PLDN Talks – Lawrence – ‘Advice on how to keep creative’


How’s it going. I’m Lawrence.  I’m an actor, writer, director, producer, filmmaker. Basically I like to do a little bit of everything just so I can cheekily write myself into, into the roles that I want to do and the movies I want to make. This isn’t so much advice as it is, I suppose the things that are helping me, get through this.

And, you know, while I’m locked up inside with no friends and unemployed. but hopefully, it can, it can help you will help anyone. the biggest thing for me is reconfiguring my perspective daily. you know, I think the biggest thing is you can think of yourself as locked inside, or you can think of yourself as safely at home.

You know, shout out to the nurses and the doctors and the people on the front line actually putting themselves at risk for the betterment of, you know, the whole world, essentially. So I think that helps me, you know, to think about like, every time I wake up and I’m a little bit down, I can be like, well, you know.

Things are a lot worse for a lot of people. So just be grateful, you know? For me, it’s just wanting the gratitude I’d say as well. I questioned myself in the sense of if they’re putting themselves at risk to fight for the physical wellbeing of other people, then what is it I can do, to help in other ways?

And so that’s what, you know, the mental wellbeing and the mental health, and the spiritual health of people. So I think whether it’s a song a comedic skit, a story, anything, you know, you have a purpose. And I think if, you know, sometimes I’ll wake up and I feel like, you know what, I’m, why am I, what am I doing or what’s it for?

I think it’s good to see instead of how does it serve me? I think, again, well, how will it serve the bigger picture if I make someone laugh or I do something that makes, you know, someone’s time passed by faster. So for me, that’s it, that’s important. And I think the big thing for artists is we can channel.

Our emotions into our work. And I think that’s a really good outlet. I think a really good book is, catching the big fish by David Lynch. It basically you sort of, you know, his view on how you catch your ideas. And I think the big thing for me of reconfiguring every day, how I think and how I feel in allowing my brain the space to catch ideas and then to, to, to use them in ways that are beneficial considering, you know, our situation.

We now. You know, have an amazing time to prepare to instead of, you know, always being reactive to the environment, to be active in pursuing our goals and our journey in our dreams and so on. And so, you know, this is a really good time to have a two year, five years, 10, 10-year plan. And I know it’s quiet, you know, I found it quite easy to be like, well, I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, so why bother?

But at the same time, it’s like, if you have a foundational plan, at least you’ve got something to build on there. Things change. You can still change your direction. You can, you can adapt. You can still hone your craft and you can still produce content that can, that can increase your following or audiences that, that like your approach to things so that when you do emerge, you’ve got, you know, you’ve got a basis to work with that.

You might actually get yourself closer to getting another job or getting a following that, that you can produce a play or a film or you know, little, little YouTube clips, whatever it is that you want to do. And I think for me the biggest thing is to remember that you’re not being left behind. At least I was saying, I’m not being left behind.

Everyone’s on pause. So it’s okay to take the time to breathe and go, okay, I’ve got time to read. I’ve got time to learn. I don’t need to be racing all the time. The big thing routine is key. I’m eating well, I’m still training. I’ve got like, I’ve got my one dumbbell that I managed to get before everyone went mental and grabbed all the gym stuff.

I’m trying to get up and go to bed at the same time, you know, I’ve changed my routine a little bit, so I go to bed later. because of the green screen and the lighting is better in my apartment at night and there are usually fewer cars driving past and less noise, which means my audio turns out to be better.

But yeah, just making sure that I’m, I’m following some sort of structure. Otherwise, you figure out what day it is. You forget what hour it is. two books are, I think they were said, essential, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. A really good book for a step by step sort of, you know, how you can get your, sort of, your creative life together and now you’ve got the time to do it.

The war of art by Steven Pressfield. Like it’s a really good book on how to, to, to push past procrastination and start actually getting momentum in the right direction. I’d say a really easy little thing that I found that helps if you still wanna, you know, enjoy the Netflix, enjoy all the binge-watching and all that.

You just want to kind of getaway from the franticness and the anxiety of what’s going on. You have a notepad next to you. I find that, you know, as an actor and a writer and, I see things differently., now when I watch series, so I keep a notebook next to my, my, my couch, so that, so. If you know, I see a scene, I stopped, I can, I can stop.

I can press pause and go, okay, what did that actor want? What was the choice the actor made? what’s the character’s objective? You know, if that character doesn’t get what they want, what does that mean for that character and how does it change the scene as a writer? You know, how cohesive is the ease of the narrative?

Like does each scene punch into the next scene? Like is it very progressive? Is the character a story, the story or the character’s journey. it clear, you know, I hope you can think about how did the director sort of make their writing come to come to life or, you know, now as more of a filmmaker, I tend to write down more notes about, you know, I liked that, that shot.

And I liked that, that look or, you know, the way the camera pans, I’ll be writing down notes of how they did it. So, you know, when I finally do get back out, I’m able to go, Oh, let’s try that, that Dolly shot. Oh, let’s try this. You know, maybe try this, this camera movement that I saw in this film, or, you know, whatever it is.

So there are things like that. I think it’s, it’s been analyzing the mundane can actually be pretty extraordinary at times. another one is extra time, extra time for housekeeping and branding. And I don’t mean that by, you know, doing your floors, although I bet everyone’s houses are immaculate at the moment.

the thing is, is that, you know, even as an actor or as a writer, it’s good to know how to use social media. It’s good to know how to build a website. It’s good to know how to create an overall sort of cohesive brand for, you know, what it is or where it is you want to go to. Like as a filmmaker. Now with a production company, it’s important for me to have a website and to, to be linked to me as an actor and as a writer, even a director, having all your platforms, social media platforms, and maybe finding new ones that you didn’t think we’re going to be useful, but now you can find the time to really look into and say, does this serve my overall picture of where I want to be and how I want to get right.

my creativity out there. So I think that’s another really important thing is to think about it, is that we now have more time to become better and have more ideas. And I’m calling more of the people that I’ve used to work I’ve worked within the past, or want to work with in the future and say, I’ve got this idea.

Do you think this would work? And now they’ve got spare time. They’re like, yeah, that’s a cool idea. You know, let’s have a look at it. So now you’ve got a really good opportunity to say, I have these ideas and there are going to be people out there that maybe don’t have the ideas, but we would be able to help you further than in this sort of development stage while we’re in this kind of isolation.

So there’s a lot of opportunities out there and it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s easy and definitely odd. I can find myself battling day to day of feeling like, Oh, what’s the point of all this? However, there is a point is, is that there’s still a lot that can be done and just stay connected with as many people as you can.

So like, you know, shout out to the team at Paradise London. I think this is a great idea and hope that someone that watches this maybe gets something out of it. So all the best and we’ll be okay.

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