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Creative field trip 01

Taking creative field trips | RISING*SHINING

One of my 2016 goals is to take myself on at least 3 creative field trips. A creative field trip is any kind of outing where the purpose is to spark creativity. I love the endless possibilities of what a creative field trip can be. The destination could be anywhere: a museum, the backyard, the grocery store, a random intersection. I think a virtual creative field trip would also be possible!

The objective could be to observe people or surroundings, to practice your craft (writing, painting, knitting, photography) in a different environment, or the objective might be to not have an objective and just to see what happens - we are always rushing around being so focused on things. I don't think we can anticipate what will spark our creativity or what we will be drawn to. For me the main objective during a creative field trip is to allow myself to be open and to see what interests me.

Last Saturday I went on my first creative field trip of the year and ever. Plus it was a date night so it was a 2-for-1! 


Origins Project Dialogue between Lawrence Krauss & Johnny Depp exploring creativity and madness.
(Side note: Alice in Wonderland is one of my favorite movies.)

Field notes

"No one should accept anything but the truth." - Johnny Depp

"It's not my business if a film is successful. I don't care." - Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp and Lawrence Krauss became friends because Johnny had watched hours of Lawrence's talks online and when they met at a party Johnny walked up to him, shook his hand and said, "You're my hero."

Johnny rolled a cigarette and smoked throughout the conversation. 

Johnny doesn't watch any of his movies. For him, he said, acting is about the process and not the finished product. This was the most interesting thing I took away from this field trip. Maybe many actors are like this but to me this spoke to the importance of becoming fully immersed in the creative process and I loved this insight and felt I could relate a little bit. This is tangential but I thought about Amy Poehler's advice to care about your craft and not your job in her book Yes, Please.

Johnny mentioned having a very difficult, insecure and unloving childhood and how we never felt an insider at school but not an outsider either. 

"Who your kids are at 3 is exactly who they will be when they grow up." - Johnny Depp

I loved heard Johnny speak lovingly about his children. I can only imagine how different his life is than mine but we both fiercely love our kids.

Johnny's first passion was the guitar, which he started playing at age 12. He also loved to draw and to write. He said he became an actor to pay the bills and while he was in the series 21 Jumpstreet continually tried to get fired because he felt he was being made into a product. His first role with Tim Burton, Edward Scissorhands, made him see acting in a completely different way because he could relate to the character and relished bringing to life such a complex character. Johnny shared that he prepared for the role by taking ecstasy, wearing the scissorhands and then trying to make coffee.

When learning a script, Johnny reads through it entirely one time and then never pays notice to screen directions after that. He wants his actions and movements to be natural for the character.

Johnny spoke about his close relationship with Hunter Thompson, who wrote Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He said that when they met they discovered they had both been carrying the preface to the play In the Time of Your Life with them for years and had memorized it. Johnny said that everyone should read the preface; not the whole play, just the preface.

Afterward the dialogue, Chris and I talked about the romanticization of mental illness especially as associated with being creative. We wondered if the dialogue served to dispel that or not. Johnny didn't talk about any specific mental illness diagnosis but mentioned always feeling different and using first music, then writing and then acting as a means to keep his mind busy from darker thoughts. 

And finally, "He is, I believe, a brat." - Johnny Depp on Donald Trump (whom he plays in a recent web movie)