Hey! I’m Jeremy.
I’m a storyteller by trade…
This book, too, begins as a story – a drama – about fires, in which I am the thing that is on fire. Therefore, it is a drama about trauma. And for that reason, I probably have no business writing it. I am not a therapist. I am not a psychologist. I am barely a body expert. There is likely very little I have to say that is new or even terribly insightful about trauma or the ventures into recovery I’ll mention. Even my central image – fire – is not new. Phoenixes have risen from ashes for quite some time. What’s more, if I’m fuel for the bonfires I’ll describe later on, I’m still burning. But here we are. We might as well grab a beer and cook some hotdogs.
There I am. Life on fire. All parts. Things I’ve built are burning like crazy. Relationships torched. Burned out on work. Burned out on stuff I used to love. Fried. It does matter how I got there, don’t get me wrong. For now, though, let’s return to that image of a person and the spaces they belong to, for good reasons and bad ones, collapsed from burning too hot for too long. Some of you have been there.
What brought me from that place of all-consuming flames to building my own controlled burns is the story I share in this book. My Work shared in this body of work, inviting you to your own place of Work.
Jeremy Fiebig (he/him/his) is a maker of bonfires and the communities around them. As a working artist, teacher, organizer, coach, consultant, and seeker, he creates and facilitates moments of joy, reflection, and shared humanity. In his work, he helps folks delight their communities through transformational events, stories, design, and content that earn vibrancy, value, and investment.
Jeremy is a Renaissance man. Having trained in theatre, cultural performance studies, Shakespeare, directing, dramaturgy, and a host of liberal arts, he is now Professor of Theatre & Directing at Fayetteville State University, and works professionally in the theatre as a director, actor, and singer, all while serving as Artistic Director and Playmaker at Sweet Tea Shakespeare, a small theatre company he founded in 2012. He’s published articles on Shakespeare and the intersections of audience studies, company training, team formation, and project management. In college, he spent time as a music and religion major before settling on theatre and cultural performance – just enough time to make him dangerous, you might say – and he continues to fold in thinking from these and other areas into his work.
Jeremy is a community builder. As a founder, nonprofit arts and civic leader, and student of the world, he’s served on and helped to develop boards for small arts organizations, public libraries, historic resource commissions, and sports venues. As a writer, educator, facilitator, coach, and consultant, Jeremy works with a range of students and clients, from college undergrads and high school students to adult learners in the community to entrepreneurs and “solo show” operators to small businesses, nonprofits, and religious institutions. His work centers on helping folks discover and facilitate authentic moments of their own humanity by engaging senses of wonder, presence, and vulnerability. Jeremy brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in how audiences think and feel – and how we can create moments of pause, relief, and challenge to them so that they may, in turn, make even more moments of impact.
Jeremy resides in Fayetteville with his wife, Nan, and their daughter, Elliott, son, Owen, and dog, Sandy.
“Through his illuminated descriptions of his own experiences with ‘active burning’, the author allows us access to alternate perspectives and viewpoints into the duality of the nature of creation and destruction, and why both are necessary in order to find true balance in all aspects of one’s life.”
JESSICA JOHNSON, MA, MS, CCC-SLP
(ARTIST, SCIENTIST, HUMANIST)
“Jeremy’s book is a moving account of the sort of growing crisis that can creep into someone’s life unnoticed until they look around and realize it has become pervasive and debilitating. In describing his path out of his own unhappiness, Jeremy hits on a potent metaphor of burning and bonfires, and the healing power of creative energy, spiritual renewal, community, and carefully managed destruction. It is a valuable work of personal memoir and a helpful guide for anyone looking to break free from corrosive and unfulfilling patterns of behavior, and replace them with sources of warmth and renewal.“
ROB GIBBS, SCREENWRITER, EDUCATOR, ARTIST
“Controlled Burn is both a vulnerable memoir and a functional workbook centered on setting your life on fire (in a good way, as the author reminds us.) Fiebig uses fire as a flexible language for presenting kindling to the reader and, perhaps most importantly, invites the reader to light some fires of their own.”
ADRIENNE TREGO, VISUAL ARTIST & ARTS ADMINISTRATOR
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Controlled Burn is a community. A collective of those who are intentionally creating thin places, clearing the brush, dancing among the flames, and sharing stories around the campfires of life. From time to time, we’d like to share updates, gathering details, and more with that community. Want in? Add your email below.
Copyright 2023 – Jeremy Fiebig. All Rights Reserved
This project is supported by a Grant from the Arts Council of Fayetteville|Cumberland County, the North Carolina Arts Council, and, in part, by contributions from the City of Fayetteville, Cumberland County, and other community partners.