Episode 101: YOUR Life is a Movie
Okay, it’s true. My life isn’t a movie, and your life isn’t a movie, but I do see the world around me as art and my favorite medium is the magic of the moving picture.
I thought the best way to start off this Substack newsletter would be with a guest post that I did for Suleika Jaouad’s The Isolation Journals called “Your Life is a Movie” which this blog/newsletter is named after.
The Isolation Journals is a gorgeous creative community. They deliver writing prompts from various creatives including Elizabeth Gilbert, Jon Batiste, Maggie Rogers, and moi, to help transform “isolation into creative solitude and connection.”
If you are needing something to spark your creative fire, this was the story I told and the prompt I shared. Enjoy!
*still from the 90s cult classic movie Reality Bites
“I came of age in the early 90s, and out in the Canadian countryside where I grew up, I was heavily influenced by the TV shows, movies, music, magazines, and books of my time. I had the movie Reality Bites on VHS, and I watched it so often that the picture was almost all static. I made mixtapes and then later, mixed CDs of my favorite bands—Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Veruca Salt, Weezer, Pink Floyd—and I’d listen to them while walking the country roads, dreaming about being an adult and living in the big city.
Back then, my teenage angst was real. Like many teens, I sometimes felt alone and lost, and I let these songs and stories transport me. I felt validated through movies and music, and that influenced how I related to the world. Seeing other artists laying themselves bare inspired me to dig deep into my imagination and my emotions and put that into creative expression.
I once had a boyfriend (drummer #4) who told me, “Your life is not a movie.” He said that I lived as if each moment was a dramatic scene with a soundtrack playing. Perhaps I did live life a little too “dramatically.” But I also think that allowing myself to sit in that heightened emotion is what gave me legs as a writer.
I believe there is a profound connection between the media that we consume and our own experience. All these years later, I still find myself walking through each day as if there’s a soundtrack playing on a cassette in my walkman, and I am the star of this blockbuster hit, and I’m 100% cool with that. It gives me the confidence and creative spark that I need to guide me through the day.”
Writing Prompt from Helenna Santos: Choose a movie or show that had a strong influence on you growing up—something that evoked a visceral reaction in your gut. If you were a character in that film or show, who would you be? What are your likes and dislikes? What food do you eat? Who is your best friend, your lover, your enemy? What song is playing on your character’s personal soundtrack as you walk down the street?
Until next time, thanks for joining me here on this new Substack. I’m very excited to be here.
Coming soon… my January 2023 favorite finds for artistic inspiration!
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