Category: Monologues

Popcorn & Pimples (GWTW658)

What do you love more than anything in the world? Do you share that love with everyone you know or worry that you’ll be judged and not taken seriously? If you’ve been at your craft for longer than a day, you’ve bumped up against the wall of expectations. You want your audience, family, and even the world to perceive you in the best light possible, so you censor yourself. Then one day, you wake up hating that there is so much inside that you want to say but don’t know how to, so you stay stuck in the debilitating loop of people-pleasing. In today’s episode of Getting Work To Work, I want to encourage you to love what you love, share it with the world, and never stop being the delightful weirdo you are.

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Creative R&D (GWTW657)

Today, I’ve got creative R&D on my mind. At first, I thought I’d be clever and change the R&D from “Research & Development” to “Routine & Discipline.” I was going to talk about the importance of a daily routine and why discipline is both needed for maintaining performance and a byproduct of what you do. But as I gathered my thoughts, I realized research and development are equally important in our creative lives. In today’s episode of Getting Work To Work, I’m talking about why we need to broaden our boundaries of research, slow down and spend more time experimenting and exploring sub-sections of our crafts, and align those efforts with our established creative processes.

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You Are The Storyteller (GWTW656)

We are storytellers—every one of us. From the day we enter the world to the day we die, we live in a world shaped infinitely by stories within and around us. We learn at a young age about good versus evil, heroes and monsters, beauty and beasts. When we are young, we are curious about everything and want to tell the world the stories that shape us. We go on quests, gain inspiration and experience, and realize there is so much we don’t know or understand. Our stories evolve. We repeatedly try until we become tired of fighting, of telling a story that no longer serves ourselves and others. So we cede the power to be storytellers to machines and industries and become collectors of stories. But that doesn’t need to be the end of the story.

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Skip to the End! (GWTW655)

How much pain and suffering would we avoid in our work and creative lives if we intentionally skipped to the end? If we took our present striving and extrapolated it into some point in the future and examined how we felt, how we lived, and what we became? We aren’t pre-cogs in a science fiction film trying to prevent the future, but we are trying to find ways to be more proactive in creating a life worth living. That is why we should probably skip to the end more frequently, especially as we get older and see the end more clearly.

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Tough Questions to Ask Yourself (GWTW654)

There often comes a moment in our careers when we need to wrestle with some tough questions. You know the type: existential, philosophical, realistic. Cue your eye-rolling, hit stop, these questions are downright frustrating. Not just because we do not like asking them, or even answering them, but because they lead us to a new future that requires decisive action, change, and breaking down the walls of our comfort zone. As I was writing in my morning pages, I kept writing down question after question, wanting to find the tough questions I have been avoiding. I’m going to share what I came up with and encourage you to use them to find your own tough questions too.

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Re-Animate Dead Dreams (GWTW653)

I love those moments when you give up on something, and in explaining why you gave up, you come up with the spark of an idea, allowing the creative process to begin. I had given up on a second monologue this week. I wanted to focus on preparing for the first film shoot of Getting Work To Work: The Series! and writing a newsletter about creative relationships. I started writing the first sentence explaining why there was only one monologue when the idea struck: How do you re-animate dead dreams? I am a collector of dead dreams and don’t think I’m alone. Some have been gone a long time, and I don’t see them returning from the dead (rockstar, anyone?). But what about the dreams that merely need a bolt of lightning to live again?

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Lies Fear Told Me (GWTW652)

It’s the middle of the night, and you’re lying in bed when suddenly, bam! There it is, fresh in your find, in its finished form. There’s nothing more exciting than the promise of a new creative idea. You imagine the response. People love it. Likes, subscribes, shares. Then something happens—at least for me—fear shows up. Sure, fear is in costume, but it’s there, whispering lies and half-truths, saying anything to stop this creative project from seeing the light of day. In today’s episode of Getting Work To Work, I’m sharing five lies fear has told me and the truths to counter them.

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Create Within Your Paradox (GWTW651)

I have no idea how creativity works, but I’m glad it does. This morning, I got triggered by the onslaught of daily challenges on Instagram. The grumpy contrarian in me was ready to do a complete takedown rant on how challenges are a waste of time: “Creativity is not just exercise! It’s nutrition! It’s fitness! It’s everything!” Drink your coffee and calm down. But as I explored these thoughts further, I started thinking about the different parts of my creative self and how they work together and against each other to get my work to work. Deep within the interaction of these different parts of ourselves lies the paradox at the core of creativity, the magic, the fun. Let’s enter it, shall we?

