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Transcript

...

We are

...

afraid.

...

of many things.

...

I tend to lose of

...

I don't know impending collapse of our civilization.

...

as well as more but now berg, such as

...

nobody ever offering me a freelance gig ever again

...

Well, maybe dying a bitter old man,

...

a prolonged lonely end, but we dealt with death

...

in last week's episode. So let's

...

Now look fear.

...

in the eye.

...

farmers, of course, have

...

the sets of fears, many of them to do with the climate change.

...

But today, we'll be taking the contra

...

angle

...

and looking at fear from the pre the perspective of an artist,

...

someone who is in the habit of molding reality

...

as a matter, of course,

...

take three measures of fear

...

a good pile of experience at further,

...

and some sprinkling of a general positive belief in the human race

...

and let's see what we get.

...

here on the greater farm.

...

fearless chopping down the stinging metals,

...

from which we shall be making key later, Of course, is po.

...

writer theater director, and

...

observer of the human condition pull

...

Welcome to the fun

...

again,

...

Thank you, Ralph. Pleasure to be here.

...

What are you afraid of?

...

Oh, dear.

...

What am I afraid of?

...

i think I'm gonna i'll quote quote David Mammoth.

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and said I'm afraid of being lazy and being coward me.

...

and

...

I think that's that's a fair one.

...

Well, isn't that funny? Because, you know, they suddenly goes to show

...

how irrational things really are.

...

knowing you as I do.

...

The chance of you're being either lazy or currently is

...

somewhere between minuscule and really, really infinite

...

but let's go on. Let's go on.

...

I'm black I'm glad you. I'm glad you think so well.

...

It's a struggle I tell you.

...

compounded fear causes physiological changes in our bodies.

...

which,, of course, is a well known principle in the halls of the world.

...

assorted fascists and vegetarians push

...

the fear triggers and people will

...

spy on their mothers

...

if they

...

if they are told to or immediately follow any other ridiculous orders, but

...

if fear can be so effective as a mechanism to instill obedience

...

does it also have a chance or potential

...

the serve

...

as maybe fuel

...

for the creation of art.

...

Well, absolutely. I think

...

Well, I i I I can say quite honestly that that

...

that fear is is is at the heart of my practice in the theater.

...

to begin with

...

when when

...

when I think of the stage,

...

I think generally, when

...

non practitioners think of the stage.

...

they think of

...

immediately, they have a sense of fear

...

because

...

public speaking

...

or performing in front of a live audience.

...

is it absolutely terrifying

...

experience.

...

and the average person

...

will feel nothing but dread.

...

So if you were suddenly

...

invited up onto the stage to speak.

...

I think most people

...

if they had to choose between facing a firing squad and doing that, it would be

...

it would be a difficult choice.

...

Yeah.

...

just shoot me now. It doesn't get doesn't get any easier either

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with experience. I mean, you know, of

...

I don't know how many

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public talks I've given over there is to to how many thousands of people

...

and the they the butterflies do not go away.

...

No. You're always terrified.

...

and anyone anyone who tells you

...

in the theater that they're not afraid is lying.

...

fear fear is the is is maybe the only

...

common denominator,

...

I mean, go going back to mammoth,

...

he

...

he has a a

...

had a a great quote, which I I often use

...

when I'm beginning a project and we talk about it,

...

as ...she said that

...

The only thing that's true

...

in the theater is that the actor is afraid of the scene.

...

And we've extrapolate that to say well, then the

...

the director is afraid of the play.

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and the play is afraid of

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the audience.

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or the play is afraid of the director.

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or the director is afraid of the actors.

...

But

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when you say all those things, you can say, yeah. That's true.

...

and then then we find the common denominator and yet we do it.

...

we choose to go there.

...

so I think that the difference between the average person

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who likes to go to the theater to watch.

...

and the person who decides to go up there and do it.

...

is

...

some

...

strange

...

desire to face

...

extinction in fact,

...

and we we we ...or or or humiliation, which is maybe even worse.

...

And so

...

the the people in the theater,

...

of whom I'm a member of this drive.

...

we have this kind of motto, which is you choose death.

...

and this is something that's often said in in the rehearsal process.

...

Oh vague echoes of Mis

...

Yeah.

...

And so you you

...

maybe not survey even

...

in his in his case,

...

Not vague. I think it is for

...

This is interesting because the the writer Steven Press field

...

is because because was prolific.

...

and he writes historical fiction, historical,

...

sort of modified fiction and just ordinary fiction and all fiction.

...

and he's been writing your brother

...

on on the

...

the process of creating

...

he has

...

in his book, the war of art

...

So he's like this this ...I don't know the the or something.

...

he has this to say about the artist, you know, battle

...

with fear.

...

Are you paralyzed with fear? That is a good sign.

...

fear is good.

...

like self doubt here

...

is an indicator field. Fear tells us what we have to do.

...

Remember

...

what they remember the rule of thumb

...

The more scared we are of a work or a calling

...

the more sure we can be that we have to do it.

