September 17, 2019
“There’s times before my mom and I are about to go onstage to play together, and maybe we just argued right before going on. But there’s something about that moment... where I give her a kiss on the cheek and say, ‘Hey, this started with you and me. Let’s go out there and do this.’” -Madisen Ward My guests this week are Madisen and Ruth Ward, who together are known as the mother-and-son folk band Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear. They’ve appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, NPR’s Tiny Desk Series, and recently released a brand new album called Started With A Family (if you haven’t heard their music yet, I highly suggest you take a listen). For this episode, Madisen, Ruth and I tackled a question from Paige Elson from Stockton, California. Paige asked, “What are the benefits and setbacks of working creatively with family?” I’ve always been curious to know how family fits into creativity. Where does creativity come from? Do you get it from your parent’s genes or from the upbringing they provided? Madisen and Ruth brought such an interesting perspective to this question. We talked about how Ruth’s career transformed after she became a mom, how writing and performing music is different when collaborating with family members, what role music played in the Ward household, and we topped it all off with a question about a crab’s perspective. If you have a question about the creative process, that you think would spawn a good conversation on this show, ask me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter tagged #creativeprocessing, or by emailing New episodes are coming out every Tuesday through October 22, 2019. ------ABOUT THE GUESTS: Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear consists of Madisen Ward and Ruth Ward. They are a modern soulful/folk music duo from Independence, Mo. The band's debut album Skeleton Crew, produced by Jim Abbiss, known for his award-winning work with Arctic Monkeys and Adele, captures Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear in their most natural setting. The two tracked most of the tracks live, sitting across from one another in the recording studio. They didn't use a click track. With help from a handful of session musicians, the two Wards captured the sound they'd been making since those coffeeshop days.  ------  SELECTED LINKS FOR EPISODE: Connect with Madisen and Ruth:-Twitter: @MadisenWardMB-Instagram: @MadisenWardMB-Facebook: Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear-YouTube Channel (One For the Record Series)-MadisenWardandtheMamaBear.comMadisen Ward and the Mama Bear Music Mentioned:-Started With A Family (2019)-Skeleton Crew (2015)-"Dead Daffodils"-"Undertaker and Juniper"MadisenMusic Music Mentioned: -“Skip and the Turtle”-“Weep for the King”-“Big Bad Wolfblood” Other Music Mentioned:-Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards by Tom Waits-“Old Man” by Neil Young-“Clown’s Lament”by @Metaphorest on HITRECORD-Pink Moon by Nick DrakePeople Mentioned:-Isiah Whitlock Jr. (Actor and Ruth’s Brother)-Tom Waits (Singer-Songwriter)-Tracy Chapman (Singer-Songwriter)-Mark Knopfler (Singer-Songwriter)-Bob Dylan (Singer-Songwriter)-The Osmonds (Family Music Group)-Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Composer)-The White Stripes (Musical Group)-Wu-Tang Clan (Hip Hop Group) TV Shows Mentioned:-The Wire (2002-2008)-MacGyver (1985-1992)
September 12, 2019
For this episode, I’m going to do something a little different. I recently did a TED Talk, and there was something really distinct and special about it. I’m pretty used to performing on stage in front of people as a character or for a show, but it felt different to be on stage delivering in-depth thoughts of my own about an idea that’s important to me.I’m putting this TED Talk on my podcast because it’s about how the creative process can be affected by the attention-driven model of big tech companies, and how you can feel a difference when you try to pay attention vs. get attention.We’ll be back next week with more episodes of CREATIVE PROCESSING. I hope you enjoy. For more TED Talks, subscribe to the podcast TED Talks Daily, where they post a new idea every day. It’s available anywhere you listen to podcasts. Thanks!
