https://youtu.be/4muD_vhhF6s?feature=shared

As a writer, you’re paid for being vulnerable. Your unique life experience is what makes your writing unique, but how you present that information is pivotal to telling a good story and not making people uncomfortable. IN This week’s podcast, Michael Jamin and Phil Hudson discuss the paradox of being vulnerable in your writing.

Show Notes

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Autogenerated Transcript

Michael:
I’m always encouraging people who want to start writing, learning the craft of writing, to start with personal essays. And again, I know this is a visceral repeat for many people, but the reason why I say that is whether you want to write a novel, or a stage play, or a screenplay, the writer has three jobs.

Michael:
And the first is to come up with characters. And the second is to come up with a story for those characters. And the third is to figure out how to unpack the details of that story, in a manner, in a fashion, that creates something that’s engaging, an engaging story.

Michael:
You’re listening to Screenwriters Need To Hear This, with Michael Jamin.

Michael:
Hey, everybody. This is Michael Jamin. I’m here with Phil Hudson, and welcome back to another episode of Screenwriters Need To Hear This, the podcast for screenwriters who need to hear things. And so, today, by the way, I apologize. If you hear some background noise, like a background humming, hopefully we can remove it in post, but that’s my air condition, and it’s over 1000 degrees outside, in Los Angeles today.

Phil:
Factual, we documented it.

Michael:
We counted each degree. So I got the air running here, because there’s just no way to do this without having some kind of relief.

Michael:
All right. So today’s episode, Phil, welcome back, is called The Paradox of Being Vulnerable in Your Work. And it’s a paradox. I’ve talked a little bit about this a few months ago, or no, weeks ago, on a post, and then I did my one man show, Phil. My show, A Paper Orchestra.

Phil:
Right. To rave reviews.

Michael:
Rave reviews. We sold out. Six shows, which was a relief, because I was panicked like no one was going to show up. That would’ve been embarrassing. But then after each show, we did a Q&A, and I kept on hearing a question over and over again. And I think about maybe 75% of the people in the audience were basically fans from Podcast, or TikTok, or Instagram. So I don’t know. I think most of my fans are aspiring writers, or writers, or actors. They’re creative types, I think. Right?

Michael:
And so, they were the people in the audience. And so they kept on asking in the Q&A, and the talk back afterwards, they kept on asking kind of the same thing, show after show. And it was really about being vulnerable. So I thought I would just talk a little more about that to everyone else, because obviously if they’re talking about it, other people are probably interested in the same thing.

Michael:
And so this part’s a little bit of a repeat, so I apologize if you heard me talk about this, but if you’re new to the show, I got to repeat it. So my show, my one man show was based on my work of A Paper Orchestra, which is a collection of personal essays. And so, I’m always encouraging people who want to start writing, learning the craft of writing, to start with personal essays. And again, I know this is a repeat for many people, but the reason why I say that is whether you want to write a novel, or a stage play, or a screenplay, the writer has three jobs, and the first is to come up with characters. And the second is to come up with a story for those characters. And the third is to figure out how to unpack the details of that story in a manner, in a fashion, that creates something that’s engaging. An engaging story.

Michael:
And this is, by the way, what we teach in the screenwriting course. All this stuff. So there’ll be links to that at the end if you want. Anyway. So I encourage people to start learning, or to start by telling personal essays. And so, that’s what my piece is. My piece is really just me on stage, and it’s a performed reading. It’s performative of my work, and it’s very vulnerable, because it’s very personal. And even though the stories start out very light and funny, towards the end of them, it gets real. The laughs are getting further and further apart, as I get more and more real, and really start getting dramatic and exposing, hopefully, what I think is the truth. Right?