...

His right isn't name.

...

it absolutely right.

...

I I I have this quote of Emerson that

...

I I've packed up over my desk.

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always always do what you were afraid to do.

...

And I think that's right. I think that that

...

you

...

the the terror

...

and

...

or let's let ...maybe if we elevate it to terror,

...

that's the place we want to go.

...

we have to go there.

...

because that's where that's where the that's what the truth is. That's where

...

the the meat of the matter is it's there.

...

it's in fear.

...

And I can only ......of course, I'm only speaking from

...

from my practice, which is

...

you mostly in the live arts.

...

but sometimes also writing for the live.

...

and

...

the the the the subjects would scare you the most.

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or also what drawn ...would end up drawing me

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you know, in into a relationship with the work.

...

it it's all based on fear somehow.

...

but it's not just that performance art. Is it

...

I mean, it's ...you know, Sheila died

...

poor and hungry and and and i idea say he,

...

he was not

...

Afraid. Emily Dickinson was an excellent example.

...

of being terrified, but dealing with it

...

in in the most glorious manner.

...

but then she of course died alone.

...

Red

...

Ram.

...

died

...

and alone. Go

...

last words, apparently, as he as he lay there dying,

...

from self inflicted wound were the sadness

...

will last forever.

...

Mhmm

...

artists fear visibility more than they fear

...

constitution, Done?

...

Yeah. I well, I would say that

...

the the motivations. This is a mystery.

...

It's a it's a compulsion

...

And so and and wreck and ruin

...

are understood.

...

it's we

...

we choose the arena.

...

and I think that's the difference. The artist chooses the arena

...

generally of the the the rest of the public

...

chooses

...

the audience.

...

to watch

...

The rest of the public doesn't choose. Yeah.

...

they want to watch

...

And

...

they they they want to see us

...

want to see the artist

...

face the terror

...

the they

...

or that they would choose. They would rather not. They were they would rather not.

...

do. And

...

so

...

this isn't a judgment on the public.

...

it makes perfect sense to me.

...

But if you are an artist, I think you

...

you

...

are born

...

or you develop a compulsion

...

to leap into the fire to leap into the arena to fight the ball.

...

to

...

wrestlemania

...

with the demon to

...

go into the maverick and

...

faced in the minutes.

...

which

...

this is a compulsion, and I think that

...

the

...

whatever it is.

...

for some, it might be glory or maybe it's

...

something that can't be articulated. I I think for myself, I I I'm not

...

then They can't articulate it.

...

I'm drawn I'm drawn into

...

situations and subjects which frightened me

...

and I feel that I have to face them in order to

...

I would say dignified

...

my

...

my existence.

...

But

...

beyond that, I think

...

that there's some kind of

...

truth to be had or

...

value to be degree out of that experience that that is for the people

...

I think that one of the ...one way that that

...

one thing that has struck me as a metaphor or for the theater,

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And I've heard this said by many people is is is the the auto faith.

...

So this is somehow

...

in its extreme most extreme

...

sense. It is

...

it is like throwing yourself into the fire,

...

and in the act of burning yourself,

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in the flames, the the signs

...

and metaphors and truths of bad experience are signal to the audience.

...

So is there sort of a modern version of the

...

gladiator arena

...

there was a visceral

...

guilty pleasure that the audience get at

...

watching the the artists swept

...

Well, I think it's it's more than glad. Although that is part of it, Of course, Because

...

because it is it is a life and that struggle somehow.

...

And that that is one layer of it.

...

But I do think it it's much more than that.

...

because

...

the

...

we

...

when we watch a, like sports or we watch

...

which is sort of the modern equivalent of glad gladiator. There there's the the

...

gain out of it is we can say that the they played well or they played

...

badly and someone won

...

I think in in art, there's no winners.

...

and and that we are much more deeply implicated

...

in

...

what the artist is doing

...

and

...

and and therefore, if we're open to it as an audience and

...

then we get caught in it.

...

something can transform us.

...

in a way that I think just simple winning and losing

...

and and blood

...

will never get you.

...

speaking of

...

of opening

...

to to examine that, which

...

The audience overlooked

...

Artists have to be more open more vulnerable.

...

how close is that state?

...

to one where

...

you open the door

...

just a little too wide for Just little too long.

...

And the demons you've invited and refused to leave

...

It's a it's a it's a

...

a huge risk in in in the profession.

...

and I

...

I've I've watched a lot of people

...

in

...

in my life in the theater i mean, throughout the course of my career

...

become overcome by their by the demons of it.

...

that

...

the

...

the struggle with what they were doing was actually more than they could bear.

...

How how did that

...

manifest itself in

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you know, this thing called daily life.

...

Oh,

...

Well, I I would say a huge population of alcoholic

...

more

...

self medication with such

...

since many in various,

...

so many in various

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indulgence

...

of the flesh to extremity

...

for sure

...

unfortunately, more than I think our fair share of suicides

...

I

...

I have

...

I can think of more more than a few people who went out that way.

...

