The best way to “educate yourself,” for most people at most stages in your life, is to make marginal adjustments in your peer group.
My creative process begins with: just thinking. I do a lot of thinking, a lot of pondering. I rarely watch films in airplanes; I just sort of sit there, looking at the ceiling. Day dreaming is the equivalent of doodling; it’s mental doodling.
I’d never had to sit and try to think about exactly what I meant by each thing I was saying, because normally, I had written it. And so honestly, what I tried to do was picture what an actor I admired would do, and I copied that. And that is the absolute truth. I imagined what somebody would do if they were given this part, and then I did all of those things.
I see life as like being attacked by a bear. You can run, you can pretend to be dead, or you can make yourself bigger.
What I learned from Prince and Muhammad Ali was that it’s possible to love yourself so much that everyone else does, too.
Listen for follow-up questions, because when those dry up, that means your companion’s interest usually has, too.
I’ve had my dictaphone since the mid- to late ’90s. In my previous life, I used to record demos on it. Then I ran into some trouble with tendonitis and repetitive stress and it prevented me from writing at my laptop. I got really bummed about it, so I started speaking my scripts out into this dictaphone I had lying around. I realized it was really helpful for my creative process. Having a linear writing machine, where I couldn’t go back and hate myself and edit myself, allowed me to blast through drafts of scripts much more quickly and write from a much more instinctual, as opposed to intellectual, place. It’s a mess when it comes out, but the pacing is really good. So I have Radio Shack to thank for my entire creative process.
For the first time in my life, I’m starting to make more money than I know what to do with. And it’s really weird. What it does is it kind of kills your god. Because your god, as an artist, is to try to find a way to make the art you want to make while being financially sustainable. And to have achieved that murdered my god. So now I look to Warren Buffett — the way he’s still actively excited about achieving career success and making money, and then he throws it all away on people who need it. That is the most inspiring thing that I can imagine.
Give your past, present and future selves influence in proportion to what each has earned. Which one of you is working with the most reliable information — about you and nobody else?
Since my son was born I realized: soon, he’ll be three-and-a-half. Soon, he’ll be able to see who I was. And shortly after that, what he’ll be reading in the oldest blogs will be closer to his age than mine. Now, I write for him.