Tania Katan (https://taniakatan.com/)is a speaker, bestselling author, and co-creator of globally viral empowerment campaign #ItWasNeverADress. Her inventive way of formulating ideas led to the groundbreaking bestseller, Creative Trespassing: How to Put the Spark and Joy Back into Your Work and Life (https://amzn.to/31fZC4U). While she’s now known for her unique ability to make unseen connections, generate imaginative innovations, and foster creative breakthroughs across a wide range of industries, the way she got there was anything but a straight line. From finding the right blend of “pay the bills work" to creative work as a young playwright to subverting the status quo of the art world with arm wrestling events, she’s explored what it means to harness creativity in all kinds of arenas. In today’s conversation, Katan shares the story of how she came to embrace creative trespassing, and what she’s learned about finding opportunities for new ways of working and being, even in the most mundane circumstances.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
The moment I first saw my guest tania katan on stage couple months.
I knew immediately I wanted to sit down with her for a deeper conversation. She was absolutely captivating and it was partly about her story.
So she was, she born in new york grew up and
arizona with a lot of challenges. But
knowing that she was always a very different kid. Then everyone around her and then the other part was
way that she basically stepped into the world the way that she embraced unapologetic
who she was and then brought her unique lens, her voice, her creative abilities, her flair for creativity and drama.
Into jobs, arenas, entire industries, companies in a way that completely defied the descriptions on paper of what she was doing brought them alive, brought the cultures alive,
and in doing so completely transformed wherever she ended up landing along that journey. She also created.
A massively viral campaign that would serve redefine what it was
to be a woman, especially in the world of tack and business, and her book called creative trespassing is a really fun and to bring forward a deep dive into further
the mental principles and extractions that she has really divine
on this journey in an effort to share them with anyone and everyone so that they can understand how to turn.
whatever it is, that they're doing into
what they needed to be to make it more creative and more alive in every way, shape and form. So it
added to share this conversation with you, I'm jonathan fields, and this is good life project.
How does a I even work where it is creativity come from? What's this,
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So the ten percent happier podcast has one guiding philosophy. Happiness is still that you can learn. So why not embrace it? It's hosted by dan harris journalists who have
a panic attack on national television and then send out on this journey of transformation and he's now on a quest to help. Others also achieve peace and happiness, and every week Dan talked you top scientists, meditation teachers. Even the odd celebrity in wide ranging conversations that explore topics like productivity, anxiety and lightness, psychedelic and relationships. The interviews cover everyone from bernay brown to cerebral ass to SAM Harrison more. I love learning from his questions and experiences and incredible guess think of listening to ten percent happier as a work out. For your mind, fine ten percent happier where every listen to pot casts. I remember the playground in our schools and the programme was actually just cement and we did an exercise where wheat, which, for those as out of new york s normal hotel,
irreparable yeah yeah we hadn't, and I remember, though, that the cement kind of fell away. We did next to where we were lying on our backs and were asked to look up at the clouds
it's an name. What animals in things we saw in the clouds- and I thought how would it transcendent experience, and I realize, though, that the ability to see
if you know a bunny rabbit in the clouds. As a kid is probably the beginning of my creativity and curiosity in the world where you that kid read a kid who's kind of walking around
in your head, creating things in seeing things yes and no I'm a weird like super extrovert. However, I have like a really
daddy relationship with my imagination and also wanted to have friends but people.
gonna be my friend, so there has been a lot of time creating entire worlds. In my brain, there would talk to me about the people who want to be my friend thing
You did your face. Definitely chains labour are when you said that I know I I feel like growing up. I had a lot of strikes against me. According
society. I thought I was awesome actually and my parents said I was
So you know I had the good self esteem and love and all that kind of stuff and yet
you know. I was jewish in an area in phoenix where and growing up
Not very many people were jewish, so that was weird to my friends or to potential friends, and you know they're like oh, do you celebrate thanksgiving, I'm like yeah, I dunno, so I I felt sort of other in lots of ways and also I grew up very poor.
the single mommy and brother and sister in so weak. We struggled financially and all that answer
never wearing like the same pants. Several
and around you know, kids are kind of their kind of
less were when noticing things that are different or other as prescribed by society and so yeah.