So there are there are serious serious risks

...

in the dates indeed circuit ...So can I

...

So the line, the line, you know, wherever the line is

...

I dare is

...

is elastic, and it is

...

different for far for different individuals. Right? I mean, you can't say

...

Or, this is not something that can teach you in in

...

in Ask acting school. Right? The United

...

if you're taking more than than three or, you know, per per per week,

...

or if you in a there's a metric of any kind

...

you know, pull back

...

I mean, that's just not how it works. Does it

...

you can't.

...

Although I do think that the

...

the

...

the great artists.

...

or I would let me just say this.

...

because there were a lot of great ones who who who who also lost their lives

...

doing it and and and somehow collapsed,

...

and we're able to take it.

...

but I think

...

when I think that of the artist who have longevity

...

and who consistently are able to

...

to face the terror and to carve out

...

meaning from it.

...

they they have developed a

...

a kind of distance

...

And so I think that

...

distance as in as in detachment.

...

I think so.

...

And I think

...

and or

...

that I think

...

it's also a question of values, and

...

I think that

...

in the

...

when you face

...

the fears.

...

So, for example,

...

can you can you face the the the the total annihilation of all values?

...

values as in stuff that's important to you.

...

Okay.

...

Exactly. So the the the entire value system that you're that you're you're

...

that you've built your life around that what the way that you you draw meaning from life.

...

And if

...

if you

...

if you continually question these things,

...

you apply this to your practice.

...

and you can

...

I think that

...

at least that's been in my experience that you can strengthen your values.

...

and those values can sustain you.

...

and

...

that they can sustain you to the terror and they can sustain you through failure

...

because failure is also

...

of course, the big the biggest, one of the biggest fears that motivates us

...

and and destroys us quite often.

...

is that

...

you every time you go out there,

...

every project you go

...

and and put in front of an audience.

...

you're you're somehow risking yourself.

...

you're exposing yourself to humiliation and

...

scorn and critique and

...

insult even

...

And, of course, it could be

...

taken as a whole as a total failure.

...

and

...

and how do you recover from that? How do you

...

and how do you risk that?

...

In fact, I think his the is the real question.

...

and that's that's what motivates us.

...

and key and keep risking. Right? And

...

and keep risking it.

...

keep risking because that's

...

that's

...

when

...

It's actually

...

The energy is at its highest. Right?

...

I can't I can't

...

Remember the number of times

...

and

...

in a previous life when I was

...

photographer book producer and, you know,

...

such things after I don't know how many magazine articles and

...

how many corporate jobs and and somewhere order of thirty books?

...

the feeling

...

you know, when a new project came along was always the same.

...

Oh my god.

...

this time, they're gonna find out i'm a total fraud.

...

yes.

...

Yes.

...

and it it never changed, and it was it was this feeling of

...

near the bottom

...

bottom of my gut. Oh god, Jesus. You know? Like, I mean,

...

this is a it's a ...I'm a fan, like they're gonna see through me.

...

And some miraculously, I managed to, you know, pull off

...

yet another one, but this it's the same.

...

for every artist I've ever spoken into this

...

in pasta syndrome.

...

is it's it's it's actually somewhere between

...

terrifying and hilarious, isn't it?

...

Yes.

...

and this is this is the

...

the the perfect definition of the absurd

...

And

...

for me personally, the the absurd is exactly that. It's it's a mix of

...

terror and and and clarity

...

That's that's

...

and it's this this beautiful and

...

toxic and and into mix

...

that I think, for me comes closest to a kind of

...

life philosophy.

...

or well or maybe not a philosophy, but a way of seeing the world

...

So that that

...

this is actually how I think it is.

...

Is it dance or is it a sort of a

...

slow walk

...

along the sharp edge of voiceover blade.

...

oh does it change from day today?

...

I didn't know. I think what what was the there's this old storm that it's you what

...

one foot on the banana peel, the other in the grave.

...

something something something along the lines of this.

...

makes perfect sense.

...

Yes. So so we've we we've covered this

...

I'm not good enough.

...

fear

...

But there are there are others in this classic

...

combo of of fears.

...

that any artist

...

faces on a daily basis.

...

And and, you know, I've made made a quick note.

...

I'm not worthy of being taken seriously.

...

I'm not anywhere near as good as i as I think

...

I am or worse they think I am.

...

You.

...

I'm not original enough.

...

And then, of course, my ideas will get stolen.

...

or worse yet, are will run out of ideas

...

That's enough to drive your mad.

...

or into action.

...

or or into interactions. In fact,

...

and all all of those devils are are are

...

speaking for myself, I think

...

they're ...they're in my head all the times.

...

And

...

that they're having a a a jolly old time and they

...

Yeah. They're having a party.

...

they are.

...

and what to do

...

And you you'd think well ...I

...

why does I put myself in this situation?

...

No.

...

I could just

...

lead the quiet average life and stay out of

...

of spotlight and

...

What compels you what compels people to do this?

...

Well, but

...

to put yourself in this position.