Michael:
And a couple of pieces are actually very difficult for me to get through, because they’re just difficult. They’re very personal and you’re exposing yourself. You’re making yourself vulnerable. So, they’re difficult to get through. And at the end, I know there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. You could just feel it. You could see it in the eyes. You could just, of the audience, you could just tell. And actually, at the end of the second piece, that room was just applauding, and that applause had gone on so long, I was getting worried, because I’m standing there. I’m like, “I hope they realize there’s more to the show. Maybe they think the show is over.” I was like, “This is going to be weird when I continue talking, because they think it’s over.”

Michael:
But, I guess, I don’t think it was that. I think they were just really touched. And so, then we went to the Q&A, and then people were asking, “Hey, is it difficult for you to be so vulnerable up there?” And I was like, “Why do they even care?” But then it kind of occurred to me that most of these people are probably aspiring writers, or actors. And so maybe they’re thinking about this for themselves. Like, “If I do this in my writing, or performing, is it going to be difficult for me?” And I think what they’re really asking is, “Am I going to be judged? If I do this, will I be judged?” Because people will look at you differently, and will I be judged for that? That’s very hard for people, especially creative types who are putting their work out for the first time.

Michael:
And so, I think some people, even if you’re not doing a personal essay. And by the way, I’m up there. My personal essays, that’s me. It’s like, actors do this all the time, but whatever, they’re crying in their scene or whatever. But I’m up there, and I’m basically saying not only am I being vulnerable, but these stories are real. It’s happened to me. This is me. So it’s not even the veil of pretending to be somebody else, which an actor, maybe they can hide behind or not. I don’t know.

Michael:
So I think new writers often think, regardless of whether they’re writing a personal essay or not, if they’re writing a piece, a story about whatever, they are worried that whoever was reading it is going to judge them. “Oh, if these weird thoughts are coming out of that author’s or that writer’s head, then maybe they’re really having those thoughts. Maybe they are as twisted as their characters.” You know? And that’s a fair thing. It’s a fair thing to worry about. So they think, maybe they don’t want their characters to say something, like say this or that, because they don’t want to be judged.

Michael:
But here’s the thing. And this is exactly what I was thinking as we were rehearsing and Cynthia was directing me. It’s like, either way, I’m going to be judged. I’m going to be up there, and people are going to judge me on my work as a writer, and as a performer. And I’ve been to some shows, by writer/performers, where it’s like, they’re good. They’re fine, but you walk out thinking, “It was a good show, but it wasn’t great.” And so, to me, that’s like the worst thing I could hear as a writer, is, “It was okay.”

Michael:
And I think it’s because those people just didn’t go there. They almost went there. Then they pulled back, for whatever reason. Maybe they don’t know how to go there. They were uncomfortable going there, whatever. Or they just didn’t want to. But then you’re going to be judged as a writer. People are going to see that, and they’re going to think, “He’s an okay writer,” or, “She’s an okay writer, but not a great writer.”

Michael:
And so to me, that’s like, if you’re billing yourself, if you’re selling yourself as a writer, that’s like the worst thing you could hear, is you’re just okay. But if you allow yourself to go there, and put yourself out there, in front of everybody, then the comment you get in the Q&A, or you get the comment if people are thinking on the way home is, “Wow, that was pretty brave.” Because people said that to me a lot. “That was really brave.”

Michael:
So they’re not judging me for all my faults. They’re patting me on the back for putting it out there. And I’m not talking about oversharing. I’ll go into that later, but I’m just talking about sharing. So now, you’re not being judged. You’re actually being commended on doing something. So if you are truly worried about being judged, as a writer, a performer, an artist, if you’re really worried about being judged, then put yourself out there. Allow yourself to be judged, because then you won’t be. That’s the paradox of it. If you’re worried about being judged, then allow yourself to be judged, and you won’t be. That’s my thought, Phil.

Phil:
I think that’s a very beautiful thought, because I received the support emails. There were a lot of people who sent in emails, talking about the show and their experiences at the show, and a lot of people talked about that exact subject. How brave it was, and how grateful they were that you would be so vulnerable to share those things, in that situation, in that setting.