I wanted to have friends and stuff, and I'm like look at me pick me, I'm a good time and they're like not so much. You don't have the fancy, clothes or whatever
yeah, and then it wasn't actually intel. I started finding drama speech in debate and high school that if our people,
as you mentioned, that your mama single mom here, but yours
billy. You share a lot of stories and about your dad shoot due time.
your dad, I may have amateurs about both of them, because you have. This really seems to give this really interesting blind
yeah, so my my parents split when we were really little and they were really different people. My mom is from france and she was sort of like the wild like. Let's have
They then sir parties and stinky cheeses, kind of mom end and we play records and sing and dance and and off the stuff, and she also exposed to a lot of arts and culture. So, even though we are poor
She found free days at museums, and
we championed the arts.
my dad was the opposite. He was a new york cabdriver in the sixtys and seventys, and so he was like you know, gruff,
a little rough around the edges, you don't like the gamble, low bit and maybe have a scotch or three and somehow they met
bakery where he worked and they sat up and had kids really quickly but weren't. You know I'd there's this. This phrase that I've been thinking about adult child
Have you know, which is usually like an adult child of an alcoholic or abusive situation, and I realize that my parents were just adult children period like they didn't. They didn't know how it'd be parents that were,
sort of of the sixties. They were little wild and and and therefore the way in which they parent at us was like. We don't know, let's do it together, you know, and sometimes that worked and provided freedom and other times we were like
we have some structure please so was a wee. It was a weird, wild and kind of open and but love very loving environment.
Be around. I can when I attended out Jonathan,
these questions in my brain. My brain literally take off these little compartments are about just opening up, it's ok, we can go there,
I'm just I'm really curious when interesting
also right so in the sixtys and seventys when people think about in your very often talking about new york. Now the sixty
in seven years in new york- was not a good time. It was a very different city yeah, my dad- and maybe this I mean my dad- was kind of like a fake, tough guy. Anyway, you know, like he's a softy, but he was a little tough to begin with
who's driving companies like people falcon bomb and in my view no,
Some of the rolling stones in their people would tell me to go and some
You know my dad was rough, he would say I I tell people get the hell on my car, you know get out, he would just drop people off yeah. It was kind of like the wild east
you know I mean so yeah, but he made a good living actually at the time who is
Just so weird, I remember as a kid when my parents were still together. They had enough money to my house in new york.
I mean they didn't end up doing it, but they weeks or went shopping for house because of his in
from driving a taxicab sewing.
You end up when you around five and you end up moving out of the city where it is that when you
Parents were separated at that point he stayed here yeah well, my mom wanted to be geographically as far away from him as possible, so she had family in arizona, and so that was the choice. Just curious like why? Arizona, if you could move anywhere away from new york, god to explain it yeah
yeah it was the family. I don't think my mom was like cactus in extreme heat. That sounds sexy you know like, but it was. It was having a support system to go two or three little kids. You know that kind of so of the three kids were you, I have a twin brother, okay and then a sister that's two years
given us right here, but emotionally I feel like I'm the oldest. It's interesting, also that she had that, even though, as you said, when you use your touchdown arizona, you're, not a family with resources, but
he said something inside of her. They said I had no matter how I do it. I need to expose my kids to the world of creativity, not totally
and- and in fact she you know she was like a a dabbler in pimp, painting and writing poetry, and you know, I think, also being a product of the nineteen sixties. It was like everybody's sort of like could express themselves creatively. That was actually the underpinnings for being. You know, counterculture in in the sixties, and so my mom,
just kind of played and develop those skills and as a result, you know she taught summer camp, she taught arts and crafts so that we could go to summer camp for free because we couldn't afford it and she is actually a beautiful cook, and so she bartered her cooking skills.
To attend a very fancy summer, gay and at first I was embarrassed. You know I'm here at this can't camp and making friends and they like low. We is your mom the cook and am I
yeah. I guess she is, and I I was just sheepish about it until they tried her food and they're like your mom's, the best and I'm like. I know I was just playing it cool funny, it's just
also the that year, you say: you're a server
eating extra work, but you start
with others, because so much the conversation that I've had with so many people is the opposite is that there are so
struggle, which is not so much. He has not super unusual in your teens, but I've got to so many people of the years, where
they're very introverted, and that actually caused a lot of tourists struggle trying to find them
Well, who are your people and how do you move into that world and how do you develop relationships? It's interesting to hear that as an extrovert, who's very comfortable, around people and break out, while you're talking to random people
You had a similar struggle, but almost fully for very different reasons. Totally are absolutely and
I'm so glad that I didn't fit in that. I was an outward sort of perceived as an outsider because it allowed me to develop my
observational skills and it allowed me to create entire
world. In my brain, like I was, writing saturday night live skits in my brain ass. I walked too high school because I didn't really have friends due to share with so I would write character
yeah. I I thought I was awesome seriously.