...

Bona Said you don't get a choice in the matter.

...

I don't disagree with that.

...

I think that's that that's the final prod at the end.

...

you know,

...

that

...

You can't

...

you don't have a choice in it. You have to just keep going.

...

and

...

If you if you

...

if you cannot keep going,

...

then

...

I think this is what destroys a lot of artists. In fact, is that when they get to that point,

...

they just can't keep going.

...

and

...

But I ...but I will have to say me personally

...

I I think that quite often I hear these

...

these voices of self doubt,

...

and and it does often ...it does often come back to this idea of the

...

cluster

...

and

...

And I can relate to you the the the classic theater

...

person's nightmare.

...

And this is a nightmare that I I have still to this day.

...

periodically.

...

once a month at least,

...

and and

...

almost any actor will tell you that they have the stream

...

pretty much constantly.

...

the dream is for me is almost always the same. I

...

and preparing

...

to go on stage.

...

for play.

...

And I have no idea what the play is.

...

and I don't know who the characters are or what my lines are.

...

And it's always right before the premiere.

...

And

...

and then I I start ...I literally go on stage

...

and I start making it up.

...

and it is the most excruciating horror

...

because I am

...

I know

...

I'm absolutely a fraud here.

...

and just bullshit

...

I'm

...

everyone knows it. And then, of course, which is always the common people

...

always, but all the common future of these dreams. You look down and you naked it.

...

or you're in your underwear.

...

And

...

so it's all ...all of this taken together.

...

it's like, this is actually part of what

...

is

...

is

...

is the

...

the flavor of of the stew

...

of fear that

...

me personally, I'm swimming in all the time.

...

but you end up and up

...

somehow on the

...

on the other shore, and there is a

...

degree of the the the fatal in how you get there. There's a degree

...

and

...

This is degree of trust in yourself, and your and your fellow travels is right.

...

I think so,

...

I think for me, I

...

I

...

I ended up

...

being able to stay and make work in the theater because there were other people there.

...

And I think some people would argue well, you know how is other people

...

and that is also true.

...

But

...

I don't think I had the courage to sit

...

in front of a canvas by myself.

...

or to sit in front of a manuscript by myself.

...

I have shared respect for the people that

...

have that creative capacity.

...

is that so lonely?

...

and

...

in the theater

...

you

...

you have your collaborators. You have actors you have.

...

technicians. You have designers as a whole army of people there.

...

and

...

when you do a right,

...

and everyone's in it. Everyone can get in it together.

...

And it

...

can become when when it goes right,

...

And, of course, sometimes it doesn't. And sometimes it's it's just murder.

...

But when it does go right, there is a sense that

...

you have a kind of unity of purpose.

...

and and almost

...

ideal

...

temporary community

...

that puts aside

...

It's

...

normally selfish and

...

heavy ambitions to unite around something bigger

...

and this is can be extremely expired inspiring experience and

...

and we've all had them in the theater.

...

and I think it is one of the things you've live for.

...

sometimes it's not. Sometimes just it

...

the the the team is bad, and the energy is terrible and the

...

people or hey each other has happens.

...

And I've been through several of those more than I care to remember.

...

But

...

I can also say that there were many other times where

...

I think the this this fear

...

of

...

annihilation

...

somehow was marshal to a higher purpose.

...

and it united everybody into a beautiful common cause that

...

was

...

a real joy to be inside of.

...

and that also

...

made some good work.

...

it wasn't just a

...

a wonderful utopian experience. It was

...

show something that

...

also

...

brought Meaning me,

...

into the world

...

So will it be a right on the night?

...

will it be all right on the night?

...

is

...

What is

...

is it is it usually right on the night or

...

have

...

has the sum of the actors fears and the director's fears

...

and the stage hands feed fears and everybody else's

...

a collective terror has it resulted in some

...

un mitigate

...

collapsed into disaster for you.

...

full scale full scale disasters

...

Well the L course of action was

...

Look, we're just not getting it right to tonight people

...

we'll sort it out for you. Keep your tickets come back next tuesday.

...

have I ever had a full scale, like, a real full

...

gale shut down disaster.

...

like a crashing down of launch.

...

said so everybody dies on stage, you know,

...

it sounds like it sounds as you haven't because you would probably remember

...

Yeah. I I don't know that I've had such a

...

such a disaster

...

like, on that scale, I've seen them

...

and oftentimes times technology

...

was involved.

...

Yes. Isn't that the case?

...

Yeah.

...

that will really destroy things.

...

So we're now crossing live to London where

...

there is nobody right.

...

Yes.

...

Yeah.

...

Yes. But I ...but I can say that I I I've lived through some things which

...

in some ways,

...

are worse.

...

because they have a a real glorious catastrophe you like that.

...

there is some gore ...there is glory in it somehow.

...

like, wow. Like, that's a total fucking disaster.

...

And there's beauty in it.

...

you know, you made a disaster. There's beauty in it, and there's something to that that you risk

...

so much. And

...

you just failed. So

...

so

...

dramatically that that you have to

...

i give props to that say well, that was I was excellent. You really blew it.