Phil:
They talked about some of the stuff that your wife has shared publicly, that had happened to her. And I had a similar experience. I grew up in a less than ideal situation. We don’t need to go too deep in all the details, but one of the things that I had to deal with was some childhood abuse and trauma that happened to me at a young age. And I was ashamed of it for-

Michael:
In and out of foster homes.

Phil:
Foster homes, and-

Michael:
In and out of-

Phil:
Yeah.

Michael:
Yeah.So go on. Yeah. So you were ashamed of that.

Phil:
Yeah. I was ashamed a lot of those things. And I remember I was working with a friend of mine, and she was like coaching me through a bunch of stuff, and we talked about this stuff, and she said, “You just need to own that, because if you continue to be ashamed of the things that happened to you, that you did not do, but happened to you, then you are going to hold back, and you will never be able to give as much as you can.”

Phil:
And so I just started owning that stuff. And I remember one of the things I did, on Instagram sometimes where people ask me anything, and I just put it up there because I had a bunch of free time. And so people ask me a bunch of things. And my best friend asked six questions, and I was going through, and question number two was, “What’s your deepest, darkest secret?”

Phil:
And I was like, “Okay. Now’s the time.” And I just shared publicly about some of the stuff that had happened to me as a kid. And you could tell, he felt so uncomfortable, that he didn’t realize I was going to be so bold. So he didn’t reply to anything else. But all of these other people who just lurk, commented about, “Wow, this is so brave. I can’t believe it. This makes me love you even more.”

Phil:
There’s such a beautiful outpouring of love from people that I know through work, or through non-personal settings, and it was a completely different experience than I’d ever had, with that type of thing. So I absolutely agree with you on this. If you own it, people respect it. And if you’re timid about it and you don’t go there, they wonder why.

Michael:
Yeah. And I think I’ve been struggling, not that it’s a big struggle, but I’ve been struggling with what art is, and what art means. And I kind of think that’s the key of it. It’s kind of reliving, it’s sharing your pain, to make the world smaller, so that other people can relate to you. And I think that’s because you hear that it’s kind of a cliche. The struggling artist is the tortured artist. And I don’t think that’s what that means. I think that’s just a weird misinterpretation of what art-

Phil:
Romanticized, almost.

Michael:
Yeah. It’s like, they’re torturing us, but I don’t think that’s what it is. I think it’s artists are ordinary people, or not, who have been tortured about something, and they’re just letting go of it. They’re not still living in, they’re not asking to be tortured. They’re trying to let go of it. You know?

Phil:
Yeah.

Michael:
So I think that’s a misunderstanding of that cliche. “Oh, I’m so tortured.” No, no, no. And someone, she was very kind, she said that her point was that I guess she said something like I was healing the trauma of my life. And I don’t see it at all that way. I don’t think I had a traumatic life. I think it’s just life. I think it’s just the pain of life. I don’t think I was traumatized by anything. You know?

Phil:
Yeah.

Michael:
It’s just life.

Phil:
Yeah. There’s an influencer in the business space, who had a quote, and he said, “Trauma is a story we tell ourselves.” And then, I’m not trying to take away any serious things that have happened to people.

Michael:
Right.

Phil:
But he said there’s this principle of reframing that we can do with stories, because stories lead to emotion, and emotions lead to actions, and emotions and stories can elicit real things. Real neurological and physiological responses that happen. But he said, “I choose to tell a different story to things that have happened to me.” Which is, if I go back in the past, this incident, in 1300’s, Medieval France, would’ve been interpreted another way. People die. People die all the time. Right? Pillaging happens. Murder happens. These things just happen. This is life.

Phil:
Now, it’s trauma because we have so much free time to think about these things. So yeah, I think you’re right. It is life. I think that we all need to work through those things, but it is the working through those things that helps inform the story that is unique to us. Yet, as we said before, that unique thing that is unique to us is universal. It is something we can all relate to, and come to terms with.

Michael:
And I want to be clear, when I talk about my trauma, I’m not dismissing anyone else’s trauma. I just wasn’t. I wasn’t abused. I wasn’t neglected, as a child.

