36 minutes | Jul 21, 2021
Imposter Syndrome (w. Elizabeth)
My good friend Elizabeth and I have a casual chat about Imposter Syndrome and all the things that come with belonging in the spaces we occupy. We reminisce, we laugh, and sing our way to understanding ourselves just a little bit better. In the end we discover that feeling safe in our work environments and remembering the talent and expertise that we bring to the game are just some of the things that help us deal with Imposter Syndrome. Imposter Syndrome: Wikipedia Characteristics Why Imposter Syndrome Is Worse for Women of Color Imposter Syndrome in Design: What It Is and How to Overcome It Stop Telling Women They Have Imposter Syndrome Buy Me A Donut! Creative4evr on InstagramCreative4evr.com
42 minutes | Jul 1, 2021
Leave Your Job? Leave Your Job!
Buy Me A Donut! Creative4evr on InstagramCreative4evr.com
28 minutes | Jun 14, 2021
Back out in these streets for the summer and having experience shock! We talk Bears, Bodies, and Road Rage. You can find us on Twitter and Instagram: @Creative4evr. And if you like what you're hearing and want to donate to the show, I have the link in the show notes -- I would love if you'd buy me a couple of donuts. Don't forget to be kind to yourself this week. Even if you're not creative! ;D
25 minutes | Sep 10, 2020
Back with a look at a star-studded Golden Girls Event on Zoom that made promises it couldn't keep. Hey, hi, hello it has been forever forever, I have missed you. Links:Buy Jai//Em some donuts!Gladys Knight has a Verzuz with Patti LaBelle Erykah Badu verzuz Jill ScottGolden Girls - Zoom Where It HappensGolden Girls Episode 21/ Season 1 - Flu AttackLove And BasketballAaron Scott sings Golden Girl theme songA Black Lady Sketch Show - 227 Black Lives MatterBreonna Taylor Petition Read Full Show Notes HERE. You can find us on Twitter and Instagram: @Creative4evr. And if you like what you're hearing and want to donate to the show, I have the link in the show notes -- I would love if you'd buy me a couple of donuts. Black Lives Matter, Trans Lives Matter, and arrest the cops that murdered Breonna Taylor. Don't forget to be creative this week, even if you just think about it. I've missed you so much. Later.
34 minutes | Jul 15, 2020
How Do You Measure Success?
Grab me some donuts!Top of show lyrics/song: thankful by meltycanon But first //Black Lives Matter at 7 Years...Must watch #1 // Video: Defunding Vs. Abolishing The Police Explained in 6 MinutesMust watch #2 // Video: What "defund the police" really means Main Show - Measuring Success //7 Ways To Measure True Success20 New Ways to Measure SuccessMeasuring Success as a Writer or Artist: A Basic Guide to Happiness9 Things You Should Give Up to be a Successful ArtistHow You Should Really Be Measuring SuccessIs There a True Measure of Success? How to Define Your Own5 Mistakes Companies Make When Measuring SuccessVideo: How Do You Measure Success? Socials //Creative4evr InstagramTwitterWebsite
14 minutes | Jul 6, 2020
Hamilton For All
Links: Buy Jai//Em some donuts!Beyoncé's Black Is King trailerHow To Watch HamiltonHamilton Is Canceled ControversyHamilton's America Trailer - PBS "Making Of" DocumentaryThe Cast Of HamiltonCreative4evr InstagramBlack Lives MatterFull Notes:Hey, hi and hello! Welcome to Creative4evr. The podcast dedicated to keeping you forever inspired, forever motivated, forever creative, and forever YOU. I am your host, Janet, a.k.a. Jai//Em, a.k.a. the voice inside your head, a.k.a. your biggest fan, and together we’re going to get some creative shit done.Hello, hello! Welcome to the show. What a day! What a week! What a month! What a year! Every moment something new happens, it's a lot and sometimes when I'm working on the scripts for these episodes. I sort of get overwhelmed because there is so much to talk about at any one given time and I just don't know what to do! So today I decided we're gonna talk about Hamilton. Disney Plus, the streaming service that costs about 15 bucks has released Hamilton for the world to see. Now this is a show that was 300, 400 dollars a ticket even right before covid-19 stopped all of the Broadway shows. It’s a very expensive show that mostly privileged people had access to. So, being able to watch Hamilton from your couch for less than 20 bucks, and then maybe watching The Little Mermaid and watching A Goofy Movie and then four days from now being able to watch Beyoncé's Black is King which is coming out?... I mean, that's worth $20 and I think a lot of people know that, so they either already had Disney Plus or they signed up for it so they could watch Hamilton.Because so many people that would not usually have access to the this work are getting access to this piece, that's a win for me as an artist…as a former theater major, that's a win for me! That so many people that have access to one of the most hyped, most talked about, extremely unique musicals that has ever existed, that is a win! Now I had the privilege of seeing Hamilton here in New York City when tickets were $80 and, at the time, I was pissed that it was an $80 ticket. I saw the all of the original cast members, and it blew me away, it really blew me away. Yes, I understand that it's the history of our founding fathers and that it is, you know, not the most historically accurate situation. I am not a die-hard George Washington fan. I'm not a die-hard Alexander Hamilton fan. But, I was blown away and for a number of reasons. One, I kind of knew what I was going to…but I didn’t. And honestly, I think that's true for many people that experience it for the first time, unless you're one of the people that were listening to the soundtrack before you went, which I didn’t. I like to do things in order. I don't like spoilers, so there was no way I was gonna listen to the soundtrack for musical before I saw it. Anyway, I sat down and was immediately overwhelmed because I just could not believe that this guy and all of these people up on stage. (This guy being Lin-Manuel Miranda who's playing Hamilton who created and wrote everything.) I couldn’t believe they were going to rap for two hours and 40 minutes. I couldn't believe that! And it did not matter to me in the moment if the rapping done by Lin-Manuel Miranda was good or bad, it just mattered to me that this person had figured out how to make an entire two hours and 40 minutes of history (that's pretty accurate) rhyme. That alone is a reason to watch Hamilton. If you care nothing about anything else, just sit down and watch someone make everything rhyme for three hours while telling you the story of Alexander Hamilton at the same time. It's wild! It feels impossible and yet it is not because that's what LMM did. I was also blown away by the talent. So again, I don't think Lin-Manuel Miranda is the best rapper, and I have heard that since he left the show as Hamilton and others have taken over, there have been more skilled rappers make his part even more dynamic because it's not only LMM’s words, but it's done by people who are more of the genre than he is. But make no mistake, Lynn had to be the first Hamilton because it was his brainchild. It doesn't matter if he's the best rapper or not, because I don’t think anyone but him could have written those words.Okay, the rest of the talent on the stage… Everybody came to play. Everybody on that stage knew they were doing something different, that they were doing something special, that they were doing something few people could do, and that they could flex while doing it! And that! Watching other creatives flex, watching other creatives know that they're doing something special that very few people can do. You could feel that energy. When I was in that room, you could feel it. It was dripping all over the place. It was all over the walls. These people knew they were doing something special. They knew they were giving us an experience we had not had before and there's something about that. There's something about that as a creative. That what I want. I want to one day feel like I am connecting with people and providing something that is out of this world and that they almost can't believe is happening. So awesome! I think I will have to become a rock star in order to do that. I don't know that I can do that as a writer or podcaster, because it's not live and with you. I'm not with you right now and if you read a book that I write at any point, I won't be with you but man if I ever get on a stage… That's what I want. What also blew me away is very obvious. It’s that the entire stage was full of black and brown people. And you know that was part of the flex too because you've got all of these people up there that are triple threats you have to be a triple-threat to be in musical theater, certainly to be on Broadway. You gotta be able to sing, dance and act. But these people were going further than that. They were also rapping. Quadruple threat… is that a thing? To sing, to dance, to rap, and to act? And that was part of the, holy shit. There are even fewer people that can do this. When I first came to New York City, I was 18…? 17. I was gonna be a freshman in college and thought I was gonna be, you know, on Broadway. Not necessarily doing musical theater, but definitely in plays. And I remember just sort of being an awe of people on stage when I would go see plays. I was in awe of the memorization that it took I was in awe that these people did these shows eight times a week, that they were able to play to the back of the house. You know what I mean? So big and larger than life that the people sitting in the back row understand the emotion on stage, understand the pain, happiness, joy or sadness that's happening even if they're sitting far away. I was just in awe of that sort of thing. But nothing changed my life like seeing the musical, RENT for the first time. When I saw RENT for the first time that's when it clicked. That art could change how you see the world. Change what you think is possible. Change how you feel. And in a profound way, not just in the moment. Not in the, Oh, that changed how I felt this afternoon for a moment. I mean change how you feel about life. And I have to say, when I saw RENT for the first time felt transported and like my life was changing forever, it wasn't necessarily based on this story that was happening. It was based on my awareness that people were on stage doing this. I was a creative person. I wanted to be an actor. I was trying to do what these people were doing and they gave me the best example, the most emotional example of that reality right in front of my face. With Hamilton that's not necessarily gonna happen for everyone and certainly it's harder to do on a screen, but it will grab some people in the same way that RENT grabbed me. There are future artists that are watching this show this week and, they're not necessarily worried about the historical accuracy. They are getting proof of concept! That who they want to be can happen, that the type of art they want to create can happen, that rhyming for three hours can happen… That this type of artistry exists, do you know what I mean? The last thing I want to say about Hamilton is that, being accessible to everyone who gets Disney plus for $13 has started conversations that are so important. We need to be talking about art more, we need to be talking about the stories that are being told more, we need to be talking about the people on stage, backstage, the writers, the dancers, the rappers, the history that they're telling, the way that they're telling it, the way things are being presented or not presented, what can be better, what was perfect and shouldn't change, what is terrible and should never happen again. I think Art is supposed to start conversations. And what's fantastic about this is no matter how you feel about the show, if you're willing to engage in a conversation, then we win. If you decide that you're gonna say it's trash and, you know, tweet it out and then say, “Don't @ me,” well, I don't know that you care about art at all. But if you have feelings about it and wanted to discuss it. If you've SEEN IT, have feelings about it and want to discuss it, I think that's fantastic. I'm really excited that we are spending the Fourth of July weekend having a conversation about an incredibly unique piece of Art. I think that's important. So if you find yourself caught up in a conversation — This shouldn't happen / That history is bullshit… — well yes, absolutely. But bring the conversation back to the people on stage. The artistry, the talent that it takes to write that, to perform it, eight times a week, for three hours. The blood, sweat and tears, the memorization! You really, really have to be in tune with your instrument as an artist to be able to participate in something that intense. As the writer, as one of the dancers, as a person with three lines, as a person with half the lines. You really have to be in tune with your instrument. And that's incredible. And I want to celebrate those people and not forget that. These artists are the reason that we can even talk about this stuff and almost all of them are of color. That's fantastic
6 minutes | Jun 29, 2020
Quick links:Minstrel ShowNYT: 1619 Project - Blackface, Appropriation & Black music Show Notes: Hey, hi and hello! Jai//Em here with a quickie about blackface. Right now, this week, last week, today, yesterday, probably tomorrow and the day after that… we are canceling episodes of TV shows and canceling movies. When there's blackface, when a white person is playing a black animated character, all of that's going away. And people are freaking out about it. Tina Fey has requested that four episodes of 30 Rock be removed. The guy that plays Cleveland on Family Guy is a white man (if you didn't know I think his name is Mike Henry). He has stepped down from playing Cleveland. Jenny Slate is no longer playing a biracial character on the animated show. Many British TV shows have had to pull episodes (a lot of British blackface going on, I’m sure many of you are not surprised). The Office has cut a scene from the episode that had blackface in it, so you can still watch the episode, but the scene has been re-cut. Community has removed a black face situation, and the latest is that the Golden Girls has removed the episode “Mixed Feelings” where Michael, Dorothy son, and Lorraine, an older black woman, get together and get married. And that is because in the episode Blanche and Rose walk into the room wearing mud masks while Lorraine's family is in the room, and they have to defend themselves because it's not blackface, it’s mud masks… Listen, we have a lot of shows with racist bullshit in them and they need to come down. Think about it this way, the writers on the show decided that in the show with the black people they needed some jokes. What could they do?.... Ok, we’ll put Rose and Blanche in mud masks and then they'll defend their blackface as just being mud masks! It will be funny and awkward because, of course, it's not black face!... But now you're writing something that puts them in blackface on the show. You’re putting people in fake blackface for a non-blackface, blackface joke. And then producers on the show, the people behind the scenes, all the way up to the top, do you know what I mean? All the way up-- it's a Disney produced show right the Golden Girls falls under ABC and Disney! That's bad. It's bad that hundreds of people in each of these cases -- The office, 30 Rock, all of these British shows were talking about, Family Guy, Community. It's bad that hundreds of people are okay with this before we even see it. That's the problem. We're gonna have to keep remembering that this revolution is going to have a lot of casualties, because white supremacy and systemic racism is everywhere and everything is going to be taken seriously. It's a problem when shows and movies that are predominantly run by white people continually think blackface is funny. All you have to do if you don't know about blackface is look up minstrel show. You can look up “minstrel show” on Wikipedia. I will put a link in the show notes. Blackface is basically the origin story of appropriation for black entertainers. White people dressed in blackface to make fun of black people, to perpetuate stereotypes about black people, and make money doing so. So, Blanche and Rose in mud masks (because the writer wrote a blackface non-blackface joke) results in the Golden Girls show making money. And we're talking about my favorite show, right? I haven't canceled the Golden Girls, but I do cancel blackface. It's as easy as that. I haven't canceled Black excellence but I do cancel The Cosby Show. I haven’t canceled Quincy Jones and his ability to make amazing R&B music, but Michael Jackson for me is cancelled. Simple as that. The world has not exploded because of this, it won't explode if we lose a bunch more of our TV shows and celebrities that we have, up until now, been making excuses for or overlooking the bullshit. The world will go on. Actually, it'll be a better place because of it. This will go into history books, hopefully, if the right people are writing them, that in 2020 and 2021 we removed blackface and racial stereotyping from the entertainment industry. That would be amazing! So don't fall for the BS that this is going too far. This needs to happen and we want it to happen. Instagram - @Creative4evrBuy me a couple donuts here!