...

Yeah.

...

and

...

and

...

you handle that blade. You cut yourself

...

you're gus it all over the stage, but props to you. Right?

...

from to you, and I think that the

...

there's a sense that when you when you fail like that,

...

you you earn something

...

but I ...the the the

...

the the the failures that are

...

that are

...

much worse. And these, of course, I experienced many times.

...

is that

...

the same after all of the the the

...

the fear and the anxiety and

...

struggle to make it

...

it came out half.

...

And it was just mediocre.

...

because people weren't

...

And that is the worst.

...

weren't

...

courageous enough to take it that extra couple of steps

...

either that,

...

or

...

the thinking was wrong.

...

The idea was poor

...

In fact,

...

there was a measure of self delusion.

...

It could've have been ...there's a thousand reasons why

...

but but the the the mediocre result

...

is

...

for me, the

...

the

...

the most painful outcome.

...

And so I think that this is another thing that motivates

...

me, and I think many artists to to

...

push it to take big risks

...

because it's better to is better than explode in a huge

...

flaming rack.

...

then, you know, to run out of gas on the side of the road.

...

And that, unfortunately is

...

better better glorious glorious disaster than than

...

known event of us success. Right?

...

Yeah. Because you learn nothing from

...

from the mediocre thing.

...

It's just humiliation.

...

and and and it's I think it's the worst the worst kind of failure.

...

that

...

the audience was bored.

...

and I was bored

...

and

...

we got nothing out of it.

...

out.

...

What what the hell are we doing here?

...

you just wasted our time

...

Yes. What ways to ...what a waste of her everybody's time?

...

you wasted our time

...

Oh, boy. That's to me. That's

...

That's that's unforgettable.

...

that would be that is that is the the worst. That's.

...

Yeah.

...

This is the the creative farm.

...

i'm

...

talking to Po writer, theater director,

...

and observer of the human condition.

...

And

...

if you

...

you the audience you would like to

...

chuck something into the pot, please pick up one of those

...

potatoes that are lying about your your your your feet down,

...

throw it in my general direction, and I'm sure we'll

...

we'll catch it up here on

...

on stage. And let's indeed let's indeed

...

down the path of

...

of what was the line of a apocalypse now?

...

horror and more mortal mortal terror.

...

The horror the horror.

...

Oh.

...

the horror, the horror

...

What have been some of the more shall we say politely,

...

challenging

...

i'm unsettling terrifying subjects. You've have faced up too lately.

...

Well, as you know, and and we've discussed on this program before,

...

I I took a very long and

...

harrowing look into

...

into auschwitz.

...

and the holocaust

...

but but through through the lens of the of

...

of

...

the side of that story that I think is maybe less examined.

...

which is that a that of the perpetrators.

...

and

...

trying to come to grips with the people that did it.

...

and, of course, it was a whole

...

it was a whole operation

...

and it was run like a corporation

...

I mean, the Ss was in many ways a kind of corporate structure

...

and they had senior management and they had

...

managers, and they had office workers and they had

...

the whole machine in fact that

...

that's

...

that led this thing to be

...

and

...

that's a project that that last

...

but

...

it lasted right up until Covid.

...

that went on for five years.

...

And that's a long time to be inside a subject like that.

...

And

...

I think

...

it's the

...

One of the the the

...

the deepest hearts of of darkness.

...

And I think specifically on that project,

...

It's

...

you you can

...

I think somehow, we can all associate with the victims.

...

somehow,

...

like we can say,

...

Well, basic and empathy

...

teaches us. Right?

...

Yes. That that somehow

...

or at the very least we can imagine it happening to us.

...

you know?

...

oh my god. What if they ...you they came from me.

...

What if I was of the wrong?

...

social group. Right?

...

Right.

...

what if I was of the wrong social group and

...

through no fault of my own. I was put on a train and sent to a

...

strange location and

...

first first,, they came for the communist. Right?

...

Yes. And selected and murdered.

...

I mean, we can imagine it. It's not hard to imagine.

...

and we

...

we

...

But

...

try to imagine yourself as

...

one of the perpetrators.

...

So it's it's

...

people often say that, you know, in war

...

the worst thing that can happen to you is to get killed

...

But I think many would would argue that, actually, the worst thing that can happen you

...

to you and war is to kill

...

And I think that

...

in this situation,

...

the perpetrator, the Ss man or the cop

...

or whoever it was.

...

this is a role that

...

we do not readily

...

empathize with.

...

and that is a much different much more difficult

...

struggle to empathize with to try to understand even

...

we would like we would like to

...

be comforted in the fact that, well,

...

I would never do that.

...

I could never do that. I could never participate in something like that.

...

But

...

as we all know,

...

through countless

...

in fact,

...

there's no way to say that you would not.

...

And many, many, many, many many people

...

without too much

...

compulsion or

...

What have you?

...

did it?

...

And so

...

