In Episode 243, AJ invites us to a new play he’s working on – which spurs a short discussion on the value of DOING the work, as opposed to just learning about the work… and about what it means to do our part as actors to bypass the “mental labor” casting needs to type-ify and hire talent. Then Trev picks back up with Part 2 of his in-depth conversation with actress and filmmaker Sophia Savage:
“What makes you wrong for one thing makes you right for something else.”
Have you ever felt frustrated that you’re doing all the right stuff – taking classes, honing your skills, thinking big, positive thoughts – but things still just weren’t clicking?
Ever heard this? “You’re great, but you’re too short / tall / good-looking / quirky / fit / soft / fill-in-the-blank…”
Yeah. Us, too.
Some actors are inherently blessed with that affable castability that’s the stuff of straight-off-the-bus career legend. Others… not so much. And not being quite ‘right’ for role after role (after role) was just one more in a slew of reasons Sophia needed to nudge herself over the edge into full self-permission to create her own work.
And, after a 3.5 year stint as a writer for Indiewire, Sophia had learned a thing or two about filmmaking and film festivals: what sells, what gets programmed, what doesn’t – and why using that coveted acceptance letter to film festivals as a means for artistic validation… is almost always a deep, dark, lonely, boring place.
At the end of the day, it’s simple. Are you making the kind of work you want to make? Not work that’s necessarily formulaic (though there’s nothing wrong with that), and not necessarily work that’s going to make you a million dollars (absolutely nothing wrong with that). But does the work you’re making mean something to you, personally? As Sophia shares, there are more than a few unpredictables and uncontrollables in the industry, and – especially when it comes to art – people-pleasing is just as ineffective in art as it is everywhere else.
Make work you feel good about. End of story. There’s an audience – and maybe a certain DIY-focused actor podcast – out there, waiting for it.
“Okay, guys,” you say, “but what about ideas? How do I write the damn thing? How do I go about getting started? How does Sophia do it?”
Glad you asked. Sophia’s creative process, as you’ll hear, is decidedly patchwork – and decidedly approachable. She fills the well simply: by reading a lot, by jotting down ideas as they come, lines of dialogue, images and thoughts, snippets of things – trusting they’ll assemble themselves over time, at the right time, when it’s time (‘composting,’ as famed creative writing teacher and painter Natalie Goldberg might put it <—- great further reading, btw).
All in all, Part 2 of our chat with Sophia is a deeper cut into what it means to create with integrity, with authenticity, and with honesty. Hope you dig it.
Also Mentioned in Episode 243:
Connect with Sophia:
- SavageSophia.com (Writer/Director/Actor)
- SophiaSavage.net (Model)
- Empyrean (Short Film)
Picks of the Week for Episode 243:
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