19 minutes | Jun 3, 2020
The Revolution Pt. 1 - Back To Normal
Quick Notes & Links: Jai//Em's Ko-fi for donations #BlackLivesMatterFull Show Notes: Let me tell you something, Black people are in no hurry to get back to normal. We don’t carry a deep nostalgia for things or times. There is only so much black people miss and reminiscence about. There is very little that we’re sentimental about or homesick for. For us back to normal is bullshit. Back to normal is black people being targeted, killed, violated, wrongfully-imprisioned. Back to normal also means black people going back to being unseen, misunderstood, disrespected, dismissed, patronized, and under-estimated. And I am not just talking about black people that are harassed by police or racist people. I am saying that back to normal for ME on a regular day means going back to being unseen or misunderstood, disrespected, dismissed, patronized, or under-estimated in some way between leaving this apartment in the morning and coming back home at evening. For black people back to normal is us being asked questions we aren’t being paid to answer about all sorts of things! Racism, our hair, our culture and our pop-culture. Back to normal is black people being asked questions we aren’t being paid to answer like, What should I do? What should we do next? How can we help? You know big, vague, philosophical questions. And guess what a lot of us answer those questions, and most of those times our advice is not taken. So, you ask...we answer...you don’t do it... and we don’t we get paid for it. Back to normal is black people having to be: put together, nice, calculated, strategic, all-knowing, and friendly, and happy, quiet, magical, dope, chill, so cool… All so we can can stay safe! So that we can stay alive and out of prison. So that we can get jobs, keep jobs and get promoted. So we can take walks in Central Park, so we can jog, so we can ride the subway, so we can drive our cars, so we can eat, and sleep and read books. A lot of y’all know me cuz this podcast is just getting off the ground so I want you picture something. Picture my mother holding me in her arms, I’m a newborn baby. And what she’s thinking about is what can I name my child so she can get a job later in life. THAT is back to normal for a lot, not all, but a lot of black people, naming their children in ways that please others and invite opportunities. So why am I saying this? Because I want everyone (not just white people), to understand how important it is for us NOT to go back to normal. Now what that future is….well, we don’t know because we aren’t there yet. But collectively as a community of humans on this planet we have to be OKAY with walking together forward into new territory. We have to be okay with being uncomfortable for longer than 5 days (and I say that to all of you that are not affected by racism but are already exhausted by the revolution). This is not going to be solved tomorrow. I’ll tell you right now July 4th is going to be very awkward, to say the least. And if that is at all shocking news to you, What do you mean the 4th of July is going to be awkward? I urge you to talk to someone in your life (that is not black) but understands what I mean because under no circumstances should you be celebrating your freedom this Independence day. Now Juneteenth may well be the turn-up this year so you can get hype for that, but depending who you are you will have to stay in your lane on 6/19 as well. So ask all the questions before you start celebrating this summer. :) What I am saying to you is, we don’t want things going back to normal. We want to embrace this moment and make it count. Opportunities like this don’t come around all the time. And you may think I am being morbid when I say this but something good can come out of Covid-19. My mother would say, the Lord works in mysterious ways, but... Here we are, forced to stay in our homes and shelter in place. We’ve watched all the television. We’ve figured out how to work from home and all that. And NOW we have time to deal with racism. That can be our story of 2020/2021. If we want to be. Let me correct myself, if non-black people want it to be. Because I believe the only way this works is if black people outline the work and everyone else does that work. What do I mean by that? The protests are a great example. A lot of people are calling for white people to do the work of putting themselves between police and black bodies. That is the work. Talking to your racist or uneducated family and friends is the work. I can’t call your white aunt and tell her she’s racist, but guess what, you can! Demanding change from politicians and leaders and/or electing new ones. The last time we voted for a President, black people weren’t the problem. Non-black people didn't do the work. I hope meetings are already happening. I hope non-black people are having zoom calls to organize and see what they can accomplish if they program manage racism. If they get strategic with their funds. If they go through their contact lists to see how many degrees of Kevin Bacon they are away from an ally with deep pockets, or sway. And this shouldn’t sound crazy to you. Everyone listening has sat down and strategized how to get something important done, whether it's for their job and they are getting paid, or if it's personal so they can be hyper productive. I hope that you decide to be one of these people. I hope that you decide to be serious about helping black people. Something that goes way past instagram posting. Something that goes way past giving your money. The movement needs you money, don't get me wrong. Everyone should give and continue to give. Even 5 bucks. if you are listening you can give a little. But it's going to require more than that. And so many of us...we lie awake at night, 90% sure that nothing is going to change, that we will have to go back to normal, that cops will keep killing black people. That we will keep being afraid. That we will have to spend our lives with energy directed at all of this instead of being able to use that energy on ourselves and on our potential. I am a person with a lot of potential and this is where my energy has been. I don't want to go back to normal. I don't want to spend my energy and time like this. I don't want to live like this. But what sucks is, it doesn't matter if I don't want to live like this. Because I alone can't change it. My freedom relies on a whole bunch of other people deciding if they have time to actually help. To actually make change. To read books about things they don't know very much about. To invest their money, not only when we die, but throughout the year/// in ways that uplift black people, black voices, black creatives, black business people, black law enforcement, black politicians. It's a lot of work. Obviously. But we can make great strides in 2020 and 2021 if non-black people are willing. I don't want to go back to normal. I hope you don't want to go back to normal. I am willing to help. A lot of black people are willing to help. But the burden we carry....that, you all that are not black. You gotta help us with that. So I usually say, Don't forget to be creative this week, even if you just think about it. But this time I'm going say, Don't forget about black people this week....that is what I am going to say. Twitter & Instagram: @Creative4evrKo-fi donations: ko-fi.com/heyjaiem
20 minutes | May 26, 2020
Television Is Golden
Links:Lockdown TV: Netflix Dominates, News Surges and Bea Arthur Is Still GoldenPharrell Williams - Compilation of Songs with Four-Count Start If Beale Street Could Talk TrailerUpdate:Still in NYC, in Brooklyn, sheltering in place. We are still healthy, still not going anywhere unless absolutely necessary. I’m not going insane, but I’m not, not going insane. I like the working from home part, I don’t like not being able to go run an errand or easily, relaxingly be outside. Even when I take a walk I have such anxiety about... Where is my mask? Is it on right? Don’t touch your face, don’t touch anything. Be mindful about others not wearing masks, or disregarding the 6-foot rule. It’s so hard for me to relax and then I’m like, “Oh, f*%k this, I’m going back inside.” But we are safe, we are surviving and I am making as best use of my time inside as I can, so I stay sane, and feel like I’m not getting behind for my goals for 2020. Let’s be honest, we thought this was gonna be 3 or 4 months, but this is going to be the rest of the year. Definitely the rest of Spring, into Summer. I am probably going to be working from home for the rest of 2020. And that’s a different situation.The idea of working out of my home office for a few months was fine. I prefer to work from home. I am very productive at home, doing my stuff— writing, podcasting, gaming, streaming, all the things I do for work, that fulfill me outside of my day job. And fine, my day job can come hang out in this office for a few months… But absolutely the f*%k not for the rest of the year. I don’t want this room to become my day job. Once I realized that was happening—first I panicked, then I got depressed. Now I am in the action stages, I’ve figured out a way to work in here without the day job stuff taking over the space. It has its own corner now. But knowing that the rest of the year is going to be some version of this. This no routine/new routine. I really want to make sure that I still accomplish some of the things I wanted to accomplish in 2020.Main Show:We are gonna talk about TV today. As you know, the world is watching a lot of TV.The Coronavirus crisis has led to a worldwide spike in viewership in March. TV consumption was up 60% in the US for March with a spike in middle-of-the-day viewing and a decrease in primetime watching. And I read that India’s non-primetime viewing had an 81% increase. And this just proves what I have been feeling about TV consumption for all of my adult life. WHHHHHHY we gotta wait til 7, 8, 9 pm to watch the shows we love?! I think I may have mentioned this before, but I am not at my best in the evening. The evening is a time for me to be tired and generally unfocused and disappointed with life. I mean it— I am not in sync with my mind, body and soul in the evening. All the superpowers I feel starting around 5am, are gone by 6 pm. I used to watch Game of Thrones first thing in the morning on Mondays instead of Sunday night at 9 PM! Because THAT is when I was ready to truly experience the excitement, drama and bloodlust of Game of Thrones! Anyway, all of this TV consumption, especially the daytime TV watching has been made possible by streaming services which allow you to watch your favorite shows whenever you want. First-time installs of the Netflix app on devices surged in Italy and Spain in March and the NYT reports that 74% of American homes now subscribe to a streaming service. That number went up by about 2.5 million subscribers between January and March of 2020. What are people watching!? Everything! And that makes sense. If you’re stuck at home forever, you’re more likely to take a chance on something you wouldn’t normally watch. You don’t have to prioritize your viewing as much, you’re open to being surprised or disappointed, right? If you’re like me, you’re open to feeling anything other than the crushing weight of anxiety, and the overwhelming desire to get into a Best Buy or an Apple Store. I have NEVER in my life gone this long without sauntering down the aisle of a gadget store and it’s freaking me out. Ugh.My point is, a lot of folks are opening up their viewership circles and trying some new stuff because they have nothing but time. People are also doing a lot of rewatching or as a Hulu spokesperson calls it, “comfort watching.” Did you know that 11 million hours of "The Golden Girls" were watched on Hulu in April? 