“Comedy exists in a fine line between bravery and ruthlessness.”

Film maker Jacob Bernstein said that in an interview on Fresh Air with Terri Gross, and I had to slow down on the elliptical machine at the gym so I could write it down.

See, I’ve felt for a long time that comedy and art have this thing in common. I’ve been reading biographies of comedians, autobiographies and listening to interviews with them for years.

I wrote more about that in this post:

The thing that art and comedy share is finding that truth, and sharing it in a way that communicates. Possibly an unexpected way.

So that we get to this:

An artist can show things that other people are terrified of expressing, quote from Louise Bourgeois

With humor, or art, we can say things that are unexpress-able. Things that might otherwise be socially unacceptable to say.

As I listen to more and more interviews with comedians on the Comedian’s Comedian Podcast, the more I hear comedians say, well, I have to be myself, the more myself I am, the better it works.

Authenticity and honesty, basically. Which is what makes art work and be interesting also. (And it’s not just me who says that, Paul Klein, the noted Chicago former art dealer often says so in speeches as well, that vulnerability is important in artwork.)

What’s the creativity tip here?

Part of it is to search for meaning and understanding. Why are you making art? What’s your deeper reason for making? What are you trying to communicate?

The other part of it is to do things that you enjoy: watch stand up comedy, listen to podcasts that interest you. Enjoyable things feed our creativity (in moderation).

So there you have it, another permission slip. This one gives you permission to do things that are enjoyable and feed your creativity. We have to fill the creative well if we expect to get anything out of it!

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