I wasn't like ours, they don't like me because I'm this
So I'm telling you I were braced deserted, I'm just like I'm also mainly
get on board soon end, and so I just didn't let that
be a barrier to me hanging out with people. Just the people hung out what with were in my brain and characters housed
helping as a writer,
yeah yeah and
As a result, I became a writer like I mean that was really my pursuit and my safe space and my place to kind of make sense of the
the around me. I carried a journal with me ever
where I want to Roger s law, my god Jonathan. I have literally like boxes in boxes. That's all I have I'm a minimalist, etc journal and unlike sit when I was from when I was
six years old, and then you know like in numerous thirteen must use an ordeal young lit a little like I had well when I was six, I had a diary that had a lock and key and it was pink just like I
and then I you know, I grew up, and I had shown us that we like this puffy, they look like a like board, be humbird. They require
flout flora, often year, but that was my safe space that felt like a fool world with people talking end and
ideas being hashed out in the space that I
in real life, existed on the page and tell you know, people of gun on board and where there are no kid, I'm in real life, its enemies, anything how how powerful writing can be, as for not just of expression but fur processing, emotion and get into a place where maybe you're not like completely awesome, but where you kind of ok, because you have this outlet, I know so many people that have struggled so much, especially in life, but they were journalists and they literally feeling that was there that there was a thing that got them completely through it and
very often. It also became the thing that turned to sunday profoundly different on the express aside as they move further into life. Yeah absolutely. Well I mean it did two things. It became so my therapeutic outlet as a kid and then it became source material for everything
I mean really truly, you know I mean whether eyes,
it plays or I you know, I wrote a memoir and then I wrote my new book and everything is has been hashed out in journal style first, because it's it's a totally free space.
The space you know when entrepreneurs and like make the stakes and take risks in and then people stop you from hearing
that within work context, but with
your journal. Nobody is waiting to read your journal, you're, not sharing it with anyone. It literally is the safest space as far as I'm concerned for us to really take risk that such an interest.
The frame on journaling cause yan, the world of entrepreneurship and creativity. Even people are sort of like have adopted. This fail often fail publicly. It's all okay, it's part of the process, and yet we still we still
I feel the moment somebody else's in the room the moment we're creating something where we know at some point somewhere down the road. Somebody might see it. It affects what we do yep, but the idea that,
your journal being a a like an expressive palette. Were you really can just completely do everything you want and they have no fear
but you can look as good or as bad as want your own mind and nobody's ever going to see it and you kind of work through it and now that's kind of a really interesting idea.
yeah and- and I you know, I used to teach memoir writing more. Formerly now I do it every summer. I started a workshop in ITALY and that's what I tell people to do is like your journal is the place that you vomit out everything, because knowing nobody,
is going to read it nobody's going to buy it. Penguin random house isn't gonna be like. I want to re, read your journal, but that's the space you need to to work at all.
And then, when you are ready to write your book or a story or whatever you can kind of take a sentence from there and then take a microscope on that sentence and then blow it up into an entire
or world damn. Did you ever get into julia camus, worth the honest way
pages stuff like that, always at almost like already being taken care of by you're doing your practice at yeah that came out after
My my agnes was fully formed. However, the person and book that influenced mean more specifically was not legal, bergs writing down the bones, and that's why I recommend to let you know when I go to corporations and talk about creating
So you know that I can you make any recommendations of books and I think they expect me to say like linen or whatever, and I'm like riding down the bones by Natalie
work, and there is also a gale sheer one continuous mistake. I don't know it's it's based in boot, its she's upset
somebody has and also a writer, and so it's it
in buddhist principles with the idea of expressing yourself creatively and that there are.
How wrong turns its all right and messy and in front of you, I guess I'm a big fan of, and I think that legal borg has some buddhism. We ve weaved into her work as well.