11 million hours of The Golden Girls! That makes me so HAPPY! You know what else people are apparently confort viewing on Hulu, ‘cuz it has really high watch numbers right now? "Law And Order: SVU." ‘Cuz there’s nothing more comforting than watching Oliva Benson capture sex offenders, rapists and killers. All of this has got me thinking about what I want to watch again on TV. So I wanted to talk about how we as creatives can use Repeat Viewing to our advantage. We can, with strategy, with intention, work on our creative observation skills as well as come to a better understanding of our own creativity, what we are and are not responding to, and what others are responding to.First, you already know I am a big advocate for reading the same book more than once. And I feel the same way about repeat consumption in other forms of media. Watching a TV series, or movie, or experiencing any type of content multiple times is a great way to discover things you didn’t notice the first or 2nd time. And often the material will connect with you in different ways depending on the place you are in your life during that time. Something you didn’t even realize was happening when you experienced it at 15, will be very clear when you experience it again at 22, and the same thing will happen again at 45, or 60 or 80. We respond to creativity and work based on who we are in the moment, based on memories from the past. So these things are always changing and evolving, and when you experience something multiple times you get a sort of check-in with who you are. A flag in the sand about how you feel about certain ideas, material, people, music, anything! You are experiencing it again for technically the 15th time, but in that moment, for the first time.Another great thing to do if you decide to repeat view something is to pay attention to how others are reacting to it. This is good because sometimes we get so tunnel-visioned about how we feel about something, or how we think the world should think about it, and we aren’t right all the time. And when you watch something and you’re laughing but the people next to you are not, or you don’t understand it, but everyone else is really plugged in— that’s informative. That’s telling you about something you respond to that others don’t. It could be across race, across gender, it could be age related. These are interesting things to keep in mind as a creative- Hmmm I didn’t laugh, but they did. I wonder why? Watching something actively a 2nd or 3rd or 15th time, but with someone else (short of drilling them with questions and making the experience not fun) can you tell a lot. Otherwise we often get in our heads creatives — What’s funny, what’s not funny, what’s gonna make them cry? You ask 3 people about the best part of a movie, often you get 3 different answers. So if you’re gonna repeat view something and you’re gonna do it with someone else, you might as well get a little intel while you do it.The last thing I want to talk about— and this is sort of a deeper dive for people — but it’s something I do and I really like and I think you might too. It’s called Focus Viewing. You pick a theme, character, or behind the scenes role (like the set designer or sound designer) and watch only through that lens. If we are talking about TV, this can be educational because if you watch one character only through an entire TV series, you are absolutely going to learn more about that character because you are focused only on them. This is what led to my understanding that Betty White is the hardest working actor on the Golden Girls because I have spent countless hours watching that show focused only on her character Rose Nylund. And doing that helped me see that her character has to be whatever the other characters need her to be for that particular episode. That’s a whole different conversation for another time but when you do a focus viewing you can really put on your creator hat and draw some interesting conclusions about story arc, character traits, and overall creative inspiration behind the work. So the Golden Girls is just one example, but all TV shows, especially ones that were on for 3, 4, 5, 17 seasons are great for character focus viewing. Pick a character and watch the show focusing only on them, their strengths, weaknesses, faults, how others perceive them, what role they play in each episode — villain, shoulder-to-cry-on, comic relief. Even things like how often they appear in an episode, their catch phrase, or a word they use often. And if you do it right, you will start to see what the storyteller/show creators are trying to do with that character. You will start to see what the actors themselves are trying to do with their own characters and how it evolves over time. Now for the movie enthusiasts and future filmmakers, focus viewing on the BTS (behind the scenes) stuff is where it’s at. For example — the movie If Beale Street Could Talk is an excellent movie to watch, focus viewing how costume, set and lighting designers use color. Barry Jenkins is a great filmmaker to consider focus viewing if you want to study color. His movies Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk use the color of the costumes, set and lighting to tells the entire story. Red and yellow comes to mind immediately when I think about If Beale Street Could Talk. Without any words and music, that story is still there because the color symbolism is so strong. And sure you can absolutely read about color theory and be taught how best to wield color to tell story. I suggest that you do that research, but there is nothing like experiencing it in different pieces of content, trying to figure out yourself how color is used to tell a story. The TV show Fringe that use to be on is another great candidate f
18 minutes | Apr 27, 2020
Going To A Concert During Corona
Links:Travis Scott - Fortnite Concert - YouTube Quick Notes: Janet and Kate go to a Travis Scott concert during Coronavirus. The talk about Fortnite, their office revamps, and the future of concerts. Travis Scott - Fortnite Concert - YouTube
17 minutes | Apr 18, 2020
The Side Effects of No Routine
Quick Notes:Graham & Brown WallpaperJarvis Standing Desk Full(ish) Show Notes: All right, so today we are recording in a new room in a new way. Long story short, Covid-19 has changed our routine, and in changing our routine we have come up with some creative ways to... I don't know...LIVE, right? I think this is so interesting, and I never really thought about it until this 30 plus day shelter-in-place. When your routine goes out the window, when everything changes and ‘normal’ is just a word you can't hold close to your chest. That is when it's easier to do things you wouldn't normally do! It's easier to do things you kind of thought about doing, or thought maybe were too risky, or you were even too bored to do, you know what I mean? Too busy to do, too in your head about. There's something about all of my routine having gone out the window that has opened up my life to do things that I wouldn't normally do. What we ended up doing here in our house is rearranging the whole motherfucking thing! So let's see, how do I set this up? Our apartment is not very big. I would guess 900 square feet, maybe a thousand probably nine hundred and there are two bedrooms and a living room in a kitchen so when we moved in we put our bed in the smaaallest bedroom. The smaaallest bedroom! The room was big enough for a queen bed with a foot and a half maybe so basically in the middle of the night, you’re getting up to pee, sort of doing the basketball guarding shuffle drill around the bed…. And the room that should technically be the master bedroom, we will make that a big office. That's where we're gonna be spinning a lot of time. We'll set up our desks--everything that we need for Kate's work, for my work, for our hobbies, in that room and then there's a walk-in-closet which is awesome, so we'll just put all of the clothes in there…. But with Covid-19 we were both needing to work (and do serious work) at the same time…. Okay, I'll do my call in here. You can do your call on the couch? You're good for that just for this call? Okay, and then we'll switch. And it wasn't bad but it wasn't fun. So we were like what if we change this around? What if we take the walk-in closet, which is small but definitely could be an office. And the bedroom which is a much better office than a bedroom. And make ourselves separate offices. Pull the bed into the room that it was meant for but also make sure our dressers are in that room too and just have clothes and bed in this giant room and prioritize separate offices instead of one big giant office? It's awesome. It's awesome! I'm happy, I know Kate's happy. She had that room set up in like 20 minutes. When we started moving stuff around she had a vision she knew what was happening in her office and it is set up beautifully. I really love my space as well, but I did the very Janet thing which is... I can't just move in there and figure it out later. I need to kind of move in there how I'm gonna move in there. I don't like big projects or tasks sort of looming over my head. I like to see the landscape, see the gameplan, right? And then execute that. That makes me feel better. Otherwise, I just obsess about things I shouldn't obsess about. We talked about me obsessing about things I want to obsess about, but there are things I need not obsess about. So if I can just see it all in front of me, make the plan, make some choices... When I built my computer I was like, I'm gonna do this, but I needed to focus and get it done. I can't be like, oh I'm gonna build a computer and then do it three months later. I’d drive myself insane. So, this time I was like… I wanna wallpaper the room before I move in there. So I went online and ordered some wallpaper. Then I was like, well, I always said that when we did move out of this apartment that the next apartment I would dump my IKEA desk and get a sit & stand desk. Why don't I just do it now?... I wallpapered the shit out of this wall. And it looks so good and I’m really, really excited about it. I watched a couple of YouTube videos. I got super excited and inspired and I did the thing! Kate had to help me get the first one up because... So the first strip of wallpaper, they want you to go across the corner. So even though your wallpaper is straight, your walls aren't straight and certainly these walls aren't straight. So you have to put the first with an overlap in the corner of about I don't know 10 centimeters. Just a little bit of a flap and then that way when you cut down the corner line, your wallpaper matches whatever the actual “straight” line of your wall is. I will leave a link in the show notes so that you can see it. It's a dark gray or dark silver, wood/bark pattern. And it's really cool….I wallpapered this bad boy in 4 hours and it was great!... Building the desk almost killed me. I will never build a desk again. I won't…. One-- it was so heavy! All of the pieces are so freaking heavy. The leg, the arm, the moving mechanism, the top piece. All of it was so so heavy. The first day with the wallpaper I got my arm above my head exercises. You know, the shoulders, the neck, the upper back. The next day it was like squats and what is it called? Dead weight lifting? And getting down on the floor because you have to build a giant desk on the floor, you can't build a desk on a desk, which is really what you need. You need a desk to build a desk! It’s a lot of getting down on the floor and up and down and up. At one point I was just sitting on the floor and was like, I don't care. I don’t care about the money. Just take it away and we'll pretend this never happened. But I got through it. I have this amazing sit & stand desk by Fully….not by fully, it's a Jarvis desk. So I think it's by the Jarvis people, but I bought it on the Fully website….Look, Jarvis, Fully. I've said both words-- one of them is correct. It's really cool…. It’s amazing to me that this happened now because I have been talking about this standing desk for I don't know, three years. I'll get one when we move, I need to get one, I should get one. But I didn't make it happen until everything was thrown into chaos, all of my routine was gone…. Wallpapering is the least messy situation I've ever experienced with a wall and I have painted walls. I have put holes in walls. I have spackled walls. I have hung things from walls. The wallpaper paste was clear, so it didn’t show up on my walls when I got it on the adjacent walls, it didn't show up on the top-side of the wallpaper when I got it on there. I got it on my hands, it got on my clothes. I think some got my eye. I'm fine…. It was messy and yet not messy at all, so I highly recommend it. I'm gonna try to do this more and I hope that you do too. If you're itching for your routine you want to get back to normal, that's great and totally expected, but maybe also we could lean into what the non-routine brings us because my regular routine is not working. I'm not recording the way I usually record, I'm not writing the way I usually write. I'm not even eating like normal! We are going to bed at like 11 every night and that is not normal for either of us, we're usually in bed at nine. But I’m leaning into the non-routine and I encourage you to do the same. You won't end up wallpapering probably, but you might end up doing something else, that's good for you, that you are gonna look at when you're done and be like, Oh my god. I'm so glad that I sort of was in the situation to be able to pull the trigger on that. Maybe it'll be creative but maybe it'll just be something you need to do personally for your well-being. So yeah that is why I am recording in a new way. I might sound a little different and it's because my usual setup is on the floor and not plugged in. Now that have gotten into this room and got the desk built in my pretty wallpaper up, I need to plug everything back in and set up the mic and all of that stuff. But I hope this sounds good. I think it sounds fine, the playback sounds fine in my ear right now. Who knows, I might have also discovered a much easier way to record just plug into the laptop and not worry that it's a digital connection and just go for it. I tell you what I do like recording while I stand up this is the first time I'm recording from a standing position where I can kind of move around. I'm digging it! It's pushing blood through my body, you can't see me right now, but I'm I'm cagey like a tiger, ready to pounce. So, there you have it! Maybe you want to embrace not being in your routine because it will lead you to doing something that you've kind of been wanting to do, kind of been nervous about doing, kind of been too busy to do. You can find us on Twitter or Instagram: @Creative4evr. Don't forget to be creative this week, even when you have no choice but to just think about it. Later.