September 10, 2019
“At the end of the day, I’d rather make stuff period than make stuff how I want to make stuff. And specific to us, I’d rather make stuff together even than stuff alone.” -Evan GoldbergMy guests this week are the comedy duo Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. You've probably heard of their movies Pineapple Express, This Is The End, Neighbors, Superbad, Sausage Party, and most recently Good Boys. They’ve also ventured into the entrepreneurial space with their own cannabis brand, Houseplant. I’ve known these guys are a while, and have had the pleasure of working with them on 50/50 and The Night Before. Seth and Evan are unique in that they do a vast majority of their creative work as a duo. Because of this, I thought they would make the perfect pair for this week’s question.For this episode, Seth, Evan and I discussed a question from Pretince Martin Southwell from Springfield Illinois. Pretince asked, “Have you had people you didn’t get along with personally turn out to be good to work with professionally, or vice versa?” We talked about the origin story of how Seth and Evan’s working relationship began, how their dynamic changes when they work with or involve other people, how they navigate disagreements, and we even debated the existence of extraterrestrial life.If you have a question about the creative process, that you think would spawn a good conversation on this show, ask me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter tagged #creativeprocessing, or by emailing New episodes are coming out every Tuesday through October 22, 2019. ABOUT THE GUESTS: Seth Rogen is an actor, writer, producer, director, entrepreneur and philanthropist whose films and TV projects have had an impressive impact on popular culture and box office returns. As an actor, his films have grossed over $930 million worldwide and as a filmmaker, his global box office success exceeds $850 million. Alongside longtime collaborator Evan Goldberg, Rogen produces film and television projects through their production company, Point Grey Pictures. Evan Goldberg is a director, screenwriter and producer. In 2011, Goldberg alongside long time collaborator Seth Rogen, founded Point Grey Pictures (PGP), a production company dedicated to creating multi-genre film and television content anchored in dynamic, authentic and passionate storytelling. Through PGP, Goldberg has produced a diverse slate of films such as 50/50, Neighbors, Good Boys and the Academy Award -nominated The Disaster Artist. In the TV space, Goldberg currently produces Future Man on Hulu, Black Monday on Showtime, Preacher on AMC, and The Boys on Amazon.LINKS FOR EPISODE: Connect with Seth and Evan:Twitter: @SethRogenInstagram: @SethRogenFacebook: Seth RogenReelStart.orgHilarityforCharity.OrgPeople Mentioned:Sammy Fogell (Childhood Friend)Sam Raimi (Director)Stanley Kubrick (Director)Jeremy Irons (Actor)Kevin Smith (Filmmaker)Jim Carrey (Actor)Kyle Hunter (Producer)Ariel Shaffir (Producer)Eric Kripke (Writer)Christopher Miller and Phil Lord (Filmmaking Duo)Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Filmmaking Duo)Bonnie and Terry Turner (Producing Duo)Johnathan Levine (Director) Alex McAtee (Producer)Sandy Rogen (Seth’s Mom)Judd Apatow (Filmmaker)Sam Catlin (Writer)Michael Shannon (Actor)Kevin Corrigan (Actor)David Krumholtz (Actor)Paul Sheer (Actor)June Diane Raphael (Actress)Jason Mantzoukas (Actor)Movies Mentioned:Pineapple Express (2008)This Is the End (2013)Neighbors (2014)Superbad (2007)50/50 (2011)The Night Before (2015)Sausage Party (2016)Good Boys (2019)Spaceballs (1987)Reservoir Dogs (1992)Pulp Fiction (1994)Evil Dead (1981)Bad Lieutenant (1992)Lolita (1997)Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)Swingers (1996)Clerks (1994)Wayne’s World (1992)TV Shows Mentioned:The Larry Sanders Show (1992-1998)Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000)The Boys (2019-)3rd Rock from the Sun (1996-2001)Undeclared (2001-2002)Preacher (2016-)Other Mentions:HouseplantHow Did This Get Made Podcast
September 3, 2019
“To me, it's not about really external/internal. It's about a pipe between me and others...I have all these thoughts and I want to express them all, but people are not always ready to receive them. Then when you get together and express something...sometimes I can find a pipe where we can connect.” -Yuka HondaMy guest this week is Yuka Honda- a musician, composer, producer and all around fantastic artist. She’s one half of the duo Cibo Matto, and has worked with a range of musicians: from well-known artists such as the Beastie Boys, Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon, to lesser-known but no-less-incredible artists such as Petra Haden, Mike Watt, and Medeski Martin & Wood. Her latest work is a multi-media operatic theatre piece called No Revenge Necessary. She’s done so many great things over the years, and is a dear friend whom I was excited to sit down and have a conversation with. For this episode, Yuka and I explored a question from Melissa Hui from San Francisco, CA. Melissa asked, “How much of creative expression is for ourselves vs. others?” We talked about how ideas, images, and feelings take the shape of clouds inside of our heads. When collaborating, Yuka looks to create a pipe connecting her ideas (or the clouds in her head) to the clouds in other people’s heads. And to wrap off our incredibly uplifting/poetic conversation, we answered a question about what we would do in the face of death.  