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Pieces of the Puzzle (GWTW650)

How many of you hit the reset button of your life on January 1st, 2023? This year is probably the first time I decided against resolutions and wishing for a different life. Not because I’m giving up or social media said I needed to, but because I have work to do—on myself, for my clients, and to bring the creative vision deep within me to life. I have always loved hitting the reset button, it is how I learned to play the guitar, after all, but this year is different. Instead of resetting to serve some idealized version of myself, I’m rummaging around on the floor amongst the broken pieces of life to see what’s there. In today’s episode of Getting Work To Work, I’m going to share five interesting pieces of the puzzle that each form their own intriguing vision of the future.

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Creative Lessons for a New Year (GWTW648)

It’s the end of the year, and as we head into a new year with unforeseen possibilities, it’s time to examine our creative processes. How do we produce our work? Is it serving us? Chances are there are portions of our approach, being, vision, and expression that can be challenged, shaped, and refined. The best way to do that is through the lens of memoirs by two drastically different yet similar artists. Combining lessons from the worlds of drama, improv, sketch comedy, and performance art, today’s episode of Getting Work to Work features seven creative lessons to practice in the new year.

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Your Story Can Start Today (GWTW646)

If you were to write your story, where would you start? As an avid reader of biographies and memoirs, there is nothing more frustrating than starting a book about a remarkable life at the boring beginning. There may be moments at the beginning of our lives that are memorable, but what if our stories didn’t start until much later? With a cultural fascination bordering on obsession with the youth, it can be hard to stomach that some people don’t really start living their story until the twilight of their lives. Whether you are in your twenties, eighties, or beyond, your story can start today.

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Feedback and Personal Projects (GWTW644)

Over the past several monologues of Getting Work To Work, I’ve been sharing chapters from my forthcoming book. After each episode, I had a similar reaction: I need to get this book in front of people to get notes to improve it. But I kept dragging my feet. Why? Why is it easier to get feedback on a professional project than on a personal one? Do I lack the ability to separate myself from my work? Do I trust people to give me feedback that will allow the book to be the best it can be? In today’s monologue, I’m tackling these questions and sharing five tips for letting people into your personal project without losing your mind.

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The Curiosity Toolkit (GWTW642)

Before I started on the journey that is writing a book, I came up with the idea of The Curiosity Toolkit. Originally, it was going to be an online course. As the desire came and went to produce online courses as part of my business plan—I love teaching, but not in that medium—I archived the toolkit. As the structure and content of my book began to take shape, I realized the toolkit would fit nicely into the overall story structure. The Curiosity Toolkit is broken down into 14 chapters and uses our body, mind, and spirit as implements for our curiosity. I’ll read two chapters from this section in today’s episode: the introduction and soul.

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Avoiding Community (GWTW640)

How do you write about community when you feel like you’re living in hiding? When you don’t want to commit to another group of people because past wounds are still oozing and ugly? You accept where you are at and let the words flow. Could healing come from this moment? In today’s episode of Getting Work To Work, I’ll share a chapter about avoiding community from my forthcoming book, A Curious Journey: Learning to Co-exist in Solitude, Relationships, and Community. I’ve had my fair share of struggles with different communities over the past twenty years, but I’m not ready to be a hermit just yet.

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Add Your Words to the World (GWTW638)

Last week on Getting Work To Work, I shared about the book I’ve been writing and read from a chapter about silence. I received a positive response, which encouraged me to continue sharing. So this week, I’m moving to the next section of the book, which is about close relationships. The chapter I’ll be sharing is about human evolution, the changes we go through, and our expectations of others to never change. But before I do that, I want to let anyone listening know this: your art, your words, and your lives are important, so never stop sharing them with your loved ones.

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An Inside Look at My Book (GWTW636)

On November 1st, 2021, I embarked on the journey of writing my first book. My process was simple: I wrote every day by hand in a notebook. Little by little, I captured my thoughts until I completed the first draft over a month later, on December 5th, 2021. I then started transcribing the words into Scrivener, and over the next month, the book started taking shape. Another month went by—a little bit of editing happened—but I slowed down. Then eventually, I stopped. Why was I so willing to write ferociously in the beginning? Why was I not afraid of the blank page but frightened of finishing? I got in my head. I let fear stop my progress. And I became yet another person to start a book and never finish it until a friend challenged me.

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When Doubt Takes Over (GWTW634)

You ever have one of those moments when you knew you made the right decision, but then the outcome didn’t reveal itself when you wanted it to? Did I make the right decision? Is the presence of doubt a sign that I should make changes to my plan? Should I have stayed? When doubt takes over, managing all the questions in your mind and conversations with trusted advisors can be exhausting. Today on Getting Work To Work, I’m getting curious about doubt and its relationship to impatience, fear, and the creative process. We all feel it, sometimes change our minds because of it, and mostly view doubt as a negative experience. But what if doubt is actually a positive indicator of something else? That you are right where you need to be on your creative journey.