I think that

...

wrestling with that problem was one of the

...

the

...

darkest journeys of my artistic life was trying to come to chris

...

with

...

with this.

...

And when you see the pictures of these guys,

...

which is the project is based on a photo album of

...

of the senior

...

officers

...

who were running auschwitz

...

they just look like normal guys.

...

and there

...

That just got guys doing

...

doing their job. Right?

...

They just guys having a laugh and

...

you know, going to advance this

...

formal ceremony in this party and

...

this little

...

smoking cigarettes and having beers.

...

all all of that.

...

And in fact it it looks so normal.

...

and you stare at these photos and you you're hoping that you're gonna see some kind of

...

monster appear because we ...in our heart parts, we want we want

...

to be able to push this off onto the monsters.

...

we want fans. Right? We what we want pause

...

we we want fangs and claws because then we can say,

...

they were monsters. They were not people. They were monsters.

...

and that really takes us that takes us off the hook.

...

because of that

...

I'd never been that.

...

the exactly because you couldn't because you're not a monster.

...

your person.

...

And this is what this is the caricature of the

...

of evil

...

which

...

this became the the focus of the work, which is that

...

we've we've care with caricature church.

...

the perpetrators.

...

and, you know, Hollywood and and all the television and all the the

...

so much of this. It's always the same sort of shouting vicious

...

animal.

...

person.

...

but he's not really a person. He's a he's a caricature of a person.

...

and

...

In fact, that's not who carried out the holocaust.

...

there were quite normal average people that did it to they were people.

...

they would

...

just guys doing during their jobs.

...

they were people.

...

The the process

...

of creating up

...

it seems changes you.

...

as you have

...

So just described. Is that something else to be afraid of?

...

And is that fair something else to use a few

...

I think so.

...

I think there is there is a risk of of of the work

...

overwhelming you.

...

as

...

this is no ...this is a very serious matter I think often in the theater.

...

there are

...

vision

...

visions and stories.

...

of of actors who

...

got so deep into a role.

...

that

...

they couldn't get out of it.

...

that that it it did

...

get altered their their character.

...

or they or or that it affected their mental health.

...

The character took over the the color

...

In fact,

...

In fact, the sometimes the

...

the

...

the character

...

open some

...

deep well.

...

and the director saw it and used it

...

and

...

and the actor was no longer able to

...

control it,

...

move from the background of the foreground.

...

and

...

So

...

and some bad things many bad things have happened out of

...

and I know I know many actors have ended up in therapy and and sometimes worse.

...

where the

...

the

...

the character took over.

...

or or or that it revealed something

...

This is more than merely the

...

beautiful act of sacrificing yourself

...

in the in the pursuit of something greater you know talking about something more

...

shall we say, sinister,

...

I think so.

...

and and and and to be honest,

...

the

...

this stage

...

is also full of

...

people who are perpetrators of bad things

...

and there are power dynamics in the theater that can be very easily abused.

...

there people sometimes get

...

sacrifice literally for visions.

...

with no recourse or care to people's health and welfare.

...

it happens.

...

and it is somehow

...

in the nature of the art that we do these sorts of things

...

but it is also ...let's be honest.

...

there's a lot of room in this in this

...

field for abuse to happen. And I think the theater

...

is going through a big reckoning right now.

...

I can ...I I think

...

the last five years

...

and

...

particularly as the me movement started,

...

it's had profound implications on the theater.

...

It's surface some ...shall we say

...

highly un unsafe.

...

Yes.

...

details. Leo dear, it is

...

such a pleasure to see you. Or Say hear you.

...

again, what have you got to throw into the into the pot?

...

I'm really, really intrigued

...

pull because

...

you you shared a little bit about the danger off kind of not

...

going far enough and kind of landing in this look

...

warm neither the he or that territory and in

...

and also on the other end and kind of the

...

you know, the cliff edge where you keep running, and then all of a sudden, you look down and you

...

realize you like, you know, the

...

cliff edge with, like, twenty meters behind you, and then you drop

...

So I'm wondering

...

how

...

how to

...

you or how have you seen people kind of

...

trying to make that sizing choice

...

how do you feel where you are? Like, what does it feel like? How do you get to

...

sense

...

Where am I in this?

...

How do you aim for the sweet spot?

...

Exactly.

...

if there one. I don't know.

...

Is there one? Yeah.

...

It's an excellent and and of course difficult question.

...

you're posing

...

I ...i when you were speaking, I I was thinking about

...

about Hemingway.

...

and and and about his his

...

his idea of the the internal bullshit

...

detector.

...

the text yes.

...

And I think that

...

This is

...

this goes to the core of it because I think that

...

the the mediocrity is always the the the worst enemy we

...

face when we're making work.

...

and and it is on the present always trying to get in the room.

...

So you try stuff

...

and nine times out of ten, what you tried, which seemed so brilliant

...

and seems so perfect in the moment is actually a

...

a total cliche.

...

It does media mediocrity carried the name of ...I don't know the

...

reduction accountant inevitably or or or does it

...

actually get a little more complicated than that.