If you have a question about the creative process, that you think would spawn a good conversation on this show, ask me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter tagged #creativeprocessing, or by emailing New episodes are coming out every Tuesday through October 22, 2019.  ------ABOUT THE GUEST: Yuka C. Honda is a musician/producer/composer/performer. Residing in New York City since the mid-1980s, Honda is best known for the band Cibo Matto. Honda has released three solo albums and has produced recordings by Sean Lennon, Martha Wainwright, Yoko Ono Plastic Band, and Cibo Matto. Currently Honda has been performing and recording with CUP (duo with her husband Nels Cline) as well as with her solo entity Eucademix and ON/IN, a duo collaboration with Akio Mokuno.  ------  SELECTED LINKS FOR EPISODE: Connect with Yuka Honda:Instagram: @EucademixFacebook: @Yuka C. HondaTwitter: @YukaCHondaYukaCHonda.comYuka’s Art Mentioned:No Revenge Necessary (Original Multimedia Opera composed and directed by Yuka Honda)People Mentioned:Cibo Matto (Band with Yuka Honda + Miho Hatori)Beastie Boys (Hip Hop Group)Yoko Ono (Musician) Sean Lennon (Musician) Petra Haden (Violinist) Mike Watt (Bassist)Medeski Martin & Wood (Band)Marc Ribot (Guitarist)Caetano Veloso (Composer)Vincent Gallo (Actor/Musician)Jamie Foxx (Actor)Nels Cline (Guitarist/Composer)Venues Mentioned:Knitting FactoryNational Sawdust
August 27, 2019
“I want to be transparent that any image with an agenda (which is actually most images) is a form of propaganda. It’s just whether you try to hide that fact or whether you’re honest about it.”-Shepard FaireyMy guest this week is Shepard Fairey- he is an artist and a self-titled propagandist who is perhaps most known for his HOPE Obama Poster or for his Andre the Giant Has A Posse OBEY Campaign. If you’ve lived near any American metropolis, you’ve probably seen his work stenciled onto the sides of various buildings or as a sticker slapped on the back of a fire hydrant. Recently, his series We The People featured Latinas, Native Americans, Muslims and African Americans, and could be seen at nearly every protest and rally in the country. Shepard’s also quite the philanthropist - he and his wife Amanda started a campaign called Make America Smart Again, which called for Americans be more informed, involved, and engage in healthy dialogues with one another.For this episode, we analyzed a question from Shishuraj Karmalkar from Mumbai, India. Shishuraj asked, “How do you wrestle with the statement that artists are 'selfish' since they're off worrying about their art, and not devoting more energy to political rebellion in troubled times?” Shepard and I discussed how art can transform from something selfish to selfless, the intended (and unintended) message art can convey, and if you can ever truly divorce art from politics. He also answered an off-topic question about God with a reference to the movie Dodgeball, so that was pretty cool.If you have a question about the creative process, that you think would spawn a good conversation on this show, ask me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter tagged #creativeprocessing, or by emailing New episodes are coming out every Tuesday through October 22, 2019.ABOUT THE GUEST:In 1989, while at Rhode Island School of Design studying for his Bachelor of Fine Art in Illustration (which he earned in 1992), Shepard Fairey created the “Andre the Giant has a Posse” sticker that later evolved into the OBEY GIANT art campaign. In 2008, his portrait of then-Democratic candidate Barack Obama became an internationally recognized emblem of hope. Since then, Fairey has painted nearly 100 public murals, become one of the most sought-after and provocative artists in the world, and changed the way people converse about art and view the urban landscape.SELECTED LINKS FOR EPISODE:Connect with Shepard Fairey:Twitter: @ObeyGiantInstagram: @ObeyGiantObeyGiant.comObeyClothing.comShepard FaireyArt Mentioned:Barack Obama ‘Hope’ Poster‘Andre the Giant Has a Posse’ CampaignWe the People’ SeriesBowery MuralGod Saves and Satan InvestsMovies/TV Shows Mentioned:Triumph of the Will (1935) *WARNING - literally Nazi Propaganda*They Live (1988)The Loudest Voice (TV Series, Showtime)Dodgeball (2004)People Mentioned:Bob Marley (Singer-Songwriter)Bob Dylan (Singer-Songwriter)Joe Strummer (Musician)Dead Kennedys (Band)The Rolling Stones (Band)Chuck D (Rapper)Barack Obama (Politician)George W. Bush (Politician)Donald Trump (Politician)Adolf Hitler (Politician)Robert Indiana (Artist)Andy Warhol (Artist)Jasper Johns (Artist)Barbara Kruger (Artist)George Orwell (Author)Ray Bradbury (Author)John Carpenter (Filmmaker)Ben Stiller (Actor)Vince Vaughn (Actor)Jason Bateman (Actor)Leni Riefenstahl (Director)
August 19, 2019