Phil:
Right.

Michael:
I didn’t live through a war or anything. I just lived through life. That’s it.

Phil:
Yeah. And my life just happened to include some things that would be viewed as very traumatic to most people. Right? But my trauma is very different than other people, who have lived through much worse than I went through. And so I agree. I’m not saying it’s not real, ’cause I think a lot of that stuff is very, very real.

Michael:
Yeah.

Phil:
But we can change and channel our emotions into something more productive, which is what I’m hearing you say.

Michael:
Yeah.

Phil:
That sorting through the trauma, or the pain, or the things we don’t want to disclose, through a medium like writing, or painting, or cinematography, whatever that is, that where art happens.

Michael:
Right. And just to get back circle back on other, I guess other shows. I guess, when you tell a story, or see a show, or anything, or watch a movie, it’s a journey. So why are you taking me on this journey? And this is how I feel. It’s not just entertain me, although that’s important. Can you give me something a little more than that? Can you share something a little deeper, than just a few laughs? And nothing wrong with laughs, but this is what I want when I go on a journey. I want to be a little different on the other side. And so a few laughs isn’t going to do it.

Michael:
And I talked a little bit about this on social media, how I think it’s important to share, but not overshare. And then people are like, “Well, what’s the difference?” How do you know what the difference is? That’s a tricky one. But I do think-

Phil:
It’s an important question, though. And let me just preface this too, because I was going to ask this question. For me, talking about real serious things that happened to me as a kid feels a little oversharing. Yet, it absolutely wasn’t, because the context was appropriate. That’s my understanding. Or the platform, and the time felt appropriate to do that. What about you?

Michael:
Yeah.

Phil:
What do you think this says?

Michael:
I agree, definitely agree with that. I also think it’s about, and it’s a wavy line, sharing should make me uncomfortable, because I’m sharing something intimate and personal. But sharing shouldn’t make you uncomfortable. Shouldn’t make the viewer, the audience uncomfortable. Then that can be oversharing. And I think the way to handle it is kind of simple, when you think about.

Michael:
It’s like, okay. Let’s say I sit down on a bus, and I sit next to some person, and a person plops down right next to me. And within two seconds they say, “Oh my God, what an awful day I had. I just met up with the person who abused me for five years.” And then, I tried kidding, I had almost commit suicide five years ago. Like you just met this person, and already they’re spilling all these details. But had you had a conversation with this person, and started talking for several hours on this bus ride, and then they admit to all this stuff, then oversharing becomes sharing.

Michael:
And so it really is a matter of when that information is parsed out. And that is story structure. That is what we talk about in the chorus. It’s all about how you tell that story. The details are the same. How you unpack that information is what makes the difference between sharing and oversharing. And no one wants to hear oversharing. But that same information, you could easily put in the same story. Just when do you drop it? That’s the key.

Phil:
Oh, it’s beautiful, man. I think this is one of those moments where I feel like this is a very beautiful, important lesson for any aspiring writer. What you just said is absolute gold. And I think it took me probably eight years of writing before I realized, “Oh, I am building a relationship with the audience, through this person.” And then how I choose to disclose information, at specific moments, will have an emotional effect on them in a good or bad way.

Phil:
It’s in essence manipulation. You’re manipulating people’s feelings through the way you’re putting things out. However, I don’t think of it in a malicious sense. I think of it as people are willingly submitting themselves, and their time, to be entertained. And you are walking them down a path that will ultimately elicit an emotional response from them.

Michael:
Hey, it’s Michael Jamin. If you like my videos, and you want me to email them to you for free, join my watch list. Every Friday I send out my top three videos. These are for writers, actors, creative types. You can unsubscribe whenever you want. I’m not going to spam you. And it’s absolutely free. Just go to MichaelJamin.com/watchlist.

Michael:
I know what you’re saying about manipulative, but I don’t, there’s got to be the right word, because that word-

Phil:
I don’t think it’s the right word. Yeah. Entertainment might be the better word.

