This week I posted perhaps the most personal and vulnerable piece of content I’ve ever publicly shared online. It’s part 2 of my “Of Fathers & Filmmaking” episode of my podcast “Radio Film School.” In it I talk about how my relationship with my dad planted the seed for me to become a filmmaker. I talk about being the older son of a single mom during my formative years. And I have a particularly vulnerable moment I debated including in the show.
But I’m not the only one who gets personal. Patrick Moreau, co-founder of the Emmy-award-wining studio Stillmotion shares about how the death of his mom affected his art. And spoken word artist Marshall Davis Jones gives some follow-up commentary about the evolution of his “Spelling Father” poem that will blow your mind.
All three of us share some pretty personal stuff in this episode. I firmly believe that when you allow yourself to go to the depths of your vulnerability as an artist, the higher you can elevate your craft. There are three reasons why.
#1. It Thickens Your Skin
Creating art and putting it out there is in and of itself and act of vulnerability. You’re opening yourself up to critique and criticism. People may love it or hate it. Many of them will tell you. Or, heaven forbid, you may not get as many likes or views. Art = vulnerability. The more you allow yourself to be vulnerable, the thicker your “skin” will get when it comes to your craft. That will empower you to share more and do more, which will, over time, improve your craft.
#2. You Will Profoundly Impact Your Audience
I believe art is a 2-way conversation. It’s you saying something to the world, then the world responding. We all have personal stories that others can relate to. We all have secrets and demons that haunt our past. And we often all feel like we’re the only ones. We forget that we all deal with similar sh*t. But when you create a piece of art that reveals your demons, your secrets, your passions and pain, and people related to it, you make a stronger connection through that art. The response from the world will feed your muse help push your craft forward.
#3. It’ll Unlock Talents and Abilities You Didn’t Know You Had
There’s something about the process of being vulnerable that creates a sense of freedom. That freedom empowers you to take risks. And the act of taking those risks will start to unlock skills and abilities you didn’t know you had. In many ways it’s like therapy. The process you go through with a therapist enlivens you, strengthens you, and helps you discover things about yourself. Being vulnerable with your art does the same thing.
This episode has the power to make you laugh and cry. Enjoy!