Fan of, though this two ways of being intertwined there. Now that super cool
So you and out so you rolling into high school. You have this practice. What is a thing that happens? Orders thing you discover that allows you to start to soar like step out of your head and more into okay. This is who I am more publicly, and this is why I was myself with invasion
it is my lens and my voice, yeah high school drama, all the way I took a drama class and the four first day of class. I think we did a game called freeze and justify we're too people get up in front of the class and they start performing
some made up seen nothing from moscow, bring them back and then see you can yell from the audience freeze and then the two people have to freeze in
ever like gesture or physicality therein, and then you take over one of their physical. So if, if
your raising your hand. When I say freeze, I come up. I take your place, I'm right
in my hand, and I changed the scene altogether. So maybe you are raising your hand because you're like I want to ask a question, then I stop you and I get up there and I raise my hand and I'm like stop it, I'm good at whatever I dunno but yeah, I ll, so this idea of being able to disrupt and interrupt
something that seems so formal as seen on a stage to kind of impose whatever idea.
or instinct I had. I thought, oh, my gosh. This is awesome and plus we seem so like us
revised children might. My drama teacher was awesome, MR fountain, if your list
I love you and also he allowed us to be free and silly and end, then you know now again meet kind of the other outsiders or the weird queer, awesome kids, but we we started using tat
or our own writing to create scene, and that's where I realized. I that's my passion.
It wasn't necessarily taking seems that had been written by shakespeare and reinterpreting them as a performer. It was raining my own material that
so we had yeah, we had assignments where we could write our own stuff and perform it, and I think that was the foundation so meeting the weird kids, because I was a weird kid,
and using writing as a foundation for performance and for speaking and for connecting with the audience. Oh, my gosh, I loved it yeah and it sounds like that was so that was the seed of it, but that was also just the beginning of it for you, because then that becomes like a much more expensive course of study for you and devotion yeah and in fact now I'd interpret where you could write a piece that was about seven minutes, long with different characters and then you'd stand planted from the waist down. You couldn't move and you'd perform an act that all these characters and I'm like ugh,
so fantastic, my jam, and so when I became an adult human, I did a series at comedy central stage and allay caught sittin spin run by
we'll, sell away and maggie rowe, and I became sort of regular story,
are there and one day maggie, whose a brilliant straight hot teller we're backstage him her, like you're, so good
you're so good? Why are you so good and we realized repeated high highschool speech and debate. We both did humor
europe's citizens are there was something about that training that I wasn't just I didn't just absorb it, but a lot of us. We realized, I think it trained us for being in front of live audience with our story so to end up in college study. This I guy got degree in theatre
read was your intention? Why you're certainly doing this thing I mean was its opening words
I I love this. I wanna do as much as humanly possible, or did you also think like this is what I'm going to do like this is how I'm going to go out into the world and be and live and earn my living and exist and or reach can more in the moment. Just like this is my jam. I just want as much of it as I can now, let's really
that sort of a deeper question. I feel like I approached it more in the present tense, which was when I went to Theodora,
I loved writing and I started. Writing, plays a ton of them time and place full length play, and I just assumed I would be a playwright it wasn't. It wasn't as like logical as your presenting like. I will be a playwright
pale my bills like this or or I will starve or whatever it was more like. I love doing this, I'm really good at it and I am working with mentor were happy,
become better at it and I had professional productions,
in college. I was like in the new york times and stuff like that, which is crazy effort.
ego. It was both good and bad. But, yes,
I didn't think I would do anything else, but he didn't really think of like how am I gonna make money resting plays,
sending them in a novel up with sassy
but you also had experiences early on where you sort of you can't take risks and you stepped into it like other groups or classes where in theory, maybe alma shouldn't have been there according to their quote description or qualifications. But people recognize something in you. It sounds like they were mentors along the way who kind of saw something in you
said nor coming do this with us and your figured out end, and then they saw what you are creating and there was something bigger that was happening at a really are
at the time that- and you also are willing to kind of step into this space of not entirely sure if I'm ready for this, but I'm going there yeah,
I never fit in again going back to the foundation of me being this extrovert who just wanted friends and didn't have them. I always
whenever somebody welcomed me and whether that was a mentor or a class or later in life, no companies hire me
when it didn't make sense for anyone. I was always open to that process
and also because I'm so curious. I like to learn about you
different ways of being in the world different courses of study, different fields like stuff, then I never would instinctively be interested in I'm interested in learning about on some of
this is, why you know it's funny: you're you're, your questions are prompting
my brain d gone lots of different directions, but I'm just thinking they should have a wealth of of writers and dumb people that you ve probably spoken with
We talk about formal education being like man, and I have to say what formal education actually talk.