12 minutes | Apr 3, 2020
Even If You Just Think About It
Full Show Notes with Links: So today (and you'll hear more about it later), we're kind of just going with the flow and letting me talk into this mic, which is a little scary but before we get to my explanation for why, a few things I just want to put on your radar. First thing: Animal Crossing is out! Very excited about this game-- lots of people are talking about it. If you know what it is, I'm sure you're playing right now. If you don't know what it is, someone you know, knows what it is and they can tell you all about it! But um, I'm very excited to play it and will definitely give you an update on how that is going in a future episode, but Animal Crossing: New Horizons is out! Second thing: If you are able to donate money to people in need during Covid-19, please do. But I urge you to not only look into big organizations like Red Cross or your local hospital, but to also look locally and within the communities and bubbles you live in. People in the service industry, people with hourly jobs that work on weekends, people that have been laid off or been told that when work resumes they will be contacted, so they are not making income now... If you know somebody in that situation you're making just as big a difference giving them money directly then giving it to a gigantic organization to help with the health crisis part of it. You can also help with the local, human, financial situation part of it. I urge you to look through your Twitter and Instagram feeds, think about the people in your rolodex, in your cell phone address book. Oh, I know this person works retail. Oh I know this person is a waiter, let me reach out to them, see if they've got something on their Twitter page that says they're collecting money and if I can donate there. Number three: And this is just sort of a little bit of a warning. I know everybody's using conferencing apps right so that we can video chat with your friends or do business if you're working from home. I've never been a fan of Zoom because I worked at a company that used Zoom and it was a pain in the ass. But, I just read today that Zoom is actually having some trouble. The fun articles are calling it zoombombing, but the serious articles are saying Zoom has security risks that everybody needs to watch out for. Also these others like third-party, fun apps that you're finding on your phone and in the Google Play Store and and things like that, let you talk with your friends and put stickers up-- the fun apps that your kids might want to use be. Be wary of those apps, please. You never know what exactly they're doing on the backend, and a lot of this stuff is sort of just being overlooked because everyone needs apps to video conference with and we're not really thinking about it, we're just using them. And lastly there has been some really, really great creative stuff coming out of people's brains lately that is Coronavirus related. Lots of songs and musical parodies and dances and poems and things like that. I've been reposting stuff on the Creative4evr Instagram page and I encourage you to jump in and enjoy that content. It's a relevant, healthy way to engage with what's going on in the world. There's so much bad about Coronavirus because it is bad, but if you pepper in a really clever song parody, you know, it will help, I promise. There are a lot of people out there doing some pretty inspirational work based on this tragedy, you know, bringing us laughs when we need them most. Check them out on the Creative4evr Instagram page, and a lot of other people are posting these items too. So you know, how at the end of each episode I say, Don't forget to be creative this week even if you just think about it…? Well, this is my week to just think about it. It has been a week! You know that saying (and maybe it's not even a saying I've heard it said, does that count?) life gets in the way? Well life has gotten in the way this week for me. I am certain that life is getting in the way for you as well. It has been so difficult for me to execute lately and it's because my stress level is high, my energy is all the fuck over the place, my emotions are all over the place... We talked about compartmentalizing last week -- I never was good at it, and I'm certainly not now. There's just so-so-so much happening. I am able to work from home. I'm fortunate enough to be able to work from home, but that also means that for the last month. I have been working from home, like full-time working from home. And of course that changes things a little bit. It's not exactly what it would be if I were in the office, but it's a lot to be doing from home, full-time Monday through Friday, normal business hours. And there's a lot to do! So, I've been doing that... I've been trying to be a person, right? A normal person. I'm not showering as much as I would usually shower. I'll tell you that right now. I’ve been trying to eat when I'm supposed to, trying to go to bed when I'm supposed, trying to be creative when I am supposed to. All of the things! As you can guess because you're probably going through it too, I'm talking to family a lot more. I think that's gone up by a thousand percent. I'm talking to friends and extended family in a way that I haven't before. I've also been having nightmares, which is not great. I'm a dreamer, right? Like I actually, literally dream at night, but usually even when they are vivid dreams, it's not every single night that I have a vivid dream or something overwhelming is happening in my brain that when I wake up I'm like wow, I didn't sleep at all. I was just sort of dreaming and freaking out while my eyes were closed for eight hours. Anyway, over the past month slowly, more and more, I’ve been having vivid dreams and this week they turned into flat-out nightmares. Really, really bad one on Tuesday morning. Shit's just getting real. It's very hard to handle. On top of all of this...migraines! Yes, indeedy! Because I'm a super sensitive soul, my body is super sensitive. I haven't had caffeine in years now because I can't have it, my body freaks out. I can't have too much sugar. I can't have milk or cheese, all of this shit started happening to me. The caffeine has been for a long long time, but the lactose intolerant part is new this year and it sucks. What I'm trying to say is if any of that stuff gets off… If I have a little too much sugar, don't get enough sleep, my workout habits change... Wine! I start drinking a little too much wine consistently, meaning having a glass on Monday night, and then having a glass on Tuesday night, and then having a glass on Thursday night… It begins to be too much for my body. So anyway-- migraine today! Migraine yesterday, migraine two days ago. It's a lot. So I have to be okay with (and obviously you can tell I'm not, but maybe you can help me). I have to be okay with not being creative this week, with releasing this podcast episode which is really gonna be hopefully just me posting it like this with barely any edits because I don't have time for edits. I literally need to stop doing this and do some other things that have to be done this week. But it is what it is and I have to be okay with that. I have to be okay with no writing getting done this week. I have to be okay with thinking about creativity. What I say at the end of each episode, because life got in the way. So here's what I got for you this week. Do what you can. Learn from me, don't put yourself in a situation where all of this stuff is happening-- migraines, nightmares, work, your family-- all of this stuff is happening and you are still trying to make something creative happen. Don't put yourself in that position. Take care of yourself, just think about being creative if you have to for a little while and try to be okay with it. I promise I'm trying to be okay with it and we will get through this. You can find us on Twitter or Instagram: @Creative4evr. Don't forget to be creative this week, even when you have no choice but to just think about it. Later.
25 minutes | Mar 27, 2020
Compartmentalizing, Obsession And Time Blocking
Links & Quick Notes:Compartmentalizing, Obsession and Time Blocking. This week I want to walk you through my experience with these three things, share how I think they are related, and strategize how we can use them to get creative shit done. Complete Guide To Time BlockingTime Blocking 101Best Time Blocking AppsObsession: Your Key...Obsessive People Likely To Be SuccessfulFinal Scene, Six Feet Under, featuring "Breathe Me" by SiaIs Six Feet Under's Finale the Best Finale of All Time?Oxygen Not Include Game TrailerLife-Changing Habit of JournalingFull Show Notes:The X Factor: Australia, Food Network Star, The Tyra Banks Show, The Apprentice:UK, Deal Or No Deal, Noah's Ark, 8 Out Of 10 Cats, Go Diego Go, So You Think You Can Dance, Intervention, Mock Of The Week, The Colbert Report, Entertainment Tonight: Canada, Dancing With The Stars, The Deadliest Catch, The Boondocks, Everybody Hates Chris, Ghost Whisperer, The Sweet Life of Zach And Cody, American Dad, Avatar The Last Airbender (Nickelodeon), Bones, America (Brazilian drama), How I Met Your Mother, Dr. Who (reboot), Criminal Minds, Grey's Anatomy, and The Office…. All shows that premiered in 2005.Hey, hi and hello! Welcome to Creative4evr. The podcast dedicated to keeping you forever inspired, forever motivated, forever creative, and forever YOU. I am your host, Janet, a.k.a. Jai//Em, a.k.a. the voice inside your head, a.k.a. your biggest fan, and together we’re going to get some creative shit done.All right! First, I want to make sure that everybody is staying safe and doing what they need to do to take care of themselves during this terrible time of Coronavirus (Covid-19). This outbreak is worldwide, as you know. Please continue to take care of yourselves, be safe, stay inside as much as you can, please, please, please so that we can #flattenthecurve and get through this. I thought it was going to be maybe a month, but it looks like it could be much longer than that. But we can do it! Take care of yourselves, take care of each other. I'm thinking about you. All right, so this week we're going to talk about three things: Compartmentalizing, Obsession and Time Blocking. I've had to get very serious about these three things so that I can get out of my own way to be as productive and creative as possible day-to-day, week-to-week. I thought this would be a great thing to share with you. How I think compartmentalizing, obsession and time-blocking are related, and strategize how you can use these things to get creative shit done. COMPARTMENTALIZINGDo you compartmentalize? Do you do it all the time, most of the time or occasionally? Compartmentalize means to divide into sections or categories. Most often associated with emotions and feelings. The best example I guess would be someone that is in a relationship and yells at their partner, You never tell me what you're feeling. I never know what you're going through because you never share, it never comes out of you. You are compartmentalizing and I'm not a part of those areas of your life and I want to be…I'm just making something up right but basically, when we think of “compartmentalizing” we usually think about emotions and feelings and whether people are dividing those emotions and feelings into certain categories of their lives and not sharing them outside of those categories. Or if they do, feelings and emotions from all sections of their life affect all other parts of their life. When I started writing this episode, I immediately wrote the words, "I compartmentalize all the time.” And then I was like, you damn liar. You absolutely do not compartmentalize all the time, not even most of the time. I already said the word is most often associated with feelings and emotions, and…have I met myself? Remember back when Six Feet Under was the HBO TV show that everyone was obsessed with? Well when that show ended in 2005… And I remember watching the finale (crying the entire time). I then immediately downloaded the song "Breathe Me" by Sia, which plays over the last 10 minutes of the finale, and then fell into a deep depression. This tells you right from jump, I wasn’t compartmentalizing my emotions because I let this made up story, I saw on TV depress me. Then I let those feelings bleed into my actual life. God help someone if they hadn't watched the show and I found out about it. I was immediately like, What do you mean, you haven’t seen the show?! What are you watching instead?.......... Ummm, so I don’t know what you are doing with your life, but no one is gonna be thinking about those shows you just mentioned in 15 years. You need to watch Six Feet Under so you understand WHY I’m so upset, WHY I’m attacking you at work… So, I’m being hyperbolic (but only a little a bit). My point is, I don’t usually compartmentalize. I carry emotions and feelings from one situation right on into the next one. And you know what? I am okay with that! Notice when I initially asked you the question, I did not say, Are you GOOD or BAD at compartmentalizing? I don’t want you to judge yourself if you don’t do it, nor do I want you to praise yourself for doing it. Too often we assign value to our personal characteristics or habits for no reason. Thou shall not compartmentalize! is not a thing. Compartmentalizing is Golden! is also not a thing. You either do it often or you don’t. Simple as that. And what I have discovered this week through asking other people about their compartmentalizing habits, is that most of the time when someone does compartmentalize, it’s to section-off the bad feelings and emotions they have. Example: After a shitty day at work… Well most of us ATTEMPT to compartmentalize the feelings and emotions associated with that bad day and leave them at work. We try not to bring that energy home with us. I’m not saying we’re successful, I’m saying we try. However, when most of us have a great day at work, we want to bring those positive emotions and feelings home with us. We try to take that good energy with us everywhere. And thinking about it this way, leads to me to believe that the closer each of us gets to living our best life, the less compartmentalizing of emotions and feelings we’ll do because that energy, those emotions and feelings will be positive and we’ll WANT to them to affect the other areas of our life! I dunno, I never thought about it that way, but after talking to other people about it, I think it’s interesting and a new life goal for me. To get to my best life and so I will never really compartmentalize because I'll want those emotions and feelings to go with me wherever I go.OBSESSIONNext up! Obsession. You know what I can do!? OBSESS. I can get wildly obsessed with something and then focus on it for hours, days, weeks, months. I can spend every fiber of my being thinking about 1 thing from all angles whether that be a crush, or a new computer I want, a new project, or even 1 paragraph of something I'm writing. When I get into the zone of obsession, NOTHING but death can keep me from it.Now this, unlike compartmentalizing should probably have some value assigned to it. Obsession is not necessarily a good thing, and in extreme circumstances is very problematic, but I am gonna keep it real, my amount of obsession has served me well. I end up spending such a considerable amount of time and focus on projects and ideas or whatever that I am usually successful. Let's put it this way, it's good when I'm obsessed about something career oriented. It's bad when it's about Harry Potter because I fall deep into the rabbit hole and ultimately waste time. Right now, I am currently obsessed with the video game Oxygen Not Included. It’s a space-colony simulation game. You land on a rock and you and your crew have to survive with the equipment, tools and little food you have. It’s a resource management game. You dig out coal and metal ore, etc. and use these things to power your generators and keep oxygen in your base otherwise everyone will suffocate. You can build very elaborate worlds over time. Right now, I am trying to master hydrogen power plant designs that provide power to the whole base without too much carbon dioxide output. I bet I am losing half of you with this video game tangent, my point is, I’m obsessed.WHAT HAVE LEARNED SO FAR?So, what have we surfaced about me so far? That I carry my emotions and feelings across all facets of my life, and I don’t mind it! It's a part of who I am.And that my ability to obsess is also something I don’t mind either. I like being able to focus on things intensely.So, the question becomes, how can I use this, how can my lack of compartmentalizing and my obsession help me, give me an advantage?JOURNALINGSo, I've been trying to answer this question for years. How do I do it. Take my emotion and feeling and obsessions and use them to get creative shit done. And I've tried a lot of things.I tried tough love. Having conversations with myself where I lay down the law and demand that I get my act together and focus! Janet! Take this feeling, explore it, write something and finish it. Do it now. Do it! -- I don’t have to tell you that this approach didn’t work for me. It’s scary and mean and didn’t do anything for my confidence or inspiration.I tried letting it happen organically! Relaxing into the idea that good things will come to me if I don’t try to force anything and I just remain open it and positive. Janet, if you get inspired to take an emotion and do something with it, great. If you don’t know worries, no pressure. It’ll happen eventually. -- I don’t have to tell you that this approach didn’t work me either. I had more ideas and dreams than I did when I was trying to tough love them out of me, but nothing materialized after that. And that’s because we, as creative people, have to assume a base level of effort in order to start and finish a project. Remember dreams and then steps toward those dreams? Trying to let it happen organically was all dreams and no steps.I tried journaling and…this has really worked for me. I usually do it in the evening and it helps me tremendously because I can get my emotions and feelings out, and I can get them all out, unfiltered, witho