Michael:
Yeah. I mean, this is what people want. They want to be taken on a journey. And so, you don’t take them to the final destination first. You take them to the first stop on the journey, then the second, the the third. So yeah, I wish I could think of the better word, but I mean, I really think it’s craft.

Phil:
Yeah. Maybe it’s that. Yeah. Yeah, no. I don’t want to diminish what you just said by using a negative term like manipulation. I think what you said is very important, and I hope everyone listening to this heard that, and can wonder, “Well, how do we do that?” And what you’ve taught me is that is literally the job of a writer. It is understanding how to plant those flags and build to a specific moment, where there is a crescendo of emotion, and then the resolution thereafter.

Michael:
Right. And that’s literally what we talk about in the course. Where those moments come in, in the story. Because you can point to them, and you can point to other movies, and projects, and TV shows, and you go, “Oh, look at that. Yes. That’s how that is done.” So you’re not just coming out of the box and saying, “Here’s my guts.”

Phil:
Yeah.

Michael:
You’re stepping it out.

Phil:
There’s a George Clooney film. I think it’s called Up In the Air. I think it was by Sam-

Michael:
Yeah, I just watched it a couple… No, I don’t think it was Sam. I thought it was Jason Reitman. I think it was Jason Reitman.

Phil:
Jason Reitman. You’re right. You’re right. It’s Jason Reitman. And I saw it in the theaters, and it is one of the most beautiful films I think I’ve ever seen, because that moment you’re talking about, where you share, is so painful. It hurts you as an audience because you walk-

Michael:
What scene are you talking about?

Phil:
When he shows up to surprise the woman he’s had this beautiful-

Michael:
Oh yeah.

Phil:
Beautiful moment. I mean, it’s been out for years. I don’t know if it’s necessarily a spoiler, but if you don’t want to know the spoiler-

Michael:
Too late. And the movie’s 15 years old already.

Phil:
But so he’s a traveling guy who doesn’t want to have relationships. He travels much because he’s afraid of these relationships. It’s tied into his family, and the fact that he’s trying to run away from his family, and that’s why he’s on the plane all the time, working towards this million miles. And then he falls in love with this woman that’s traveling all the time, and having this beautiful affair with each other, and then he stops over at her house, and her husband opens the door.

Michael:
Yeah. Yeah.

Phil:
He broke his own rule, because he fell in love with this woman, and we were just heartbroken because-

Michael:
Yeah, I just watched that again, coincidentally, a few weeks ago. And it was really, yeah, it’s a great movie. So well done.

Phil:
Yeah. Highly recommend. But to me that’s, I think, the epitome of what you’re talking about here is just…

Michael:
Yeah.

Phil:
It hits you in the feels. You laugh, you cry. It’s all of it.

Michael:
Yeah. So there you have it.

Phil:
What are some things that you think listeners can do, to learn how to tell the difference between a good moment and a bad moment? Let me start with an example.

Phil:
I think just paying attention to your interactions with other people and saying, “How does that story making you feel?” So is it that moment you’re on the bus, and someone says something, and you’re like, “Holy crap, this is not okay,” versus, “Man, my friends just opening up to me, and I’m having a beautiful, intimate moment right now, with someone I care about.”

Michael:
Right.

Phil:
What do you think people can do to develop that?

Michael:
Well, first thing you can do is put yourself out there, and not be so worried. I hope, I probably said it before, ’cause I know so few quotes in my life, but there’s this wonderful quote by Oscar Wilde who said, “You’d worry less about what people thought about you, if you realize how little they did,” which works on two levels. Which means they already think you’re an idiot. So they’re not going to think worse of you, or they’re just not thinking about you, period. They’re thinking about themselves, and that’s probably the true version, which is no one’s really considered. No one really cares about your…

Michael:
So when you expose yourself, and open yourself up the judgment, 10 seconds later, they’re not thinking about you anymore. They’re thinking about themselves. So don’t worry about it. Don’t put so much weight on it.

