VVP: Art 434 & Engl. 410

Website for Vision Voice and Practice: An Interdisciplinary Course in Art and Creative Writing

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Marc Maron & Chris Hayes

MM: Have you thought about that, you know, what the arts actually do and what their place is?

CH: I have, I mean my mom worked in the arts and was an arts administrator, and [she] worked for this non-profit in the arts. I think for me personally the most important training I got for my life was through the theater I did in high school and college.

MM: Really? How so?

CH: A huge part of adult life, the two biggest things about adult life, I find: It's presentation, like, occupying your space, standing and looking someone in the eyes, delivering to them. And collaboration, working with other people to make a thing work. And, we had this student-run theater at Brown where we, you know, we controlled the building, and we'd have these long meetings, where we'd decide, [we had] all these applications, and we'd fight over who's gonna get the space for the next show. That was closer to adult life than to any other thing I did in my four years at a great university. Because it was just about the basic mechanics of group decision-making and collaboration. And so I think that this is in some ways a practical argument for how important the arts are, but I just think [that] every kid should have that awakened in them--

MM: The creativity and the collaboration?

CH: The creativity, the collaboration, the sense of, like, I can make a thing with my friends...and how do we do that, and how do we skirt around conflict? How do you win an argument in a room? You know, those were meetings--the least glamorous part of the arts--but also for me the most instructive.

MM: I understand what you're saying about collaboration and arts, but there's also something about the freedom of expression, on an individual basis. I hear what you're you learned, but I always wonder--you know, people get so self involved, and not entitled, but everyone's expecting to win the lottery or be the next genius. And there's not a lot of attention paid to the act of expressing yourself.

CH: That is--yes. The difference between doing a thing because it will get recognition, and doing a thing because that thing expresses something or fulfills you--it is so hard in a media landscape that is in a very literal fashion built upon the endorphin rush of the ping of recognition.

--from WTF, episode 628, with some elisions and clarifications for readability

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