Do you have a creative process?

Topic: The Creative Process

Anna Deavere Smith: Well the goal is to tell a story that has multiple points of view for the very reasons that we’ve been discussing; and to, by doing so, indicate on an artistic level that the old idea of the single author, if you will, is flawed. Because it takes ultimately many people to tell the story of a community, or the story of a society.

So that sense of the auguste author who can come in and speak for women and speak for men, I don’t believe that. Maybe your imagination is sufficient; maybe not, you know? My imagination comes into play.  But before doing that, I would like to know how a man feels, or how another woman feels about something. I’m studying that because I understand that I’m one human being with a set of experiences that color my lens. And I’ve always been – since I was a little girl – very interested in how that person across the town, across the street, how they think. And understanding I could never think like they think, but wanting to try to do something about that gap. Not even in a humanistic way.

It was really something that bothered me. It was really something I worried about. So first of all, I hope that by being present, as 46 people say in Twilight, the play about the [1992] Los Angeles riots, and playing a Korean woman whose store was burned to the ground by African-Americans; or playing one of the African-American kids who beat up the white man; or playing Daryl Gates, the very unpopular Chief of Police, then it suggests to an audience that they don’t have to sit in their one position.

And by the way, when I come out at the end and take my curtain call, I’m still me. So did I really lose anything? No. In fact maybe I gained something. Aesthetically and artistically, what I’ve been trying to contribute is something about details that maybe there’s a wider variety of human beings than we thought about. And we can tell compelling stories without having to have those same stereotypes that we’ve been thinking about over and over again.

Recorded on: Aug 22, 2007

 

Listening is the key to Anna Deavere Smith's creative process.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

26 ultra-rich people own as much as the world's 3.8 billion poorest

The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."

Getty Images and Wikimedia Commons
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
  • In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
  • The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Keep reading Show less

People who constantly complain are harmful to your health

Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.

Photo credit: Getty Images / Stringer
popular

Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.

Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.

Keep reading Show less
Videos
  • Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
  • Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
  • But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
Keep reading Show less