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Words about words, brands, names and naming, and the creative process.

#sparkchamber 061917 Dylan Brody

A big dose of wit and wisdom graced the #sparkchamber today in the form of humorist, story-teller Dylan Brody. He is also an award-winning playwright, an author, a poet, a recording artist and, weirdly, a Taekwondo Master (4th dan) with additional black belt degrees in two other styles (Hapkido 3rd dan, Kigumdo 1st dan). He has five traditional CDs out under the StandUp! Records label and one digitally downloadable one through Rooftop Comedy. In recent years, Brody's literary hero David Sedaris has invited him to open his shows when he's been on the west coast; Mr. Brody feels that should tell you all you really need to know. His website is dylanbrody.com; his specials are now streaming at:
http://nextupcomedy.com  Dylan Brody's Driving Hollywood
Http://revry.com  Corner of Starbucks and Christopher Street
https://www.rooftoppro.com/artists/DylanBrody More Arts/Less Martial

1.] Where do ideas come from?

Ideas appear constantly. The human mind thinks and explores and extrapolates by its very nature. It plans, it dreams, it imagines, it solves, it questions. Society trains us to disregard our perpetually generated, infinitely abundant ideas. The trick is to allow the ideas to come and to follow each one like a vein of precious ore until it peters out or becomes something of great worth. Often the ones that peter out re-emerge long after abandonment in a new context and prove more valuable than they originally appeared. Trust the things your brain does at play. Reinvent the wheel. Why not? The original was a pretty valuable idea. See where the new design puts you.

2.] What is the itch you are scratching?

For the first third of my life, ego drove me. I loved the laughter and adoration of crowds. I love the praise of readers. I loved being admired. This was enough to keep me emotionally engaged long enough to learn my various artistic crafts, to find my footing as a creative and intellectual force in an anti-intellectual, risk-averse society.

Eventually my interest shifted. For a long time my impetus was simply the desire to make my work so entertaining that I could present even unpopular ideas to a mainstream audience. As a road comic I talked about the hypocrisy of the drug war during the Just Say No campaign. I talked about the idea that homophobia was the last accepted form of bigotry at the same time that most comics were still perfectly comfortable and often quite successful with fag jokes and lisping, limp-wristed stereotypes.

Right now, as a story-teller and humorist, as a playwright and columnist and author, my goal becomes ever more pompous. The crushing urgency of mortality drives me to work for far larger goals. I hope to use the power of language and performance to drive the zeitgeist toward a healthier, more loving and inclusive path. I seek to use all the tools at my disposal to encourage and support the members of our society to rise to their greatest potential, to learn and expand and explore the constraints of reality itself.  Also, I still enjoy laughter and adoration.

What drives me, though, is the race that I see going on right now between the human capacity for self-destruction and the human capacity for adaptation and evolution. I want the species to survive and I do not believe it can do so unless the very fabric of our culture changes dramatically. If I can flip one or two epigenetic switches toward individual accomplishment in one or two people, I will have used my skills and talents to help ensure the species' continued success.

3.] Early bird or night owl, tortoise or hare?

I often write late at night. I certainly do a lot of work late at night. Once I'm writing something long-form (a novel, a play, a screenplay) I tend to write the entire time that I'm awake until it's done. At times I write for 18-hour stretches pausing only to eat a bowl of cereal over the sink or make a pot of coffee. I also write fast.

I do not think most people do it the way I do it and I do not advise people to do it the way I do it. Do the work however you are most comfortable doing it. There are no wrong answers.

4.] How do you know when you are done?

I don't. Unless someone buys something. Then it's done. A few months ago, driving home from a meeting, I solved a small thing that had bothered me about the third act of a screenplay I wrote twenty-nine years ago. I dug it out, imported the old WordPerfect File into Final Draft and made the changes. I suddenly loved that project again and started figuring out where and how to submit it(Anyone reading this want to look at an Adventure Fantasy screenplay set largely in New York City?  I think of it as The Princess Bride for the new Millennium.)