Phil:
That’s awesome. Yeah. I think you did share that before, but I think it’s wild to think that we’re in the forties, episode 40 something on this podcast. Right?

Michael:
Okay.

Phil:
Because we’ve been doing it a while. So a while ago we shared that, and I shared this lesson you taught me that was incredibly helpful, too.

Phil:
Coming from the conservative, religious background I come from, I have a lot of these concerns about being judged, or what people are going to think about me. And I’ve had to work very hard to overcome a lot of that and realize, “Look, these people are not people that I necessarily care for their opinions anymore. I don’t want to let their opinions guide me, because they’re not living the same life that I’m living. They’re not living my life, and I shouldn’t be beholden to their judgment.” And something you shared with me… Go ahead, if you have something you want to interject.

Michael:
Well, go ahead. You finish. You were going to say. Say.

Phil:
Well, I was going to say they’re in their world, and a lot of the times they’re just not willing to take the risks that I am. And that’s why they live a certain level and quality of life. And all of their opinions come from love. They don’t want to see me hurt. They don’t want to see me break, or give values that they hold dear, that I also hold dear in many regards. And then, you shared with me once, no one cares. You’re just like, “No one cares.” No one cares what you’re saying. Put it out. They don’t care.

Michael:
Yeah. Yeah.

Phil:
And I think it ties directly into that quote.

Michael:
See how Oscar Wilde says it so beautifully. And I just say, “No one cares.” But the thing is, and this is what I was actually thinking while I was doing my show, which is yes, I’m sharing all this stuff. But everyone in the audience has something similar going on. Every single one. There’s no way that they’re not. So, okay. So I’m the one who’s saying it out loud. Yeah. They’re still suffering from it. They’ve still got the same things going on in their lives. So what’s the difference?

Michael:
So I’m using my craft, and everything I’ve learned, my talent, to hopefully create something that approximates art, and that helps them. That helps them. It’s actually, it’s a generous act. It’s hard. In the beginning, it was a little difficult for me to get this to my head, because these personal essays, it’s like, “Well, I’m talking about myself.” It seemed very narcissistic.

Michael:
But when I write these stories, I’m intentionally not trying. I’m not this interesting public figure. I’m not a public servant. I didn’t go to the outer space. Not a great athlete. I didn’t do anything particularly remarkable. I’m just a writer. So who am I to be talking about things from my life? But I tell these stories in a way that I’m really trying, the details are from my life, but the stories are all of yours. And so, when you look at it that way, it’s actually a generous act. It’s like, I’m sharing this. It’ll bring us closer. It’ll help you understand. It’ll help you work through your own thought.

Michael:
And I even had, geez, I had a wonderful, a text. My neighbor. My neighbor came to one of the shows, and she texted me afterwards, thanking me for one of the stories I read, because it caused her to really rethink how she was treating her children. And she apologized to her kids.

Phil:
Wow.

Michael:
Yeah. And I go, “Oh, that’s nice.” And then Cynthia’s like, “Do you understand what that was?” And I was like, “No. Should I read it again?” She goes, “You really just helped her. I mean, you helped her.”

Michael:
And it’s still hard for me to get that through my head, how me performing or writing something can help someone. But I did. I really, I did help her. You know? Because I changed her life, and in some small way, she apologized to her kids. That’s a hard thing for parents to do. That’s hard.

Phil:
Yeah.

Michael:
And so yeah. little things like that. you can make a beautiful moment out of something really small, just by sharing what you can do. You know?

Phil:
Yeah. Yeah. That’s amazing man.

Michael:
And we all think we don’t have anything special to share. That’s the funny part. We all think someone else has something special to share. I don’t.

Phil:
I definitely feel that way. I feel that way, still. I still suffer from that imposter syndrome, all the time.

Michael:
Right.

Phil:
Who am I?

Michael:
Right?

Phil:
Who am I, to put myself on social media? Who am I to be on a podcast with you?