That I love so much is to study.
and look at subjects that I never would study or look at on my own, and that is so beneficial to two of my life and my career
and so that I think that that's where in a formal education sometimes gets bad wrap in its not accessible to everyone. You know there's all kinds of issues. However, it said you know what tanya you can't just take courses cause you like them
you're gonna. Take this one cause. You have to know my this sucks and an end that really now
You know, I don't like technology companies, manufacturing companies and all kinds of weird
is it that I never would have pursued,
I learned that we are all we all processes that kind of
burlap in some way, whether it's a thought process or a literal way of being and doing in the world yeah I mean it sounds like it also got you acquainted with the idea, which I know sort of like a central part of what you you teach out into the world these days, that
You know whether creativity, whether it is whatever is that thing that is inside of you, like that, when you're looking at how are you going to bring it to the world like what? What channel the choose? What industry, what company, whatever? Maybe what job that it's actually less of it,
like what that predefined containers and more about your ability to find the conduit, find the outlay find the way
to re, measured way that lets you still be that person almost no matter where you are yeah. I think that that's actually the super power of being in the world is realising what your skin
Those are what you do well, when what you well or more of because then you can jump into any form. You can jump into any industry with all of those intact. So, and that's me
The theatre, training to kind of train me fur, jumping into wildly different worlds. It's a! U create
a show right in its opening night, but its live so you'd
a joke and everybody cries instead affront laughs. You gather info
action europe? Your respond in you kind of move on, but you know that you created a world solid enough. They respond to whatever sky
in on around you, and so I dunno when I go into different. You know
companies or or forms? I know that whatever happens, I have the skills to kind of deal with it. I'm equip took whenever there s a year was: did you was improvidence a meaningful part of what you did when yours
but somewhere along the way, I'm curious yes and whether they will understand what the area that is for you, girls, shout improvers me
you know, I didn't focus on it as an I focus more on play writing. However, you know I did do
improv workshops and and and also in school. We learned some basic improvin. I mean at the basis of improv who is the same as theatre, which is about kind of trusting in developing your instincts. You know with theatre, you have a script.
have some architecture to hang onto, whereas improv you're, like you know, it's like you're free falling, so
yeah. I mean, I think it's super valuable and
world. So in my arsenal, but not not specifically- and probably you know like, I had friends who were like
I throw out a word tanya. Give me an idea, and I might go to babies now like I'm, I'm not I, you know I was necessarily a gym. No,
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ok, so what now will where do you go with all this? I know there's also, there are some big wrinkles I get thrown in here. Half yeah, I would say I I leave school and I'm can
instead that I'm going to make a living as a playwright, because that's what I do really well.
then what I realize is I will I will always have a slash mark, so I will be a barrister, slash playwright or I will be backing, groceries, slash, play writing or
that, in order to pay my bills and be in the world, I will have to have both things and
and pretty soon I worked like a myriad of weird jobs. I was like a print broker in San francisco. Working with I mean I was like I've linking my twenties, sir
First scrappy lesbian, as I am today only a little bit older end. I was working with like fancy like the soldiers, the indifferent me, no fancy families helping their daughters with
invitations which I think is you're so funny, so I did all this week. I am, of course you'd like that to be engraved in sight.
age, and that like tanya, that's a fantastic shall go with a crew or white for the paper. Anaemic accrue
anyway, I didn't know anything I was just making shit up. I was just trusting my instincts and and kind of going for it, so what I would do I'd have these were sort of typical jobs like nine to five ish, and I would wake up
at five in the morning, and I would go to a coffee house, no matter where I was no matter what my job was and I would write a play or work on a
in the morning. So I a whole rich writing life about four hours. Every morning before I went into work, so it didn't, it didn't bug,
I guess it any allowed me to keep my sanity in jobs that I was like, my soul is being sucked out.