15 minutes | Mar 18, 2020
Creativity And Isolation
Book Links (Other links are in the full show notes):Audible: 30-day free trialThe Children of Blood and Bone The Children of Virtue and Vengeance, AudibleThe Vanished Birds The Well Of LonelinessFULL SHOW NOTES & LINKS:Hey, hi and hello! Welcome to Creative4evr. The podcast dedicated to keeping you forever inspired, forever motivated, forever creative, and forever YOU. I am your host, Janet, a.k.a. Jai//Em, a.k.a. the voice inside your head, a.k.a. your biggest fan, and together we’re going to get some creative shit done.I want to thank everybody who listened to our last episode with my wife Kate as guest! We talked about High Fidelity, and it was so much fun! We had a great time and what sucks is we were talking about the book, the movie and the TV show for like 2 and ½, maybe 3 hours so I had to cut the shit out of our talk, which is so unfortunate but you know, that's that's how the cookie crumbles. I wanted the show to be 45 minutes or less and I think it was like 43 minutes or something so we did what we had to do, but it was such a great time. Thank you so much for listening and if you haven't listened, Kate and II talk about, High fidelity the Hulu series / book by Nick Hornby / movie that was made in 2000 starring Jack Black and John Cusack. We had a nice time talking about the story, but also talking about obsession, and about songs that you lose once you break up with someone, and if love songs make you depressed or not. We had a nice time, went off on a few tangents and it was great!Okay, so I have been trying to figure out how I want to address the Coronavirus (Covid-19) on the show. Now as you know, we aren't a news or current events podcast, we are not a health and safety podcast but, this virus, this world crisis is affecting all parts of our lives and that includes our creative lives. So many of us have been asked to isolate, to self-quarantine, some cities are enforcing a shelter in place... Now that all of this is happening and most of us have to stay at home, this is a good week to think about the creative things we finally have time to do. #1) READ -- The first thing everybody can be doing is reading! My god read a book. Okay, if you don't read at least one book during this crisis, I mean, I don't know why I'm threatening you. I can't threaten you, but this is certainly something you can do, there has got to be a book on your shelf you've been meaning to read. And if not, there's certainly something on your shelf you should read again. I am a huge advocate for experiencing something creative more than once. You will always find something new in a book when you read it for a 2nd or 3rd time. If holding a book in your hand is too much and you just can't handle it, sign up for Audible and let someone read a book to you. There is a 30-day free trial which is plenty of time to listen to at least one book. Of course there are links in the show notes. Check out Audible, let someone read a book to you. It's super easy and you will get addicted to it. #2) LEARN HOW TO USE DEVICES/TECH IN YOUR HOUSE -- This is easy! This is something that we take for granted. We buy a fancy phone or we buy some kitchen appliance or whatever and then we don't really learn how to use it. We get an app that does the one thing that we kind of want it to do, but it also has other features that we don't check out. There is something in your life-- a device, or a piece of software that you do not fully know how to use, and this is the perfect time to sit down and learn about it. Especially if you are a creative that wants to shoot something! Phones have great cameras now, right? Learn it how to use it or download an app that will take your game to the next level and learn how to use that. Fiddle with your devices, look at your phone all day and just sort of, you know, nerd out! #3) GET OUTSIDE AND ISOLATE -- All right speaking of shooting something with your phone. If you have not been asked to shelter in place, if you are still allowed to go out-- Get outside and isolate there! Especially my filmmakers, this is a good time to go by yourself and get some footage of empty streets. B-roll galore! You do not need another person to do this, all you need to do is be able to get to your destination in a way that allows you to practice social distancing and be safe. So if it's your car, that's great. If you are like me and have to ride the subway, maybe you just stick in your neighborhood so you can walk. But the streets are empty you can get footage right now that you can't usually get.For my actors and other creatives who are comfortable being in front of the camera, this is a great time to get out in the world and film yourself without being stared at by other people on the street! If you want to start doing a vlog thing, but kind of you don't want to be stared at, this is the time. Isolate outside and be Creative at the same time. #4) GET ORGANIZED, CREATIVES! -- We are not an organized people and this is a great opportunity. Pour yourself a glass of wine and start purging old emails or going through the pics on your phone to get rid of anything that isn't personal or necessary for your social networking media marketing stuff. Set up your file and folder system in the way that you've always dreamt about. Do you have a mailing list? Is it organized? Do you need a mailing list or a website? Do you need to set up a Twitter account to go with your business? Do you want to jump in and finally set up that semi-professional work email so that your side hustle can stop coming to your personal email address? Maybe you want to download some fresh wallpapers for your background for your computer, phone or iPad after you organize your files, so it feels like you got something new or made a fresh start. There's so much to do to get organized in a creative business sense, and this is the perfect time to spend an evening or an early Sunday morning (instead of going to brunch) doing just that.Now, I am not saying you should clean anything. I don't want you to cleaning. That's a cop out creative. No cleaning. Get your creativity organized. It's harder for us to do and it's what we always neglect. We have a super clean space but our computer is just full of email and icons all over the desktop. Now, you have some time set up your creative business life and organize it.#5) WRITE -- This is not just for my writers-- ALL creatives should be writing things down collecting thoughts, ideas, inspiration, stories, reminders and memories. The more we write down, the more of ourselves we document, the more we have to reference/pull from when we are creating something. This is a great time to strengthen that habit. Start a captain's log, you know and call it “Quarantine” and then start with “Day Five...” and go from there.Yeah start writing start making lists start putting your ideas somewhere and get into the habit of doing it for every day that you are working from home for every day that you were quarantined.#6) STRETCH, all right? Find a YouTube video to follow, clear a spot on your floor and spend some time stretching and breathing. This could be a beginner yoga class or a full-on fitness, P90 situation, but stay active inside. Keep breathing, keep stretching, keep limber. It will keep your stress down. There are many people offering free online and/or live streaming opportunities right now. I saw today that Debbie Allen is getting ready to do a live dance class on Instagram. So if you're listening to this episode the day it comes out, you should probably check to see if Debbie Allen is live streaming her dance classes on Instagram because that would be amazing!And I'm sure other people are gonna follow suit. This is a great time to just sort of spread out on the floor and start stretching and breathing and doing the things that will help keep our stress down while we are at home. Alright finally,#7) BE OPEN MINDED -- There's a lot of uncertainty right now, but if you can stay open-minded and look for opportunities to help yourself and others, we will all be the better for it. People are already coming up with genius ways to help each other during this crisis. People are giving their apps and services away for free. Are starting online communities and collectives. What can you do to make this situation better for yourself or your friends? What can you do to take advantage of your Creativity while you are alone, while you have time at home. What brave thing can you attempt this weekend since you can't go anywhere? Starting your book, starting your YouTube channel, starting a quilt project, or learning to code? What about conquering the musical instrument under your bed or in the corner? How many of you have guitars in the corner that you barely can play? What about painting, or drawing, or teaching your kid how to cook? What about reading 10 books in 30 days, or listening to 10 books and 30 days? This is the time to be cautious and safe and smart, yes. But it is also the time to be open-minded. What can you be brave enough to do creatively during this time?All right, so there you have it. Seven things you finally have time to do now that you're isolating at home. Number 1 - Read a book! Number 2 - Learn how to use a device or piece of tech or software in your house or around you. Number 3 - If you can get outside and isolate film something get some b-roll Number 4 - Get organized. Get those emails under control, get those files and folders organizedNumber 5 - Put everything on a piece of paper or in an app. Your ideas, your inspirations your stories your reminders your memories. It is important to develop this habit to document your self. Number 6 - Stretch, stay limber, stay active, move about and keep breathing. It will help keep your stress down during this terrible time.Number 7 - Be open-minded. This is a great opportunity for you as a creative person to spend time not doing other things, not being distracted by people, and things going on after work and on the weekend. Try something new. Challenge yourself. We all have time to do it. Let's take advantage of it. Let's see what comes out of this besides a bunch of babies, because as Ka
43 minutes | Mar 11, 2020
Married4evr Chat: High Fidelity (Book, Movie & TV Show)
Quick Notes & Links: Today my wife Kate has joined to show to chat about Nick Hornby's work, High Fidelity. This book was released in 1995 and has since become a Movie, a Musical and now a TV Series on Hulu. You can find them all here: BOOK: High FidelityMOVIE: High Fidelity starring John Cusack and Jack BlackTV SHOW: High Fidelity on HULU Links to Other Things Discussed:Puddle Dive, Ani DiFrancoThe Color Purple, Alice WalkerBeloved, Toni MorrisonClose Range: Wyoming Stories (Brokeback Mountain), Annie ProulxLike Water For Chocolate, Laura EsquivelTo All The Boys I've Loved Before, Jenny Han Don't forget to be creative this week. Even if you just think about it. Later. Twitter: @Creative4evrEmail us: email@example.com
13 minutes | Feb 26, 2020
Uncle Nearest Whiskey
Quick Notes & Links: We talk about whiskey and how a young woman built a brand around it using her creativity. It's a great example of how you can start a project, be open to that project changing and end up with something better than you imagined. We also check out the plant growing game for your phone called Viridi!> Check out My Succulent Plants on the Viridi App> Uncle Nearest 2016 New York Times Article> Uncle Nearest 2017 New York Times Article> Fawn Weaver Interview> Nearest Green Foundation> The Story of Nearest Green Narrated by Emmy-Award winning actor Jeffrey Wright> Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey DistilleryYou can find us on Twitter and/or Instagram: @Creative4evr.Don’t forget to be creative this week. Even if you just think about it. Later. Full Show Notes:Hey, hi and hello! Welcome to Creative4evr. The podcast dedicated to keeping you forever inspired, forever motivated, forever creative, and forever YOU. I am your host, Janet, a.k.a. Jai//Em, a.k.a. the voice inside your head, a.k.a. your biggest fan, and together we’re going to get some creative shit done.First let’s start with, Check It Out! This is a segment where I will bring up something that I’ve seen online, that I’ve read, that I’ve watched. Anything I think you should check out. We’re going to starting this off with a game for your phone. I am using the word game very loosely here, maybe I should say, an activity on your phone, for your commute to work, for down time, for those awkward moments where you are with people you don’t want to be with and you need a little phone business to take care. Try the game - Viridi. It’s a succulent plant growing game. You get a pot and some succulents to plant and you water them and they grow. That’s it. Oh, and a snail crawls around the rim of you pot very slowly. The music is very mellow and soothing. It’s a calming game. And you just kinda check in on your plants every few days. It’s shows you the progress as they grow. Very low stakes game, very calming. I’ve linked some pics and a video in the show notes so you can see my plant, which I named Susie. I really like it a lot. It’s a good game or activity during those few minutes you have nothing to do and need something to do. Viridi. Grow some succulents with me.Alright, for today’s show we’re going to talk about whiskey! And specifically how a young woman built a brand using her creativity. I think it’s a great example of how you can start a project, be open to that project changing and end up with something better than you imagined. So let’s jump in.The story starts with a 2016 New York Times article about Jack Daniel, the famous whiskey maker. The writer, Clay Risen, pointed out that some 275,000 people visit the Jack Daniel whiskey distillery every year and when they do they hear the following story on the tour: “Sometime in the 1850s, when Daniel was a boy, he went to work for a preacher, grocer and distiller named Dan Call. The preacher was a busy man, and when he saw promise in young Jack, he taught him how to run his whiskey still — and the rest is history.”The NYT article goes on to say that tourists will now hear a different story, a truer story. That Dan Call was not the person who taught Jack about distilling, instead it was one of Dan Call’s slaves— a man named Nearis Green. This 2016 NYT article was enough to inspire a woman named Fawn Weaver, a black real-estate investor and author. She flew down to Lynchburg, Tennessee with the idea that this story could become a book, possibly a feature film, and maybe they could even do a limited run bottle of whiskey in honor of Mr. Green. She interviewed as many people as she could during her visit. She also went on a few distillery tours and realized that Mr. Green was still not being officially recognized and incorporated into the tours as the NYT article had suggested was going to happen. This is when Ms. Weaver decided to spend some more time in Lynchburg. She rented a place, continued her research and set her mind on making sure that the distillery kept its promise to add Mr. Green’s contribution to the history of whiskey. 