...

somehow, it the accounting of the project

...

will be, you know, did we learn something actually unique in new year?

...

and

...

and

...

And and if I if my bullshit meter

...

or my bullshit detector

...

is not

...

at peak

...

capacity

...

then the bull just gonna get in.

...

and

...

then

...

then

...

we're

...

we're at the terrible place. And this is where I think you have to be really hard

...

on on yourself and on your work, and this is where the rigor comes in.

...

And

...

is that you throw up all these ideas

...

and you

...

you put them to the to the

...

to a kind of trial by fire.

...

we often well often and described it as that you put an idea

...

on the stage, and then you throw rocks at it.

...

And if it breaks, then it was bullshit.

...

But if it doesn't, if it's if it if it's hard,

...

and it's

...

it's solid then

...

then

...

you can believe that

...

that it's right.

...

And I think that maybe to answer your question that that

...

this is the the kind of risk taking that's necessary is

...

is also kind of against yourself.

...

because the biggest bullshit artist

...

is yourself?

...

and you have to be able

...

just so true.

...

you you have to be able to to

...

know, have an ego big enough to try

...

But ...but also,

...

an ego that's big enough to take

...

the worst criticism you can throw at it.

...

what does the that throwing of rocks look like in your practice?

...

is a team

...

activity

...

generally, I encourage it to be a team activity.

...

And because I i I also encourage the team to

...

eyes and to make to make choices and to make

...

proposals

...

and

...

And then it can be ...it can be pretty rough.

...

it can also be very fun.

...

But, generally, it ...it's pretty rough because the ideas get thrown out there.

...

and then it's trial by fire,

...

And

...

and it

...

And then through that,

...

series of failures to find a way we we inevitably arrive at a big crisis.

...

and that crisis is essential to the creative process.

...

you should be ...I think you should be always driving, driving your work towards crisis.

...

because that's when that's when the

...

the the

...

the fabric tears of the light comes in.

...

only then

...

Do you want do you want to

...

somehow generate that crisis even artificially,

...

as early as possible.

...

in the process, or does it is it doesn't it work like that? That's jeff

...

does the crisis come when the crisis wants to come?

...

Yeah. It is. The crisis will come on it's own terms.

...

Yeah.

...

son of a bit.

...

you can't. You you can't make it. You can't. If you try to fake the crisis,

...

then then that then you ...then you're really being a abortion

...

That's just not gonna work. Is this

...

artist.

...

If you take fears

...

Two

...

So on the ...the the the

...

logical extreme

...

they become failures.

...

And the five years are interesting because

...

that sort of like

...

fears that have

...

graduated to the level of definitions of personality.

...

Yeah.

...

And, of course, Five,

...

well documented all through the

...

artistic community.

...

Hans Christine Anderson, apparently would leave a note

...

on his bedside table before going to bed saying,

...

I only appear to be dead.

...

because he didn't want to be buried alive.

...

Mhmm.

...

Dolly was terrified of Grasshopper,

...

of course, he was ...I mean, he would be right.

...

Like I mean, why not? I've course. So if you're gonna be

...

your dolly. This is what

...

hedgehog was terrified of eggs.

...

interestingly not birds, eggs,

...

Mhmm

...

Can I wanna have a pet focus? Have you seen them up

...

about the place.

...

a sort of a a

...

badge of honor that you wear

...

on your breast and they keep talking about in public one that singles you out.

...

someone special

...

Well, I think that that the

...

Another way to think about what you're describing

...

is

...

is that

...

this kind of fear

...

when it graduates to a real

...

full blown phobia.

...

is is also the mark of an obsession.

...

and I think when we look at

...

Great artists works.

...

we

...

we often find

...

a few

...

very visible obsessions.

...

And

...

I think that if if you were to

...

mind those obsessions.

...

you'd get down to some holy terror down there.

...

that

...

probably is some kind of deep seated phobia.

...

and

...

the the the

...

obsessed obsessive

...

of their work.

...

was somehow a direct response or

...

a confrontation with or a correction of that

...

crippling phobia.

...

I'm just guessing, but I I bet.

...

bet this would be a great project to make

...

is to

...

is to look at

...

analyze an artist's work.

...

particularly obsessive artist works

...

there's a long list

...

and then work backwards

...

And so

...

as a long list just waiting to be mind.

...

Yes. And then work backwards into their personal life.

...

and find out what

...

really scared the shit out of them.

...

and or

...

even in ways that maybe they couldn't say.

...

And I think this would be a fascinating project to to to to look at.

...

really?

...

Yeah. Some of those fears

...

appear

...

really quite strange and

...

criminal.

...

But I dare say from the inside, They don't look anything.

...

like privilege

...

and to many artists

...

to mention have struggled

...

with that definition of what constitutes

...

quote unquote normalcy,

...

Suffered from bout of depression, amy Wine house

...

struggled with

...

addictions, which ultimately killed her asked did Kind.

...

and a long list of other musicians where actors and painters.

