which works to produce original pieces of theater that are grounded in ongoing research in molecular engineering.
For now? He’s set to work in Boston at their Museum of Science as a live presentations fellow, bringing science to life for the community. The recent Penn State grad is hopeful, to say the least. “I’m genuinely excited about my prospects because they’re short-term projects I want to do.”
Collin has some advice for those looking to reach their fullest potential, and it extends beyond the writing world he’s now discovering and embracing for the first time. “Joining a community is a necessity for my writing. It helps me get focused.” He says if you’re passionate, surround yourself with people who share that drive. It’ll change your work for the better.
When we asked Collin for FactSumo deck inspiration, his answer surprised us. “I’d pick a deck to reignite my interest in music. I kinda regret not taking music and language more seriously as a student.” Collin’s fascination with areas other than science continues to grow and change, and he’s carrying that passion for discovery into the future, wherever it may take him.