And here we go! My first Life of Art interview is with writer, comedian, and storyteller Brian Beatty. Enjoy!
Who are you and where is “here” for you right now? Please include what do you do to keep food in your belly and a roof over your head.
My business card says, “Writer. Comedian. Dude with a beard.” Which is as accurate a description as any I’ve been able to come up with. I dabble in Moth-ish storytelling, too. Banjo and guitar noodling have figured into my recent gigs as well.
Maybe I need new business cards.
To feed my literary addiction and buy my hound’s kibble, I write print and digital copy for clients of all shapes and sizes. Which isn’t like Mad Men. Not the way I do it, anyway.
What is your creative practice and what have you learned from it?
I write every day. I get up on stage as often as I can fool people into inviting me up on stage. This summer that’s meant “acting” in Ferrari McSpeedy’s “Once Upon a Time in the Suburbs” at the 2011 Minnesota Fringe. Reviews confirmed my suspicion going into the show that I’m not anybody’s idea of an actor.
Where do you find inspiration?
I read a lot. I listen to and play a lot of music. There is a handful of artists (writers, comedians, visual artists, musicians) I return to as barometers of the honesty and artfulness of my own work.
How do you overcome the creative barriers you encounter?
I heave my shoulder into the boulder and keep pushing whichever direction looks like the top of the hill.
How do you regenerate when feeling artistically depleted?
I hang out with my hound. I go for hikes. I pick up a banjo or a guitar. Last spring, I took a pottery class.
What does success look like to you?
Having a story or poem or stand-up bit turn out as close to my intent as possible — without sacrificing my integrity to appease an audience — is my idea of success.
What do you want people to know about you and your work?
I’m not for everybody. It’s possible I’m not for you. But even if that’s the case, I hope you’ll see that what I’m sharing with you is an honest effort to entertain. Honesty is as important to me as artistry. I also like as little artifice as possible between the audience and me. And I’m not the least bit interested in shock value — believe it or not.
If you want to see more of Brian’s work, check out his blog: Brian Beatty.
I hope you enjoy Brian’s work. He’s great, articulate, bristly, humorous, tenderhearted, and honest beyond belief.
Are you creative? Curious about what the Voix blog is up to? Would you like to answer a few questions about your Life of Art? Visit this post and leave a comment, I’ll send you some questions.