I have been thinking a lot about crazy lately. I know that in itself sounds loopy:) But, hey I’m the first one to admit to my own little bit of crazy, especially when it comes to the creative process. If you are reading this and have a creative bone in your own body, you know what I am talking about. And we are not alone in that Crazy Creative Club, if you look over History everyone that was anyone as a Artist, Writer, Performer had that Magic Madness of thinking unconventionally. So, this post today will touch on a few little thoughts and findings of mine on Crazy especially as of late after watching Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond (Netflix original) last evening. A Bio-Documentary on the behind the scenes Making of the film, Man on the Moon. A film famous for Jim Carrey's portrayal of the late Comedian Andy Kaufman. But, first things first a quick thought...
Awesomely Out of Balance. Recently I read a essay, The 'Other' Mind of Seven Creative Women in Flow Magazine. It discusses the connection between mental illness and creativity. How our natural feel good friend Dopamine plays a huge part in that creative gene. The Dopamine dance though can either make or break the creative process. Too much can obstruct the flow of creativity and none makes us really sad. So, that's when a little crazy should cut in and inspire us:) I think largely most creatives possess that dance with dopamine and depression. Especially as seen in Jim's portrayal of Andy. But, please know before I go any further, I believe creativity is possible for everyone! and it doesn't have to be filled with sadness, lows and destruction. But, a little moderate crazy can be good for the mix and method.
Jim's Method. I never personally was a fan of Jim Carrey. His physical use of contorting himself for humors sake was just not my funny style thing. But, when I saw him in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind... I fell in love with his character Joel. Jim's performance then truly allowed the audience to become deeply connected with his character, almost life-like. Definitely more than entertainment in my book. It was more of a exchange of true creative energy that inspired me to think beyond my daily life. Beautiful I tell you:) And now I do actually admire his many facets of humor after seeing the depths he continues to take his crazy creative craft. And his current beard is pretty epic as well:)
Little Louie is Crazy Daddy. So, when I first heard about the Netflix Documentary, I was all about watching it. Again, like Jim’s comedy, I neither was a fan of Andy Kaufman. As a little girl watching one of my Dad's favorite shows Taxi, Kaufman's character Lafka seemed sweet, but did not have the power of humor for me that Danny DeVito's Louie did or Christopher Lloyd's Reverend Jim Ignatowski. I remember my Dad working at the Prison at night when Taxi was on and he would call home to get my 4 year old updates on how Little Louie was so crazy:) But fast forwarding 38 years later... I finally began to understand the comedic art of Kaufman and the not so mild madness of Jim Carrey "manifesting" into Andy. Wild stuff I tell ya!
Man on the Moon. It was as if I was watching a new version of a Spotless Mind. Jim's Behind the Scene footage of the Man on the Moon was pure chaos and even infuriating at times. Jim's perpetual method acting in channeling Kaufman and his other characters was like Observing some sort of beautiful crazy. As Jim reflected 18 years later in between the 100's hours of archived footage that was meshed into hour and half. You seem to glimpse the other Jim, not the man that had manifested a remarkable career by 'Freeing people of concern' through laughter. But, ‘a charming off his rocker’ kind of vulnerable Jim. Sharing the Love for his own Father's legacy of, "You might fail at what you don't want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you Love" or a man looking beyond all his worldly success to reveal the human layers beneath.
Peel it away. I know this is a little snippet review. Packed with so many thoughts. But, I would highly suggest you to check out the documentary for yourself and please let me know what you think too. I know this crazy interest in creativity has arrived in my life recently isn't done. It's just far too fascinating of a subject to end now:) I know it has personally helped me peel back the layers of my own ideas on being a little crazy in the creative process. In the past, when I felt my most creative... a little crazy was definitely there and I am learning to allow it more. Not being so afraid of it any longer or worried of what others might think:) But, it is still always a fine balance...To keep one foot firmly in the reality of life and while the other foot dances it's best crazy jig for the great pursuit of Creating:)
What are your thoughts on Creativity? Do you think Mental health plays a part? Or is it a God given gift? Do some people just have it and others don’t? Loved to hear your thoughts.
Happy Thanksgiving too. Love, C.