It’s All About Growth

London Therapy & Coaching

It’s All About Growth

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This excerpt is from Episode 2 of my new podcast Alanism in which we explore the therapeutic benefits of creativity.

I sat down with filmmaker Maya Avidov to discuss her creative process, upcoming projects and her latest short The Listener.

Maya

You were talking about creativity when we started off, and there are two things that became very apparent to me the past couple of years. Both of them I learned through podcasts, actually, which is the idea that the minute you understand that every single organism in the world is creative and all it’s trying to do is spread, things become very clear.

Alan

Right, that’s an interesting way of looking at it.

Maya

It doesn’t even have to be ego driven. Its not even about survival. It’s just about more. And that can be interpreted as anything: i.e. I want to spread because I want to control, or I want to learn, or I want to grow.

Alan

This idea of growth, I think, that makes sense to me because every organism…

Maya

Yeah, wants to better itself in one way or another. Even if it’s just a survival mechanism… and this connects to my second point which is, I’ve recently thought about this, human beings like to say, although I don’t think it’s true, that they’re the only animal in the world that takes from their imagination and builds it into reality. I think that’s not true because, spider webs, hello! And there’s a lot of artistry that happens in the natural world that I have a feeling an otter was all like ‘I have an idea for a dam that’s gonna blow all the other dams away!’ But generally what’s amazing about entities with a consciousness and subconsciousness is that they have an imagination, and that they can bring this imagination into fruition like little gods or whatever.

Filmmakers have taken this to a hyper extensive place and a lot of them deal with that, with what they’ve done, with the process of what… and the minute you kind of open that rabbit hole…

Alan 

When you say deal with it, do you mean the repercussions of pushing your [boundaries]?

Maya

I mean actual reflexive art about this, about what is real and what isn’t real. About being a mirror within a mirror within a mirror… it repeats itself. Yeah, it’s a rabbit hole. It’s very fun to talk about, it allows a lot of conversations with yourself. Because I find when a lot of people write… this how I think Charlie Kaufmann ended up in Adaptation. Where he’s like ‘I wrote myself into my script’, and you’re like, yeah that’s bound to happen.

Alan

A lot of writers do.

Maya

Yeah, but not as a starting point. He literally wrote himself into the script within a script that he was writing which he was in from the beginning. It’s a very… there’s a lot of layers to it. But I think, all of these things where we’ve taken our imagination and made it real, we’re examining what is real, because the thought of it was very real, and now the thing is very real, and they’re equally… so I’m very interested in sort of balancing those two things. And then with a film or any type of art you’ve made the thought real, and then you’ve made it a thought again. What I was going to say was, one of the things that’s really interesting about everything having growth is that, all of the films I’ve seen that I had nothing to do with the making of them have made me who I am.

Alan

Sure, so just as a viewer, forget about the [filmmaking] process.

Maya

As a viewer they’ve continued to grow within me. And that’s so true of so many albums. So many songs… twenty years later I’ll meet a person and they’ll remind me of a lyric, and I’ll be like ‘Oh that’s what they meant. That’s what they meant!’ So I feel like there are seeds to everything. But everything is a seed to everything else.

Alan

So I’m wondering then, is the therapeutic benefit for you of being involved in the creative process and filmmaking is that you get to make the inner outer… bring whatever’s going on internally for you out into the real world, a kind of giving birth to it and releasing it somehow?

Maya

I think the release. I’ve only once or twice… so people always say ‘Oh when you watch it on the screen with an audience you’ll have a…’ no.

Alan 

It’s not about that [recognition] for you.

Maya

First of all if it was about that for any filmmaker there would be no films. It takes years to get to that point. And also that’s very… how much external reassurance do you need? Although I have to say I had a moment that’s near that moment where I had my first laugh, and that made me feel really good. But it wasn’t like everyone showed up, I don’t care. People I didn’t know laughed, and it was a physical thing [for me], it was a rush.

Alan

I can see that, because you want people to respond.

Maya

Well I’ve screened stuff before, and I consider myself more like a funny… there’s more money for drama than comedy. So it was great to make people laugh. I used to decide if a therapy session was good or not also based on how many laughs I got. I decide if a day is good or not based on how many laughs I got!

Alan

I kind of like that gauge—yeah that resonates with me.

Listen to our entire conversation here: https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-duw3i-a21c99

 

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