Go Day! is Dynasty Typewriter’s monthly dose of enchantertainment™, designed to excite and inspire you to GO into your life with gusto! It's a free event for our community where we have artists and creators and entrepreneurs that we like come educate and inspire our audience. Last month we had an amazing line-up of speakers including writer Bruce Ferber (Home Improvement), showrunner Brent Forrester (The Office), Catherine Coan (Taxidermist, Artist, Poet, Professor), Jonathan Kidder (Creator, Artist, Intuitive), and Vikki Flam (Comedian and Jamie’s Mom). As always, it was hosted by Jamie Flam and Vanessa Ragland (Artistic Directors at Dynasty Typewriter). Writer Emily Popper was in residence to take notes for this edition.
GO DAY (MARCH 3 RECAP NOTES)
Collaborating with other artists and exploring art forms outside your comfort zone are a great way to broaden your work. (Catherine Coan)
“People like people who are into stuff.” We are generally drawn to other people with weirdly committed passions. (Catherine Coan)
“It doesn’t matter how old you are, just get started.” (Catherine Coan)
Vanessa & Jamie ask the crowd about their response to Dynasty’s new “Coffee” option, and along with 3 other people, I give an emphatic thumbs up! Vanessa & Jamie seem less than impressed with the response.
Jonathan Kidder, a psychic puppeteer has brought a trunk full of his hand puppet helpers.
As he talks about learning to accept his abilities during his childhood, Jonathan comments, “I was afraid to let my magic out.” Don’t be afraid to let your magic out – even if it scares you.
As if they rehearsed it, Jonathan comes back to Catherine’s theme of collaboration and talks about knowing who your tribe is. Jonathan defines “tribe” as the people who allow you to be yourself.
The talk progresses into a “reading” for a mildly reluctant Jamie. During the course of the reading they coin the term “Like-me-itis” – a condition that holds too many people back.
While talking about the throat chakra, Jonathan explains the importance of managing your choices right in between your head and your heart.
One insight that really lands with the crowd is the idea that the antidote for fear is gratitude. As a way of generating that gratitude, Jonathan suggests that each day before bed, you should ask yourself “Why was today the best day ever?”
Vikki Flam, Jamie’s mom is up next with photos of her cork-board outline and stuffed animal audience which prove she’s been taking Brent Forrester’s advice, even if she tends to call him “Brett.”
While discussing her hopes to give stand-up a try, Vikki points at Jamie and says “If you can take the leap, I can take the leap.” It instantly becomes my new mantra.
Echoing a point Catherine made about starting projects, Vikki says “It’s never too late to become what you might have been.” I believe her.
Finally, Vikki closes out her chat by accurately pointing out “Go-Day is not bullshit.” Vanessa vehemently denies that anyone ever thought it was.
Bruce Ferber, author and show-runner of the incredibly successful sitcom Home Improvement (among other things), sits down for an interview with Go-Day veteran Brent Forrester
Brent’s first question is about “breaking in” to showbiz and Bruce emphasizes that he took the time to write, arranging his life to make that possible.
Bruce describes himself starting out with no idea “how things were done” which turned out to be an advantage for him. It's a good reminder not to worry too much about what other people are doing.
Brent and Bruce talk about the importance of being able to work in a group as a TV writer (there's that collaboration theme again). After Brent describes the variety of writers who might make up a room. Brent describes (as a show-runner) sitting next to the “quiet” ones to help amplify their ideas in the room, and Bruce comments “the loudest person in the room isn’t always the funniest.”
Brent reminds Bruce of story writing advice he shared when they were both on the same show and says he still uses it when he’s stuck: “A story is usually about two people – take two characters and put them at war with each other.”
Brent asks Bruce what makes a show like Home Improvement hugely successful and Bruce gives this recipe: 1) A likable star 2) originality and 3) hitting a cultural “moment” in just the right way.
Bruce tells a story about developing a line with Tim Allen and the result “A little lox goes a long way” becomes my second new mantra of the day.
Bruce uses a tennis analogy to talk about getting started on your own. He says when you’re playing on the court there are two people there, the guy hitting the ball and the guy in your head telling you that you suck. You need to learn to like yourself if you want to get anywhere.
It’s becoming a Go Day tradition for Brent Forrester wrap up the day and he does his usual amazing job.
Brent says being brave enough to research and write journalistically about things you haven’t done and groups you’re not a part of is important for the growth of a writer. He says if you can find the courage to do that, you can eliminate the competition.
Brent often mentions Judd Apatow’s advice to tell highly personal stories, but today he adds something new. He describes sharing his concerns with Apatow about encouraging people to try for a career in show business when it’s so hard to be successful. Apatow’s response is that you should always encourage people to make art as long as you are encouraging them to do it therapeutically and honestly. Judd Apatow has been added to my list of personal heroes, I will defend him to the death.
Brent offers to answer questions, so I raise my hand and ask how I can get myself to write the last 7000 words of my 80,000 word novel before I attend a pitching event. I’m avoiding the writing, so Brent suggests I do a ”vomit pass” which echoes something Bruce said earlier – “if you get something down it will get better.”
Another writer asks about a project he’s just starting and Brent emphasizes how important it is to have friends who are also writers both for accountability and to remind yourself that what you’re writing about is INTERESTING to other people.
As always Brent reminds us to start creating art, whether it’s paying $200 and putting on your own show or taking that improv comedy class that scares you. I’m in!
Vanessa & Jamie thank our speakers, agree that coffee is important even if it’s difficult to provide and send us on our way. Only one month to the next Go Day!
Kidderco.com – (Jonathan)
Kiddervibes (Jonathan) Instagram for adults
Possibilitopia Instagram for kids (Jonathan)
The UnUrban Café - will let you do a one person show (Brent)
The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield (Brent & Jamie)
Zen and the Art of Playing Tennis by Agam Bernardini (Bruce)
The coffee is worth it and Apatow rules.