10,000 documents and artifacts later the first thing Fawn Weaver could tell everyone, including the distillery and the NYT, was that Mr. Green’s name was Nathan. The name “Nearis” was a nickname, often accompanied with “Uncle,” and it was spelled with a T. Nearest, like, where is the nearest Starbucks.Not only did Ms. Weaver find out what the man’s actual name was, but she spoke to every descendant she could find and there were quite a few, many them over the age of 90. Through her interviews she discovered that in this small Tennessee town, black and white folks lived and worked together, ignored Jim Crow laws together, and had no problem with school integration because the kids in town already played together regardless of color. The family and community always knew that Nathan Green worked with Jack Daniel, but just how deep his contribution went slowly got lost over the 15 decades.I am going to stop telling the story here because it’s better coming directly from Fawn Weaver’s mouth. I beg you to check out the interview I am pulling from about her first trip to Lynchburg, Tennessee. Link in the show notes. The people she met, the conversations, the misunderstandings…it’s a great read. That interview, along with the other links I will provide really help paint the picture of why Nathan Green and his whiskey legacy means so much to Fawn Weaver, and why she went from the idea of writing a book, to buying the house that Jack Daniel’s sisters built so she could live in Lynchburg, and open her own distillery. So I’ll link this interview, a video, and both stories— the New York Times article Ms. Weaver read in 2016 that inspired her to go to Tennessee, and the one the 2017 New York Times article written about her a year later when she came back with the Green family tree and stories and even confirmation of who the black man actually was in the photo the NYT put in their first article. Check out all the links. This is a great little rabbit hole to fall into. Now, let’s talk about why I chose this topic. I wanted to do an episode about this because of the way Ms. Weaver approached this creative endeavor. It really speaks to me, it really inspires me. First she picked a project that she was truly passionate about. Reading an article about a man’s lost legacy moved her to the point that she took herself to a city named Lynchburg in Tennessee for her 40th birthday. You really have to care about something, be moved by something to do that. As a black person, as a woman, as the outsider of a small and remote community. She followed her creative gut and that is awesome. Then when she got to Tennessee and discovered that there was so much more to the story, so much more that should be done, she was able to pivot and expand her creative goals. Not many creatives have the mental fortitude to go to city ready to write a book, and leave that city ready to open a whiskey distillery. And it wasn’t just talk, it wasn’t just her dream, she took steps and made it happen. No background in whiskey, but she made it happen. And I don’t know that she has a strong background in activism or politics, but I suspect it takes a fair amount of both of those skills to do be able respectfully honor a man that you’ve never met, that lived his life as a slave in Tennessee and happened to teach Jack Daniel how to make whiskey, in a country where Trump is currently president. There are so many ways that goes wrong. The optics have to be precise at all times, all sides have to work together, the Jack Daniel people, Nathan Green’s descendants, the city of Lynchburg. Think about this, 10,000 documents and artifacts were shared with Ms. Weaver in order to shine light on this history. That’s the level of trust and respect she had to earn for Mr. Green’s family and community in order to do this type of work. It’s incredible. And just so you know, the collection is going to be put in the National Museum of African American History and Culture in D.C. So, I will let you know the second that happens.I wake up everyday hoping I can focus my talents as sharply as Ms. Weaver has done. Hoping to reveal to myself talents I didn’t know I had, and opportunities I didn’t think possible. I think there are other creative people out there that want their art to be as impactful as this. Whether they want to honor a fallen hero, bring a secret into light, or tell a story that wouldn’t otherwise be told. Stories like this light a fire for me. Not just a spark of light in the distance, that makes me optimistic about my creative future, but it also lights a find under my ass that says, Get to work, woman! Things are happening, people are getting shit done and you can too! I’ll end with this… The Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey Distillery is in Shelbyville, Tennessee, which is right in the same area as Lynchburg and you can go visit. They also have a fantastic website that goes into great detail about the history of Nathan Green and his family, many of which were also in the whiskey business. The highlight of the website is a short film narrated by Emmy-Award winning actor Jeffrey Wright. You know him from HBO’s Westworld, the Hunger Games movies, and if you are apart of my Q4 community, Angels in America. The short film honors Mr. Green and his legacy in a wonderful way and I don’t know if it was meant to serve as a sort of teaser of what the film or documentary could be, but I am on board. I will buy the book about Nathan Green, I will see the movie, whatever it is, as long as Ms. Weaver is involved, I am in. In the meantime, I have settled for a bottle of Uncle Nearest whiskey. Now, I don’t drink whiskey, but I bought it, and I will continue to buy it. Fawn Weaver’s passion for this project, the brand she created, not for herself, but for someone else, the historical relevance, and activism, and Wakanda forever power behind it. That is the kind of creativity I live for and aspire to. I’ll say it again to myself and to you. Get to work! Things are happening, people are getting shit done and you can too! You can
36 minutes | Feb 19, 2020
Book Chat: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Quick Notes and Links:Janet is joined by Paul from the That Aged Well Podcast to discuss the book, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Everyone should read this book. It is a story about Mexican-Americans, but that should not stop everyone from checking it out. It’s a story about men and masculinity, intimacy and trust, but that should not stop women from checking it out. It’s a book for teens, but it is absolutely also a book for adults. And if you have already read it, I highly suggest that you allow Lin-Manuel Miranda to read it to you via Audible.> Amazon Book Link for Aristotle and Dante...> Amazon Book/Spanish for Aristotle and Dante...> Audible Book Link for Aristotle and Dante...> Pura Belpré and the Pura Belpré Award> Everything Begins and Ends at The Kentucky Club also by Benjamin Alire Sáenz> A sad scene from Steel Magnolias > A sad scene from Grey’s AnatomyFollow Paul and Erika on Twitter, Instagram or the web at That Aged Well. Email Createive4ever at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find C4 on Instagram or Twitter.Don’t forget to be Creative this week. Even if you just think about it. Later!Full Show Notes:Hey, hi and hello! Welcome to Creative4evr. The podcast dedicated to keeping you forever inspired, forever motivated, forever creative, and forever YOU. I am your host, Janet, a.k.a. Jai//Em, a.k.a. the voice inside your head, a.k.a. your biggest fan, and together we’re going to get some creative shit done.We are doing our first book chat on the podcast. I’m so excited! This is going to be great fun, I hope this is something we can do often. Yeah, I’m super excited! So this means the episode is going to be a little longer than usual and we’re going to jump right in so that, you know, we can get it going. A quick note about how Creative4evr will do these book chats. 1) I’ll talk about the writer, give a little background. 2) Get into the themes in the book. 3) Then discuss how the book makes me feel, discuss the emotion of the book, the impact that it left, things like that. We will not do spoilers or go into detail about major plot points without letting you know first, and usually that will be at the very, very end of the podcast. The idea is to get you excited about the book so that you read it you have not, or we make you want to go back to the book with fresh eyes if you have. Or maybe check out the Audible version and listen to it instead. Mainly we’re just trying to get you excited about some books that you may not know about or you read a long time ago, and our first book is Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Check the show notes for links to the book on Amazon and Audible and I hope you enjoy.Jai//Em: My guest today is the one and only Paul Caiola! Paul: Hello! Jai//Em: Paul is a writer, podcaster, blogger, actor and all-around creative person. He is a wonderful guy! Not only a good friend and my best man, but also my main writing partner. And when I say that I mean we work together, we read each others stuff, we give notes, feedback and support— we generally keep each other motivated and sane. Is that pretty much how we work together, Paul?Paul: Absolutely. You’re my writing coach. You’re the one to tell me, just write something we’ll fix it later.Jai//Em: Yes! I am the person that always says that. But you’re not only my writing coach, you are my pure inspiration because you turn out the work. I am in awe of it!Paul: I’m flattered. I think I just sent you a quote, I don’t remember what author it was, and it something like… Make good friends with the most motivated writer you know. You know, make friends with someone that will make you write all the time. And that was you for me.Jai//Em: That it absolutely you for me. I love it, I love it! So, I invited Paul to come to the show today to talk about this book that I love (and I think he loves it too). Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Paul, are you ready to jump into this book?Paul: I am ready! I love this book so much that...We live in New York City we don’t really have a lot of space—so almost all my books are e-books, simply because I can’t fit the number books I have. But this is one that I bought the e-book of, and then bought the hard copy afterwards. I was like, No I want the hard copy of this book, I wanna be able to feel the pages of this book between my fingers.Jai//Em: Yes! I own this book as well and the last time, well, I read it again for the podcast, but I also listened to the Audible book which is narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda. It’s so good. At first I was a little skeptical. I was like, I don’t need Hamilton to half-rap a book to me. Paul: That’s fair. Lin-Manuel has a very specific energy.Jai//Em: Yeah! Cadence. Exactly. But I am so glad that he did read it to me because it sort of changed my perspective on the book a little bit.Paul: Oh cool.Jai//Em: So we can talk about that later. But yes, I also own the physical book, and need it in my life, and find myself thumbing through it occasionally. Especially when I need a little bit of inspiration because I love Mr. Sáenz’s writing.Paul: Yes, I completely agree with that. I find his writing to be incredibly lyrical. Which is something I struggle with my own writing, you know. I very rarely write a sentence and think, Oh that’s beautiful. I think, Oh that’s workman like. That gets the job done. But he writes in this [lyrical] way and it really transports you somewhere.Jai//Em: I couldn’t agree more. He’s a poet. So it really shows in his work. Alright, a little bit about Benjamin Alire Sáenz. He is a novelist and a poet, born in 1954. A lot of the storytelling is immersed in Chicano culture, being himself a Mexican American. He was born and raised in New Mexico and lived much of his life in El Paso, Texas, although he has lived and taught all over the world. Mr. Sáenz has won numerous awards for his poetry. He was a Poet Fellow at Stanford, he has also won numerous book awards. This book has more than 3 awards, but we’re only going to mention three. The Stonewall Book Award, the Lambda Literary Award, and the Pura Belpré Award which is an award for exceptional Latinx writers and illustrators who celebrate their culture. Pura Belpré is a writer and educator, and she was the first Puerto Rican librarian at the New York Public Library in 1921. So yeah isn’t that cool?Paul: Names you should know!Jai//Em: Yeah, names you should know! People you should know about. So it’s a very prestigious award to have won, and this guy… He’s writing poems, he’s writing books, he is a professor, he’s prolific as well, so many books. He has a Masters in creative writing, I believe he has a Ph.D. in American literature. What I read said he was 3 or 4 years into it, so I don’t know if is finishing, has finished, didn’t finish, but half of Ph.D. is more than I have, so that’s awesome.Paul: Way more than I have.Jai//Em: Right? And then he just started a podcast which is quite interesting. I listened to the first one, and I love that this guy is in his 60s and doing his thing— writing books, earning awards, poetry and now he’s podcasting, it’s fantastic.Paul: Yeah, he’s living his best life! I also found, because I was doing research for this, that he didn’t come out as gay until he was 54. And he said one of the struggles he had with writing this book is he felt like he was outing himself.Jai//Em: Yeah. It reads so young, and just to know that a man that came out so late in his life wrote it is amazing to me. I love it.Paul: And wrote it so late in his life. That he could still remember that teenage-ness, which I guess, if you think about it, a lot of gay people say they have their adolescents later, they have that their adolescents when they come out. And I wonder if maybe his own personal journey with that, was able to lend him this truth, right? That he was really able to conjure those feelings that are more distant to those of us who have lived out of the closet for a longer period time. Jai//Em: Yes, he must have been transported back to that time and it didn’t matter that he was 50 years old, he was 16 again.The book takes place in El Paso, Texas and the year is 1987. The back of the book reads as such: Dante can swim. Ari can’t. Dante is articulate and self-assured. Ari has a hard time with words and suffers from self-doubt. Dante gets lost in poetry and art. Ari gets lost in thoughts of his older brother who is in prison. Dante is fair skinned. Ari’s features are much darker. It seems that a boy like Dante, with his open and unique perspective on life, would be the last person to break down the walls that Ari has built around himself.But against all odds, when Ari and Dante meet, they develop a special bond that will teach them the most important truths of their lives, and help define the people they want to be. But there are big hurdles in their way, and only by believing in each other―and the power of their friendship―can Ari and Dante emerge stronger on the other side.Beautiful. Beautiful! I’m already like, I need to read this book again!Paul: I love that it also tells you that it’s not going to be a tragedy. There are some very unhappy things in this book, but you’re not going read this and think, Oh well, I just need to crawl under the covers and contemplate the trash-fire of the world.Jai//Em: Right. They emerge stronger. There is a hope. Absolutely. I also like that it sets the mood. I’m mixing metaphors here…no one is really a fish out of water, but it’s really like two fish in the same pond, but they are very different fish, right?Paul: Two salmon, swimming upstream.Jai//Em: Yeah, and how will they swim together? It sets it up very well. They’re opposites. Even the fair skin, darker skin, self-doubt, assured and articulate. It really just sets up: We’re going to meet two very different boys and they are gonna help each other grow.First page of the book. The title says, “The Different Rules of Summer” Then it reads:The problem with my life was that it was someone else’s idea. One summer night I fell asleep, hoping the world would be different when I