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The Full Picture of Reality? (GWTW630)

Today on the podcast, I want to talk about something important to every business: metrics. Specifically, the metrics, numbers, data, whatever you call it, that you chart to give you a glimpse of your business reality. When you work for a giant corporation, there is a wealth of data and statistics at your disposal. When you are a business of one, you still have a lot of metrics available to you, but which ones really matter? It can be hard to say—and depending on who you listen to—you might just pick the wrong one. In today’s episode of Getting Work To Work, I’m exploring a new way to approach metrics as I rebuild my business.

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Leaving the Land of 1,000 Excuses (GWTW626)

There always seems to be another excuse for “why not.” Why I can’t learn a new skill, explore a new technique, or start a new project? In the land of 1,000 excuses, the excuses keep me safe and secure from harm and change. But what happens when you leave the land of 1,000 excuses? That’s what briefly happened when I worked a retail job for five months. Not only was I learning new things, but I was actually surprised by what I was able to do. I rewrote old stories about my capabilities day by day. In today’s reflection, I’ll share how I left the land of 1,000 excuses and how it is not a one-time deal but a daily practice.

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Shut Out the World and Work (GWTW624)

For the next month on Getting Work To Work, I will share several impactful experiences from working in a retail environment. Spending eight hours a day walking on concrete floors, helping customers, and making sure shelves are full, one tends to witness a multitude of experiences, both positive and negative. In today’s monologue, I’m unpacking one of my most valuable learning opportunities: shutting out the world and getting to work. I wouldn’t say I lacked focus before, but I was easily distracted by text messages, email, and social media, not to mention internal worries and concerns. I got a lot done by learning how to shut out the world and focus on the tasks at hand. Now, how to bring that back to my daily work where the temptations are all around?

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Drawing Out Stories (GWTW621)

A funny thing happens when I talk to people: I hear amazing stories. I’m not sure where this ability comes from, but I can trace it back to a young age when I would listen to my parents and sisters talk about what they were going through. This ability to listen is excellent, but I’ve also learned to listen within for the question I really want to ask. And that’s when the stories start pouring out. In this episode of Getting Work To Work, I’ll share a few ways to listen and five questions I love to ask that draw out stories from anyone. By the end of this episode, you will have the tools necessary to hear unbelievable stories of love, loss, success, and failure. You’ll never know how it will impact your creative future.

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Embrace the Void (GWTW620)

It’s been an interesting time of decline and I’m honestly enjoying it. I’m not talking about society, culture, or my business, but my artistic ambitions and connection with others. It all started when I read this phrase in a book by Eric Barker: “the right amount of weirdness.” I’m a weird person, I’ll admit it, but I’ve learned to hide it, so I could be accepted by as many people as possible. I’ve even shoved my weirdness aside when it demanded to be shared with others. What did I get for my conformity? Burnout and boredom with my creative pursuits. Fortunately, the way forward is clear to me: embrace the void so in obscurity my weirdness can thrive once again.

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Great Expectations (GWTW619)

The first time I heard it, I took great offense. But I started to hear it more and more. From an older generation who remembers life as it once was and no longer is, of a singular expert worker who knew the answer to every question and the solution to any problem—even if no one said it aloud. “I guess this is what we get nowadays” is not an ideal way to start any engagement, but the perfect statement to reflect upon in today’s episode of Getting Work To Work. Yes, technology and convenience have changed the world of work, but they have also changed our expectations as customers. How are we to respond as workers?

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The Missing Path (GWTW618)

Living a creative life isn’t always glamorous and Instagrammable. Sure, there are perks: a level of autonomy and creative freedom that doesn’t exist in other organizations. But what do you do when you are chasing a vision that you wholeheartedly believe in and have moments where you can no longer see your way forward (or even backward)? When the path is missing, do you keep flailing around looking for salvation or stop and wait for a change in perspective? So many questions as I stop and recognize that my own path has disappeared for the moment. I know where I want to go, but I think I need to continue groping around in the dark for a bit longer.

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Why Buy New Gear? (GWTW617)

Why do you buy new gear? Is it to achieve your creative vision? To compete against other creatives in the marketplace? To be cool? To realize unknown ideas? There are a million reasons to buy new gear and many valid counterpoints for using what you have. Regardless of where you sit on the continuum between new equipment and using what you’ve got, injecting the occasional purchase of something new into your rig can be inspiring and spark new ideas. But how do you do that if you are short on cash or don’t know what would be the best use of your funds? I’m going to share a few ideas on today’s episode of Getting Work To Work.

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