...

the absence of fear and absence of energy

...

Do you have to be

...

paralyzed by some demons somewhere whispering

...

stuff into your in order to actually

...

produce and is facing your fears.

...

part of the greatest creative process.

...

absolutely. It's part of the creative process. And I think I think that the the

...

fear is the unique is essential to the human condition. There's no escaping it.

...

and

...

It's like I said earlier than anyone who tells you they're not afraid of lying.

...

means

...

fear fears fear is the

...

is the ultimate motivator.

...

I mean, mortality would already do that for a lot of people. I mean,

...

Of course, Like, with

...

Mhmm.

...

yeah. We're we're we're we're always facing. We're always facing that.

...

And all all of human existence works out from that.

...

is that we're we we're constantly

...

face with our extinction.

...

Well then

...

While Your did say that the meaning of life is

...

death. I think that was Who said that

...

pe,

...

And if we

...

Yeah. And but, you know, you you've mentioned A couple of times and

...

I always

...

Well, he was he was particularly

...

Just

...

colorful writer wasn't me?

...

but but his death

...

is really

...

Wow.

...

what an epic metaphor there?

...

you know, and he

...

I mean, I think

...

if I were to say, what was mis

...

really terrified of

...

I would say

...

that it was to be ridiculous and to be laughed at.

...

and

...

that's exactly how his life ended.

...

you know, he

...

he

...

Yeah. The support didn't go quite

...

I planned did it

...

well was before this. So he he had this

...

insane idea that he was going to launch a new, like,

...

order, like a kind of samurai order. It made these his own costumes

...

and he made it. He gathered a an army unit

...

to hear a speech

...

And he was ...he was gonna use this speech to launch

...

a new Japan,

...

Like, it was really Make.

...

And he went on on was balcony and gave the speech to the army guys there.

...

and they laughed at him.

...

they just laughed.

...

and the revolution did not happen.

...

the revolution drowned and laughter, and then he he went back inside

...

and

...

and committed ritual suicide.

...

and made a bot job of it, by the way.

...

Yeah. His I think his first

...

night who was going to

...

commit him to to history didn't manage

...

to do do the slicing job quite as well as

...

expected, which was rather terrible.

...

But with did death

...

we did death last week. So

...

So when i know now we're when we're doing. We're doing fifth

...

and maybe just to

...

just to wrap up because we are

...

coming up to the bottom of the

...

What makes

...

what makes an artist jump into deep water

...

creatively.

...

every time

...

even if the chances are drowning,

...

don't get any less

...

What is that driver?

...

I wish I could say,

...

I really don't know.

...

I

...

I

...

I can only give

...

a guess,

...

and that

...

It's

...

that will be good enough for us tonight

...

I think that

...

There's

...

there's a bigger fear at stake.

...

which

...

is the fear that

...

through it all, maybe

...

You didn't risk enough.

...

and you don't have anything to say.

...

Really?

...

there will add any

...

thread to

...

the fabric of human wisdom

...

And that fear

...

is so terrible.

...

that you have to dive out into the deep deepwater.

...

you have to risk it all.

...

to avoid that faith.

...

and maybe you'll fail

...

But at least there will be some measure of dignity

...

when all said and done.

...

Leo, why do you keep doing it?

...

why do you keep sitting at, you know?

...

I was gonna say typewriter, but, you know, we are in the twenty first century. Why do you keep

...

producing those words. Or why do you keep chipping away?

...

I think it's the

...

the fear of the lived life.

...

I feel like

...

there is something in there that wants out, and if I'm not writing it,

...

at some point, it'll all be over, and it won't be written.

...

or won't be made or it won't be

...

thought or it won't be shared.

...

So not not just the life.

...

to use a a famous phrase, but the light

...

the fear of the fear

...

of not to as opposed to

...

the fear of two

...

Exactly. So I'm a lot less afraid of the two, what I'm

...

Yeah. I think

...

I think it's kind of

...

Never meeting the purse

...

and I could have seen and the things I could have made if I didn't

...

get started eventually. And when knew, I didn't get started until my thirties and let i

...

started feeling really acute.

...

So

...

Well, Michelangelo did his best

...

sculpting in his twenties. But, you know, he too was a strange

...

like, like, like, all artists blossom,

...

I've love this. I have really loved this the chat tonight.

...

We've had some really good chats here on

...

the creative farm, and I

...

dare. This has been

...

one of the better ones, you know, I'm deeply grateful to my

...

friends Laura,

...

And Paul, who is

...

a regular farm here on the creative farm.

...

Thank you. Thank you too to both of you.

...

and

...

I have no idea what we'll be talking about next week, but, so we'll come up with

...

something interesting.

...

Thank you.

...

Thank you, Ralph, and and thank you for your

...

your brilliant and questions and guiding cans

...

it's always a a deep pleasure to be here.

...

Hi your Humble servant.

...

I will I will hear you

...

next week,

...

Good evening.

...

Thank you so much.

...

Thank you.

Fortune Cookie