“You have to be kind of angry about something to write a script...and if the thing that you're angry about is not something that you identify in yourself, I'm always wary of that.” -Rian Johnson This is the very first episode! My guest is THE Rian Johnson- he is a writer, director, filmmaker extraordinaire. I was in his very first movie, Brick. He then went on to make The Brothers Bloom, Looper, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. He’s an extraordinary thinker, conversationalist, artist, and human being. For this episode, we took a deep dive into a question from Alexandra Kolmanofsky from Louisville, Kentucky. She asked, “How do you get inspired by other people’s creations and create something unique that is completely your own without taking too much from the inspiration?” Rian offered some incredible insight on what distinguishes inspiration from imitation, what are the limitations and advantages of dealing with genre, and if any piece of art can ever be considered “original.” We also seriously pondered whether cereal is, in fact, soup (or not). If you have a question about the creative process, share it on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) using the hashtag #creativeprocessing, or by emailing New episodes available every Tuesday through October 22, 2019. ABOUT THE GUEST: Johnson’s career began at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. After writing and directing a few short films that won awards but did not bring him to the attention of mainstream audiences, Rian decided to make this film, even if it was his last.His first feature film Brick premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005 where it won the Special Jury Prize for originality and vision. Always with Ram Bergman producing and Steve Yedlin as his Director of Photography, Rian went on to write and direct Brothers Bloom (2008, starring Mark Ruffalo, Rachel Weisz and Adrian Brody), Looper (2012, starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017, starring Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher).Johnson has also directed many episodes of television including two classic episodes of “Breaking Bad” — both voted in the top 10 best episodes of the series by viewers.  SELECTED LINKS FOR EPISODE: Connect with Rian Johnson:Twitter: @rianjohnsonInstagram: @riancjohnsonMovies Mentioned:-Brick (2005)-The Brothers Bloom (2008)-Looper (2012)-Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)-Knives Out (2019)-The Evil Dead (1981)-Barton Fink (1991)-Breathless (1960)-A Woman Is a Woman (1961)-Barry Lyndon (1975)-A Clockwork Orange (1971)-Jacob’s Ladder (1990)-Miller’s Crossing (1990)-21 Jump Street (2012)-Hail, Caesar! (2016)-True Grit (2010)-True Grit (1969)-Sorry to Bother You (2018)-Under the Skin (2013)People Mentioned:-Sam Raimi (Director)-The Coen Brothers: Joel & Ethan (Writers and Directors) -William Goldman (Writer)-Jean-Luc Godard (Director)-Stanley Kubrick (Director)-Dashiell Hammett (Writer)-The Beatles (Musicians)-Little Richard (Musician) -Chuck Berry (Musician)-Phillip K. Dick (Writer)-Lawrence “Larry” Kasdan (Writer)-Jonathan Glazer (Director)-Boots Riley (Director)-Wes Anderson (Writer and Director)Other Mentions:-”You Never Give Me Your Money” - The Beatles (1969)-The Continental Op by Dashiel Hammett (1989)-Models of anxiety: Responses of rats to novelty in an open space and an enclosed space. Ennaceur, Abdel & Michalikova, S & Chazot, Paul. (2006).
August 13, 2019
Here’s a little snippet from the very first episode of Creative Processing featuring writer/director extraordinaire Rian Johnson! I was in his very first movie, Brick as well as his third movie Looper. He also made The Brothers Bloom, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. He’s an extraordinary thinker, artist, and human being. I always love conversations with him, and hopefully you’ll enjoy hearing this one. So, check it out and SUBSCRIBE! Episode 1 comes out Monday, August 19th and then there’ll be new episodes every Tuesday for the next ten weeks.Each episode focuses on a question submitted from you all about anything surrounding the creative process. So, if you have a question that you’d like answered, you can ask me on social media using the hashtag #creativeprocessing, or email
July 11, 2019
In his new podcast, "Creative Processing," Joseph Gordon-Levitt wants to explore all aspects of creativity and artistic collaboration. Each episode will focus on a single question contributed by the audience. Questions can be about any aspect of the creative process: from writing your first screenplay, to dealing with procrastination; from an actor's relationship with their character, to a musician's relationship with their instrument - or anything in between. Every episode will see Gordon-Levitt offer his own honest insights on the topic, and then invite a range of notable guests to join him in the conversation and provide their own unique perspective. Submit your questions to Joe on social (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc) using the hashtag #creativeprocessing, or by emailing So subscribe! The first episode of Creative Processing will launch on August 19, 2019, with new episodes available every Tuesday through October 22, 2019.
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