Can art heal the world? It's a question that's been asked numerous times throughout modern history, particularly when society has faced large-scale tragedies and struggles. Whatever the answer, it's clear that art can act as a salve, a unifier, and a provocateur during tumultuous times. In an emotional sense, it's as powerful as any force on this planet, and one that is desperately needed in these modern times. With that in mind, two creative legends — Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock — recently responded to this question put to them by Nest HQ: Given the current state of the world, how can the next generation of artists respond? Their response, composed as an open letter, is insightful, gracious, and inspiring.
We all know the cliché: Hollywood is a soulless mecca of slick opportunists, corporate vampires, and vapid artists — a place where people speak a morally questionable language consisting of either half-truths or downright lies. And to the average American, this stereotype likely extends beyond the borders of Hollywood to any corner of the entertainment industry. As The X-Files bluntly put it: "Trust no one."
Every once in a while I stumble upon something that strikes a deeply resonant chord within me and my gut reaction is, "I can't wait to share this!" And this is exactly the reaction I had when I watched Shonda Rhimes' recent TED Talk, the gist of which is this: What happens when The Hum stops?
To get a good idea of what The Hum is, you should definitely watch the video, but in a nutshell, it's that feeling you get when everything feels right...when you're in sync with life... when you're in the zone. For Rhimes, it was that underlying sensation she felt when she was in the midst of the chaotic whirlwind that was her work — multiple shows in production, crews and executives in the hundreds relying on her, tens-of-millions of expectant audience members...you get the idea. It all made her feel alive. Her work was The Hum, and The Hum was her. Everything was perfect. Until The Hum stopped. She lost the love...the fun...the excitement. This is how she puts it: "What do you do when the thing you do, the work you love, starts to taste like dust?"
"All your life you are told the things you cannot do. All your life they will say you're not good enough or strong enough or talented enough; they will say you're the wrong height or the wrong weight or the wrong type to play this or be this or achieve this. THEY WILL TELL YOU NO, a thousand times no, until all the no's become meaningless. All your life they will tell you no, quite firmly and very quickly. AND YOU WILL TELL THEM YES."
It's time to introduce you to another Featured Artists in Action: actor Rachid Sabitri, who's been on quite a roll lately (you may have seen him recently on Homeland). Rachid is one of those clients who has remained fully committed to his goals the entire time we've worked together — from the time he took my class a few years ago, through the private coaching that we're doing now. When he came to coaching, we set up an accountability plan and he took it seriously, showing up for himself and his goals every single week of the year, regardless of what was going on. He's works as hard going after his goals as he does his craft, and this commitment has helped him reach the next level of his career. Let's listen to what he has to say about this experience...
I was in a coaching session the other day and something came up that, immediately afterward, I thought, "This is something I have to share." My client, a writer, was frustrated because he was showing up every day to commit to his writing, but he wasn't feeling it. Something was missing and he couldn't quite put his finger on it. This is actually something that I uncover all too often in coaching sessions — people doing the right things, making progress toward their goals (or not), but somehow feeling "off" about the entirety of it all. A lot of times, it turns out that they're lacking perhaps the most important part of the process, and that, my friends, is ENTHUSIASM.
Stephen Colbert officially took over CBS' The Late Show last night, and there was a lot riding on this transition. Stepping into those very big shoes previously filled by the legendary David Letterman — one of the most influential comedians and television personalities of the last thirty years — would be an absolutely frightening endeavor for anyone, no matter how talented. On top of that, Colbert has been very successful at playing Stephen Colbert the character for nearly a decade, and he has to prove to the world that Stephen Colbert the person is not a one-trick pony. It's enough to induce a serious case of stage fright.
My family and I moved last week, and let me tell you, I feel lucky to have made it out with my sanity in tact. Anyone who's ever gone through the moving process knows that I'm not being melodramatic here — at some point in the middle of the experience, when you're sitting amidst what feels like mountains of STUFF (boxes, furniture, decor, etc.), the idea of putting your life cohesively back together feels impossible. It can be so overwhelming that you just want to give up in the hopes that someone is going to come along and rescue you (i.e., do the work for you).
Over the last few years, Sasheer Zamata has been on fire! Not only has she garnered acclaim and fans for her improv, sketch, and stand-up work with UCB, CollegeHumor, and MTV, in 2014 she joined the rarified ranks of the Saturday Night Live cast.
In 2012, when she was on the brink of major success, Sasheer took the Path Course. I recently had the pleasure to ask her about that experience and what "path" her career has taken since then.
We're proud to share that, once again, Capes Coaching is celebrating an anniversary! This month marks eleven years serving creative professionals worldwide, helping our clients align with their truest passions, and bringing dreams to life. We couldn't be more excited with where we are, and where we're going. After all this time helping you with your Paths, we thought we'd celebrate by sharing with you these eleven ways we've honored our own Path this year!
In Season 1, they brought us bug bombs, adult babies, and degenerate subway behavior. Season 2 begins today, and we can’t wait to see what wonderfully weird antics writers Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer have thought up this time. Following Their Path to Laudable Success
The NY Times calls Comedy Central’s “Broad City,” “an absurdist, slapstick look at two women scraping by in New York.” We’re inclined to agree with that assessment, but why are we talking about it here, on the Capes Coaching blog?
We couldn’t be more delighted to share that Ilana and Abbi, who write and star in “Broad City,” are both alumni of our flagship service: The Path Course!
Let's see a show of hands. How many of you took some time off this summer?
Hmmm. Interesting. It looks like quite a few of you did. Okay, let's be a little more specific. How many of you actually "got away from it all?" By this, I mean that you disconnected from everything — you were able to step away from your job or daily routine and you focused exclusively on enjoying yourself and spending time with family or friends. Let's see another show of hands.
It's Featured Artist in Action time again (which, as regular readers know, I am a BIG fan of!). This time around we're talking to actor and writer Michael Cyril Creighton. Michael has a great success story that's sure to inspire: While working in the box office at Playwrights Horizons, he created a web series about a guy that works in a box office. That series — Jack in the Box — went on to win him a WGA award for best new web series. He subsequently quit his job at Playwrights and less than six months later was cast in a play there, in which he was then nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award. He's since found success in numerous mediums, and continues to make a name for himself as an actor and writer. Let's turn it over Michael to get the full story!
I'm big on metaphors. Anyone who coaches with me knows this. There's something about an image — a visual representation — that just locks in an idea for me. Even better, I've found that the perfect metaphor can resonate universally; it's a powerful tool that can connect a vast amount of people in a very simply way. This proved true just recently in a group coaching session at One on One — I threw out the idea that navigating a career in this business is a lot like being on a roller coaster, and the entire room gave a collective sigh and emphatic "YES!"
On April 1st, 2004, Capes Coaching opened its doors with the mission to serve and empower our artistic community. We wrote our first business plan, got a loan through the Small Business Administration, rented a tiny office space in Union Square and began to coach. We simply would not be here, 10 years later, if it weren’t for you, and we would like to take this opportunity to honor you and all that you’ve meant to us throughout the years. We are forever grateful…