Michael:
Yeah.

Phil:
Who am I to think? To write something?

Michael:
Phil? And what did I say when we first started this podcast? Who am I, to be sharing?

Phil:
Okay, so let’s kind of tie this back. So a couple weeks ago, you shared that you were walking in Hollywood, and you were approached by someone on the street. And they were like, “Hey Michael, I watch you on TikTok. Can I get a photo?” And I think that’s happened to you a couple times now. Right?

Michael:
Yeah. A couple times, where people recognize me.

Phil:
And you’re like, “This is super weird. This is not who I am. I’m just a writer.”

Michael:
Yeah. It’s very weird, because I’m a writer. I’m not supposed to be someone you recognize. No writers are recognized.

Phil:
Right.

Michael:
Like three writers get recognized.

Phil:
So we saw each other in person, for the first time in a minute, and it was at the Tacoma FD Season 4 wrap party that we just had.

Michael:
Yeah.

Phil:
This week. And I got two stories you haven’t heard yet. So one of our assistant editors comes out to me. He’s like, “Phil.” He’s like, “I got to tell you this story.” So my wife has this friend, and she comes over and she’s like, “Oh, I’m a writer.” And she’s like, “I’m a writer.” And he’s like, “Oh, okay. What do you do?” And she’s like, “Oh, I work on this and that. And I do this thing.”

Phil:
And she’s like, “What do you do?” And he’s like, “Oh, I work on Tacoma FD.” And she goes, “Oh. I listened to Phil Hudson’s podcast.” I was like, “Oh, okay. All right. That got weird. It got weird.”

Phil:
And then, our accountant, from Tacoma FD, is like, “Hey Phil, how’s it going?” I was like, “Oh, Hey, Gabby, what’s up? What’s up?” And she’s like, “This is my friend Morgan.” Morgan, if you’re listening, hi Morgan. Morgan’s like, “I watched the podcast,” and I was like, “Oh my gosh, this is super weird.” But she thanked me for making you do this podcast.

Michael:
Yeah. Isn’t that funny? Yeah.

Phil:
And on the scene though, we’ve had a bunch of really kind comments in reviews on iTunes, but also comments in the YouTube videos, where I can’t remember who it was, or where it was. It might have been in the private Facebook group, where in an interaction through the supporting though, someone thanked me for sharing the growth mindset, fixed mindset stuff, by Carol Black.

Michael:
Yeah.

Phil:
We talked about that book, because they said it absolutely impacted them. So I don’t look at that as, “Phil Hudson’s awesome for having read a book, to fix his own self.” I think it’s beautiful that I, through the braver it takes to put myself on camera, not looking the way I want to look, not having the voice I want to look, being a bald white dude.

Michael:
Right.

Phil:
Whatever it is, I’m glad that I got to share something that meant a lot to me, and impacts somebody else. And that’s one of those beautiful things that comes from putting yourself out there. And this is vulnerability, for both of us.

Michael:
Yeah. Yeah. Put yourself out there. And when you do, and you may feel like you’re not ready. I mean, whatever. If you don’t feel you’re ready to put yourself, then fine. Keep working on it, whatever you’re doing. But at some point you will have to take the leap, to put yourself out there, and just know it’s okay if it’s not good. That’s part of getting better. That’s the getting better part. No one starts off at the top. You have to get better. So by keep doing stuff is how you get better. It’s okay.

Phil:
And that’s-

Michael:
And I pull a lot people who put themselves out there, because you’re going to get trolled, and they’re going to be, people are going to look… Screw those people, that are trolling you. What are they doing? What are they doing? I know I don’t troll people like that. I never troll someone if they’re they’re working. No, man. I applaud them for doing that. Good. Good for you.

Phil:
Yeah. That’s the whole point of that book, by the way. Mindset. It’s just growth mindset is, “I can get better. I get better by failing. I get better by experience,” versus fixed, which is, “I can’t try, because it won’t be perfect, and I’ll be judged.”