21 minutes | Feb 19, 2020
Audience: Me and Everyone
Quick Notes and Links:Glamorizing the Awards Season (the Golden Globes, Oscars, etc.) makes it hard for creatives to measure their own creative success.Every month is Black History Month and Black creatives, their histories, legacies, contributions and accomplishments will be folded into our weekly get-together on this show because it’s part of the Creative4evr mission statement.If you want people to experience your creativity more than once, then thinking about your audience is important.Successful creatives are very clear on who their audience is and they intentionally deliver to that audience over and over again. No one accidentally gains and maintains an audience.Think outside of the box when it comes to making art just for yourself...you’re not really doing that anyway. You’re making art for people in your bubble, however big or small that bubble may be.It's impossible to make art for "everyone." If you’re trying to make something that reaches everyone, that pleases everyone, your work will suffer.Best practice: Your creative themes should be UNIVERSAL. The audience for your creativity should be TARGETED.If you can’t figure out who your audience should be, it probably means you aren’t clear about what it is you’re wanting to create.Finding your Audience:1) Go back to the beginning. What is your idea and why is it important to you?2) Gather feedback from the audience you have. Ask questions about what they enjoy/dislike, want more of.3) Research the audiences of other people doing what you do. Other Links:> Three Reasons Why Your Creative Work Needs An Audience> Eye of the Beholder: Art and its Audience> How Authors Can Find Their Ideal Reading Audience> How To Define Your Target Audience> Your Target MarketDon’t forget to be creative this week. Even if you just think about it. Later.Full Show Notes:Hey, hi and hello! Welcome to Creative4evr. The podcast dedicated to keeping you forever inspired, forever motivated, forever creative, and forever YOU. I am your host, Janet, a.k.a. Jai//Em, a.k.a. the voice inside your head, a.k.a. your biggest fan, and together we’re going to get some creative shit done. Today! We’re gonna talk about audience. I am really happy to have this chat. I’ve been very excited about this episode. But first, a February check-in.So, it’s basically the end of February, 2020 which means Awards Season is over— you know the Golden Globes, the Oscars, the SAG awards, the Independent Spirit Awards, all the awards. That’s done. We are able to put that in a box until next year. We are also knee deep in Black History Month and it is always great to see the events and marketing campaigns that happen in order to bring awareness to Black people and their important (and often overlooked) histories, legacies, contributions, and accomplishments. But I wanted to talk about two items that involve Black History Month and Awards Season just to calibrate you on how Creative4evr treats February. So, first! Awards and events. Actor and movie awards, especially the Oscars, are always big events at this time of year. And they use to be a big event in my social circles, especially when I lived in Los Angeles. It was our Super Bowl, it was a part of being a creative living in LA. You cared about the Oscars, from what suits and dresses the actors were wearing, to the parties they went to at the end of the night. But in 2008 I lost my enthusiasm for it. And it was because I realized that I would have these highs and lows. I would swing wildly between I am a creative genius and crippling depression. And all of this was triggered in 2008 when Diablo Cody was nominated for 4 Oscars for the movie Juno, and she won the Oscar for Best Screenplay. The whole story leading up to the Academy Awards was that she had written this script in 7 weeks in a Starbucks. Her winning really affected me because it made me think, This is the measurement, this is how it works. I should be able to write an award-winning something in 7 weeks. But of course I couldn’t do that and because I couldn’t do it, I felt like a failure. And when the awards season crept up again in 2009, all that depression and lack of confidence surfaced again. I would think, I still don’t have a something written, and another year has passed, but Diablo Cody was able to do it 7 weeks, and since I can’t do it I am a failure. The thing I had loved so much, the time of year where we would drink, and talk trash about movies, and eat lots of food, and get dressed up sometimes, and then nobody goes to work on Monday… I started to hate that time of year. I started to feel like the only way I could WIN that weekend was if I sat down and wrote on that day, instead of enjoying the festivities. It was almost like I was punishing myself. I don’t have what these people have, I’m not winning these awards because I am not working hard enough so on that day I’m gonna work really, really hard. And I would write or do whatever it was to be a better creative person on that day instead of participating in the Oscars. Now, years later I’ve leveled out. I don’t participate in the awards season, but I don’t hate it with a passion either. Because I don’t think hating the Oscars is the healthy alternative. I think it was important for me to stop consciously or subconsciously using the award show to measure my own success. I didn’t realize I was doing that, I didn’t realize that when I made a big to-do and fuss about the Oscars and celebrating that weekend, I was actually just glamorizing the award show in a way that was unhealthy for me. So in an effort to keep our eyes on the things that accurately measure our success, we won’t do any award season hubbub here. And that goes for book award season and any other franchise or community that builds hype around giving out awards to creatives. We WILL mention worthy accolades when talking about someone or a piece of work, but we will not be in the business of glamorizing the very idea of awarding creative people. It doesn’t do our psyches any good, it doesn’t do our creativity any good, and it gets in the way of each of us deciding how we want to measure our own creative success, because there are a hundred-million ways to measure creative success and that’s a topic we will cover at a later date.Alright, the 2nd thing you should know about February and the Creative4evr podcast. As I said, February is Black History Month— but, and some of you can guess what I’m about to say. Every month is Black History Month as far I am concerned. We will be talking about Black people often on this show, it’s one of my goals for the podcast and yeah, it’s gonna happen. Now, please understand that I do participate in Black History Month. And you should too. I just want you to know that here on the podcast we will not have a BHM book reading or a special episode brought to you by BHM where we are calling things out just because it’s Feb. Black creatives, their histories, legacies, contributions and accomplishments will be folded into our weekly get-together on this show because it’s part of the Creative4evr mission statement. If you haven’t heard our mission statement, please check out our very 1st episode where it’s all laid out. Okay, so this week is really special. We released 2 episodes. You are getting this show and an our book chat episode. But on this show we are going to talk about audience. Why you should think about your audience when create something, who your audience is and isn’t, and how you figure out the audience for your creative endeavor. Hope you enjoy! So, how important is your audience when you create something? Well, I think, if you want people to experience your creativity more than once, then it’s pretty important. Most artists are looking to make more than a 1st impression. I can’t think of a anyone that said, I just want to be creative one time. It’s not that kind of gig, people that sign up to be creative usually want to do it more than once and usually they want people to experience it in some way. Even if you draw something and show it to one person, you are sharing it, you’re asking someone else to experience it. That’s the truth for most creative people.Which means the experience you create has to be intentional, especially if you want a large audience to see it, to enjoy it, to experience it in a positive way, whatever that might be. It could be a scarf, you want whoever you had that scarf to, to experience it in a great way and to express appreciation, right? So this means you have to create intentionally, whatever it is. You want to keep your followers, readers, butts in seats. We used to talk about that when I worked on movies and marketing. The goal was butts in seats and you had to make it happen again and again and again. Our work toward that goal was very intentional and always had a specific group people in mind. For TV, each episode has to have intention so the targeted audience will tune in for the next episode, or will keep binge-watching. For books, each page, each chapter, the goal is to keep you reading, turning the page, and writers do that intentionally. Which means some work is gonna be involved. No one accidentally gains and maintains an audience. And that goes for large audiences as well as small audiences full of die-hard fans. Tweeting is a great example for this. Those tweets that randomly go viral, never end up transforming the life of the person that tweeted, unless they are able to actively keep that audience with subsequent tweets. You know what I’m talking about. A tweet goes viral, you see they got 10k likes on a witty remark so you follow, and a week later that person is back to 10 likes a tweet because everything they’ve said since that viral tweet is trash. Or everything the tweet has nothing to do with what you are actually interested in. It was that one witty remark that made you believe you were their audience, but you’re not, so you unfollow… People that are able to be successful as creatives, including people that are just really good at tweeting, are very clear on who their audience is and they are able to intentionally deliver to those people over and over again.Now not everyone agrees with me on this
15 minutes | Feb 12, 2020
The Word Queer
Quick Notes & Links:If you like superheroes stories with a bit of realism, check out the show Raising Dion on Netflix.We will use the word "queer" on the show. Queer is used within the community and by allies to define everyone outside of the heterosexual norm.Creative4evr is very thankful to all the support. Please give us some stars and a review in your podcast app!Janet has been a guest on the That Aged Well Podcast 3 times! Check it out.Coming up on Creative4evr -- Book Chat: Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire SáenzLinks:> Raising Dion+ 3 Min YouTube Video - The History Behind The Word Queer> Isn't Queer A Bad Word?+ 2 Min Video - What is Intersectionality > LGBTQ+ Glossary> Being Gay Doesn't Necessarily Mean You're Queer+ 3 Min YouTube Video - Gender Identity> Queer and Straight People Discuss Gender Identity+ 3 Min YouTube Video - 5 Tips for Being An Ally> Queer 101 from the Unitarian Universalist Association (religious organization)> We Are All Allies - PFlag> Janet as Guest on That Aged Well: The Little Mermaid / A Goofy Movie / Double Jeopardy > Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of the Universe -- Find on Amazon or on Audible read by Lin-Manuel MirandaDon't forget to be creative this week. Even if you just think about it. Later!Full Show Notes:Hey, hi and hello! Welcome to Creative4evr. The podcast dedicated to keeping you forever inspired, forever motivated, forever creative, and forever YOU. I am your host, Janet, a.k.a. Jai//Em, a.k.a. the voice inside your head, a.k.a. your biggest fan, and together we’re going to get some creative shit done.First! Check It Out:This week I suggest you check out Raising Dion on Netflix. I binged season 1 and really, really enjoyed it. The synopsis for the show reads: A widowed mom sets out to solve the mystery surrounding her young son's emerging superpowers while keeping his extraordinary gifts under wraps. It stars Alisha Wainwright, Ja'Siah Young, Jason Ritter. The Creators are Carol Barbee and Michael B. Jordan who is Executive Producer. It’s a great show. You know I’m always talking about superhero things and sci-fi, and fantasy. That’s my jam. I really like this one because it’s so steeped in reality that every episode I come away sweating a little bit. It’s a show about a 7-year-old kid, he happens to be of color, and he is sort of struggling with these superpowers in a very real way that made me sweat sometimes. I really enjoyed it, you should check it out if you care about superhero stuff or you are writing superhero stuff…do the research. It’s easy to binge watch the whole season. I understand not everyone has Netflix, but if you are able, borrow a password from a friend and check it out if you like superheroes with a little bit of realism attached.Defining Queer:So I wanted to talk about this on the show because it’s something I am going to do often. I want to let everyone know where I’m coming from, and give a little education or backstory. Maybe you don’t want to ask or are afraid to ask— I’m just gonna help you out right now. I am going to use the word “queer” on this podcast. I use it a lot in the real world, and I do so to refer to larger queer community and myself. I identify as lesbian, but I also identify as queer. So this is an okay word to use if you are using it in a neutral or positive way. It used to be only used as a way to identify people that were not straight, but as a slur, in the pejorative sense. Queer started out meaning: strange, odd or peculiar. However as time went on, people started thinking of gay people as strange, odd and peculiar. So they started calling us queer. The fact is, it is still used as a weapon, it is still used as a way to express hate. But in the 80s there was a push to reclaim the word and now it is widely used as a neutral or positive word in many LGBTQ+ spaces, and in spaces where queer people have allies.So, what does it mean now? The same thing it did— people that are not straight. But it covers everybody! It is an umbrella term referring to, not just gay and lesbian people, but bisexual, transgender, pansexual, agender, demisexual, asexual, even bi-curious people. The word queer includes every single identify that exists outside of the 100% straight people. And honestly, it is my opinion that straight people