Michael:
Right. Right. Right.

Phil:
So I think it’s a powerful podcast episode, Michael. Thank you so much for preparing it and your thoughts.

Michael:
Thank all of you.

Phil:
And being vulnerable.

Michael:
Yeah.

Phil:
At this point, I would ask everyone to let us know what are the things that are standing out to you? I mean, you can put it in the comments on social media, on the YouTube, wherever you’re watching it. Or in the reviews on iTunes. That absolutely helps more people find this. And if you think it’s valuable, and other people should find it, go leave us review on iTunes. Let us know. Write a written review.

Michael:
Oh. And one other thing. So we’re going to do a couple more shows, at least a couple more shows. So if you’re listening, and you want to come see me before A Paper Orchestra, we’ll be doing two more shows in December, in Los Angeles, and also two or three shows in the Boston area, in mid November. And then hopefully we’ll start touring. So if anybody wants to get information on what city we’re visiting, please go to MichaelJamin.com/live. And then you can enter your information there, to get more, be updated on where we’re going to be.

Phil:
Yeah, that’s awesome. And I think you also, as you mentioned, the lot of this stuff, how the craft helps you be vulnerable in a way, and in a setting that that can truly touch people without making them uncomfortable, without oversharing. That comes from the course.

Phil:
And so if you’d like to get a taste of that, and what that looks like, you do give away the free lesson. The first lesson free.

Michael:
Yeah.

Phil:
It’s MichaelJamin.com/free. And you teach them powerful, fundamental principles of storytelling, right there, that everyone misses, everyone forgets. And time and time again, I have to go back to that. Literally, the first you taught me back in 2013, in your first email to me personally.

Phil:
Yeah.

Phil:
It’s right there.

Michael:
Go get it. That’s free.

Phil:
What else you got? We got your social media. @MichaeJaminWriter. Go follow Michael for more stuff there. Anything else, Michael?

Michael:
We got our free newsletter, if you want to mention that.

Phil:
Oh yeah. The Watchlist. Can’t believe we forgot the Watchlist. People get mad at me when I don’t send out the Watchlist on time. This is kind of visceral.

Michael:
We had glitch. We had a glitch for a while, that you fixed. But it wasn’t going out the right way.

Phil:
Yeah. So they were up in arms.

Michael:
Our system. We migrated our system, and there were about 3,000 people on that list, ’cause it’s a pretty big list, who were not happy with me. And I heard about it, and you heard about it. And then I heard about it from you, and I had to go fix it.

Michael:
But it’s fixed now, so get on our free newsletter.

Phil:
So the Watchlist. Top three things from the week that Michael is sharing.

Michael:
Yeah.

Phil:
No spam. It’s just a daily creative inspiration in your inbox every Friday. Go sign up at MichaelJamin.com/watchlist.

Michael:
Yeah. So you guys got a lot to do. You got a lot of things for us. A lot of things for you to do when we finish this podcast. Go sign up for all this stuff.

Phil:
Yeah.

Michael:
So that’s it. We’re going to sign off, and get ready to prepare for our next podcast episode. Thank you for listening, everyone. Until next time.

Phil:
This has been an episode of Screenwriters Need To Hear This, with Michael Jamin and Phil Hudson. If you’d like to support this podcast, please consider subscribing, leaving a review, and sharing this podcast with someone who needs to hear today’s subject.

Phil:
For free, daily screenwriting tips, follow Michael on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok @MichaelJaminWriter. You can follow me on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok @PhilAHudson. This episode was produced by Phil Hudson, and edited by Dallas Crane. Until next time, keep writing.

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Michael Jamin, Showrunner, TV Writer, Author

Michael Jamin

For the past 26 years, Michael Jamin has been a professional television writer/showrunner. His credits include King of the Hill, Beavis & Butthead, Wilfred, Maron, Just Shoot Me, Rules of Engagement, Brickleberry, Tacoma FD and many more.

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