themselves can be queer-minded. Now, I am not saying straight people are queer. I don’t need them to claim a word that isn’t theirs. I don’t want you to claim queer, if you are not queer, to be honest. But queer-mindedness can be a thing that straight people have, right? If you have a deep understanding and respect for all the identities that exist outside of straight people. If you are an advocate for queer people. If you have any history with queer people, whether that be a relationship, or a fling, or whatever it is, straight people can be queer-minded too.The word “queer” is also political. The reason for this is because of the history of the word. Anyone that uses “queer” or openly identifies as queer is making a statement that they are actively working to reclaim the word for the larger community it defines. That means that if you don’t identify as queer (again you can be queer-minded), you can still be part of the politics and revolution behind the word. So if you are comfortable, you can and should use it. In conversation, saying something as simple as “the queer community” instead of “the gay community” is a great way to not only express to others that you want to be a part of this reclaiming, that you are an ally, but it is a thousand times more inclusive than saying gay. I know it the past, gay has been used as the umbrella term. But it is not anymore and there is a push to move away from that. I think that is why we hear a lot of people saying LGBTQ+. So if you feel comfortable and you want to start referring to the “queer community,” I encourage that.The last thing I want to remind everybody about is that if you decide to use this word, if you have been using the word, please remember that the ability to do so is very much dipped in privilege. What I mean is, there are a lot of people that are not privileged enough to use this word. They either live with and around people that still think of the word in the pejorative way and they are not able to use it because of safety reasons, or they themselves haven’t gotten to this part of their LGBTQ+ journey, right? They may identify as gay or lesbian, etc. but don’t have any further education about the many other identities that exist. Maybe we will talk about that in an episode. Even people that identify as queer, have to learn about gender identity, about sexual orientation, about inclusiveness, about intersectionality. And that kind of education thrives in communities of privilege, communities with resources to spread this kind of knowledge, communities that have living breathing examples of all the types of people that exist in the queer community. It’s no mistake that many people that identify as queer move to NYC, to Atlanta, to Los Angeles, to these big cities where there are so many people, so much diversity, that they are able to find and learn about people like themselves. So yeah, being able to walk around and use the word “queer” in an educated way that doesn’t pose a safety risk to yourself and others around you?… That’s privilege. And we should all remember that.So, I identify as lesbian, but I also identify as queer. And I use whichever, depending on what I am talking about. If I am talking about everyone I say “queer,” if I am talking about just lesbians I say, “lesbians.” Of course I will put a bunch of links in the show notes so you can fall down the rabbit hole and learn some more about the word “queer.”> 3 Min YouTube Video - The History Behind The Word Queer> Isn't Queer A Bad Word?+ 2 Min Video - What is Intersectionality > LGBTQ+ Glossary> Being Gay Doesn't Necessarily Mean You're Queer+ 3 Min YouTube Video - Gender Identity> Queer and Straight People Discuss Gender Identity+ 3 Min YouTube Video - 5 Tips for Being An Ally> Queer 101 from the Unitarian Universalist Association (religious organization) > We Are All Allies - PFlagOh, and if I say anything about the Q4 community on the podcast, I am talking about queer people. Just like I call my Creative4evr community, my C4 community, I call my queer community my Q4 or Queer4evr community. Shout out to all my C4 and Q4C4 people. What up?There you have it. “Queer” is a word that includes everyone outside of the heterosexual norm. It can also be used to identify your politics whether you are queer or not. And I urge you to use the word “queer” instead of “gay” because it is more inclusive. Here’s my little warning. If you are uncomfortable… If you cannot say it without sounding strange, or choking. Don’t say it, you aren’t ready, start at home and work your way outward from there. You just don’t want people thinking you are using it in the old-school, pejorative way. And for goodness sake, don’t whisper it. If you think you gotta say it quietly, you’re not ready. It is not a secret word, it is not a scary word, it shouldn’t be a scary word coming out of your mouth. So yeah, wait until you are ready, then get out there and start referring to the “queer community.” I would appreciate it and I think some others would appreciate it too. Alright, you’ve got the definition of the word “queer.” I hope it helps. If you have questions about anything discussed, please reach out. The email is email@example.com or go to instagram or twitter @Creative4evr.Now I might sound a little different right now and that’s because I’m on the road! That’s right, I am recording on my travel setup. My hope is that I don’t sound too different once I edit and everything, but who knows. Different room, different mic, different sound. I’m in San Francisco! I am here for work, I’ll be here for the week. 1) it’s gorgeous, it’s been so sunny and fantastic but 2) it’s soo windy. My god, the wind today. I am close to a Trader Joes but getting there today was like walking through the movie, “Twister.”So we’re going to end the show today
18 minutes | Feb 1, 2020
New Podcast, Who Dis?
Quick Notes and Links:Check in: I miss streaming. A lot. Shout out to silver, jokes, devilspidey, alex, mafia, octavia, rafie, nicole, chara, mandy, artie, chocoboninja/ninjahappenings — everybody who participated. You all make me so happy.But, podcasting is something I’ve really wanted to jump into. Michael Porter is an academic and business strategist who said, “The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.” I am reading a book about him called, Understanding Michael Porter, The Essential Guide to Competition and Strategy. It goes into detail about businesses and how they can strategize their endeavors. In my case, streaming on Twitch was something I needed to stop doing (for now, not forever) so that I can focus on developing the other parts of Creative4evr that have priority. Main Show: An About Me - Giving you some insight into who I am, what my background in creativity is. My hope is that you can connect with something I share about myself and that we can start to get to know one another. I would love to hear about your artsy younger self, what you have been doing to stay creative over the years when you’re not at work. Anything you want to tell me. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or reach out Twitter or Insta @Creative4evr.Don’t forget to be creative this week. Even if you just think about it. Later.Full Show Notes:Hey, hi and hello! Welcome to Creative4evr. The podcast dedicated to keeping you forever inspired, forever motivated, forever creative, and forever YOU. I am your host, Janet, a.k.a. Jai//Em, a.k.a. the voice inside your head, a.k.a. your biggest fan, and together we’re going to get some creative shit done.First up! A quick check-in.So the check in this week is that I miss streaming. A lot. So a little about that… I started live streaming on Twitch, which is a platform that allows people to hook their computers, or cameras, or mics up to the Twitch website in order to live broadcast whatever they are doing. I started doing this over a year ago. There is a section that allows anyone watching to send text messages that everyone can see, and the streamer can respond to those messages in real time. It’s fucking awesome. If you don’t understand what I’m talking about, you won’t ever be on, or near Twitch so don’t even worry about it. But I really enjoy doing it. People use the site to broadcast video games as they play them, and right now the Just Chatting section is blowing up, meaning that people are signing on and just talking to whoever shows up in chat about whatever they want. I used Twitch to talk about being creative— shocker! I would live stream my writing and share art. I started out live editing my book, then started working on the fantasy book I am currently writing, and we always had sharing time where I read other peoples stories. So they would send to me and I’d pull it up for everyone to see. I’d read it out loud, then give a little feedback. It was awesome because it allowed me to read what other people were developing and it gave the writer a chance to hear their work out loud, to get feedback from me or other people in chat. Honestly it’s one of the coolest creative things I’ve ever been a part of. It’s everything I believe in— meeting other creatives, building relationships with them, sharing work and ideas, motivating each other, laughing and listening to music, hanging out with people that get your jokes. I love it so much and have been lucky enough to have a core group of people that show up. Shout out to silver, jokes, devilspidey, alex, mafia, octavia, rafie, nicole, chara, mandy, artie, chocoboninja/ninjahappenings — everybody who participated. You all make me so happy and I miss streaming so much.But, podcasting is something I’ve really wanted to jump into, something I think I can get good at, and last year I struggled to get it going because I had too many creative things on my plate at once. Michael Porter is an academic and business strategist who said, “The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.” I am reading a book about him called, Understanding Michael Porter, The Essential Guide to Competition and Strategy. It goes into detail about businesses and how they can strategize their endeavors. In this case, streaming on Twitch was something I needed to stop doing (for now, not forever) so that I can focus on developing the other parts of Creative4evr that have priority. As much as I love streaming, it was taking me away from writing. 1) It was changing how I write and making me less productive in that area, and 2) Streaming is time consuming. You do it for hours at a time— you don’t stream for 15 minutes, that’s not how it works. Also you can’t do anything else while you stream, and you have to do it in specific places. You need a strong internet connection, and a computer or device that can handle it. You might have a mic setup or lights, etc. so that the production value is good. That means you need to be in a specific space with dedicated internet. Now, everything else I want to do creatively, can be done anywhere I have a device. I can write on the train with my phone, or on the couch or at a coffee shop. Even podcasting, I could stop recording right now if I wanted to, and do something else. It’s not so simple with streaming. It’s live, you can’t just walk out of the room and eat a sandwich for 10 minutes and then come back. So yeah, “The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do,” and right now streaming is that thing. I know it’s the right choice, I know it’s not forever, I know that soon I will be able to do it again a couple times a month, but I’m sad about it. I miss that connection with the people that showed up. I miss not knowing what we are going to talk about that day. I miss going on tangents about music or flutes or whatever nonsense we got up to.So yeah, because I miss streaming, I thought the show today could be an About Me. I want to share a little bit about myself so that we can start to form some creative relationships here with the podcast. So let’s do that. Hope you enjoy!Main Show:Alright, Today we are going to do an About Me. I wanted to do a little sharing, give you some insight into who I am, what my background in creativity is. My hope is that you can connect with something I share about myself and that we can start to get to know one another.So, I was the kid that wrote in my journal, “To sing and dance forever…” I was also the kid that often scrawled the letters “NT,” across the pages of my journal. It stood for “no time,” because I was so busy and impatient at 11-years-old, that I didn’t think I had time to write out the actual words NO TIME. I was the kid that use to pretend to have an office job, something I regret to this day because it was accidental affirmation. But I loved it! It felt like such a grown up and serious thing to do, and I was a very serious child, with NT.I was in piano, then quit, dance classes, then quit, pottery classes, quit. Basketball, volleyball, softball…I finally quit softball. Choir, drama club, photography and I did a brief stint a class called “Video,” where we basically made stop-motion claymation videos. I was the kid that knew she could be a lawyer, but preferred to be an actor playing a lawyer on TV. I never thought about next steps as a kid and teenager. My long-game didn’t exist, it never occurred to me WHY good grades were needed until I was looking to go to college and then I was like, well shit, I could have done better. And I applied to college thinking more about where I wanted to go once I left Texas rather than what place would be best for a career path. I was a junior when I home and told my mother I wanted to go to NYU to be an actor. My school had done a college fair and showed us a video in class about the school. I remember thinking, Hey that’s where Theo Huxtable went to school. I wanna go to New York! I’ll be an actor. I was very lucky that I had people in my life that were like, Uh, then you need to prepare for that! Immediately the drama teacher had me looking for a monologue to work on for my audition. And my mother never sat me down and said, Why on earth would you spring this on us, now! We should have been financially prepping for this when you were a freshman! All this to say I was a very naive kid who always believed in magic. I thought shit just happened because you wanted it to. I was sheltered, I was privileged. And side note, we should all remember that privilege isn’t just about skin color, gender and money. It’s also about having choices. I did not grow up wealthy, but I had constant access to choices. The people in my life made sure of that, and that is privilege. Alright, this college thing. My drama teacher and I decided on a piece from Christopher Durang’s play called Laughing Wild. It was a monologue where I played a woman who loses her shit in a grocery store over a can tuna fish. It was a genius choice because I had no range as an actor. Anything vulnerable and quiet I couldn’t do. I remember practicing this monologue all the time the summer before my senior year. I worked at a pizza place and my boss was a former New Yorker. He’d been giving me tips about New York the whole summer. That I should keep up with the flow of foot traffic on the street, because people walked fast. How to hail a cab, how to keep from getting mugged. All the things, and one day he was like, let’s see this monologue. And I was like, Um, no. And he countered, How are you gonna be an actor if you can’t just do it right now on the spot? I couldn’t argue with that so I did it. I guess he enjoyed it, I dunno. I just remember doing a monologue in the pizza show between customers. I also remember performing it for my mom at home, and I remember her just looking at me like, What in the hell is this? I don’t know that she loved it, but she flew with me up to NY just before Christmas during my senior year. I’m sitting outside the black box theater waiting to go in and I hear through the door that the kid in front of me is doing the same goddamn monologue. In my head I’m like, Oh well, at least I got to come to NY. This is over. But I went in there, scream shouted my monologue, I am sure I looked crazy