Was straw and spit out on the ground. I I love the idea, though, of being able to re frame of of sort of having that blend right, where you've got your main gig like your full time gig and it's making your cane the world and paying your bills and all this other stuff. It's not great. It's not awful just kind of there, but the fact that it allows you then do the five to nine in the weekends and then, like maybe after work, gives you the freedom to go there and also not be constrained. By constantly questioning. Is this commercially viable cause? You know you got that covered like I feel like that. Blend is really powerful for so many people, but it's poo, poo bye, bye, sort of like a lot of pop culture. This is not like. You should just devote one hundred percent of your energy to like your purpose and your passion and for some people yeah, you can find
you do that, but for others that I feel that land is actually completely viable alternative way that just put things a new totally and actually you make me think of the fact that I remember once working in the sun sucking job, and I thought you know it
I'm can just save like two months worth of of rent and bills and then I'm just going to bright place. That's it so. I save money. I took a couple months off and I was like this is
awesome, and then I realized this sucks, because a lot of the characters and com,
stations that I was writing about. I listened
leaned from work, I didn't realize that actually work had become,
source material for writing, so I needed the two and, having that time away,
met, you know I mean play, writing any kind
writing is all about. Like tension, you know overcoming obstacles. I mean it's basically work relationships. Let's just call it like it is, so I got sad and
inspired when I was away from work and then
actually, when I realized, was in my job,
I was treating the best jobs that I had, even if they seem so you know silly or they weren't going anywhere allowed me to be myself in those contacts. So whether I was
making work and weaving it into my play. Writing or writing books in things like this, or I will take my creativity
and leaving it in tobacco groceries. You know it could work both ways and that that really kind of blue my mind and and shifted my consciousness about how I could be and if I could be creative in less creative spaces or if I could glean creativity from
less crater spaces, then maybe other people could do it, and so that was when I know that the genesis of yellow yelled at me. Can you have that, like really? That is like foundational work that I've done personally and then professionally. So
as you're doing this are then you're at this point, you're a hundred and
in early early is right. This is also when you get a diagnosis that also like completely censure
direction yeah. So when I was twenty one years old, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and this is for context. It's ninety. Ninety two,
you know. I mean this is when still in movies and informs of entertainment. When they talk about cancer. There, like your father, has cat. You now end
sue ann, we didn't see representations of of women and young women were not being diagnosed with breast cancer like they are today. So I was literally
call anomaly in so I found a lump in my breast and I didn't think those anything again. I'm twenty one! Nineteen I used to know big whip going to get a checked out, becomes a bit whoop really fast likes super hyper.
beat. They do a biopsy. And then there like this is cancer, its advanced stage, and I would just like why you know none of it made sense and arms
I felt like I was literally pushed into a medical labyrinth and had ten seconds to get out.
had met mastectomy schedule very quickly after diagnosis like a couple weeks later,
you know I mean actually now it's it's kind of a blur. I mean really happened so fast
in some ways, that's great because you know that when you have
or site- and you know what's coming in how pain for uncomfortable for weird it might be
something instinctly that stops you from moving forward in that direction,
I didn't know anything that was coming next him. That was both tat.
buying and probably saved my life
You know in some ways so yeah I had got a to me and then I had six months of chemotherapy but all the while
what it was doing. As I was writing about my experience as it unfolded in front of me- and that was a way for me to both and both distance myself from it when it felt really uncomfortable emotionally and physically and also access it in a way that felt safe. You know like we were talking about through
winning felt like a way to sort of journal and be that safe space. For me, yeah, I am I'm curious. You've mentioned that you've gone back to some of your other journals, and that's where you can somebody writing inspiration and have you gone back to or do you have any desire to ever go back to sorta like that six month window and look at the journals from then? That's, that's that's an awesome question. So what I did with
The writing of that time is, I actually wrote a play about it, so that was produced and in professional and things like that, which is its own weird thing to see your life performed. You know five nights a week and twice on sunday about here
relate the most vulnerable intimately utterly moment of your. So I feel like I ex
or those journals fully and deeply.
as the colonels fur that the play. However, you know to see for me
physically writing in journals, as opposed to a computer or mediated form of writing, is really different like to even see the the stroke of my pen on a piece of paper
maybe in times, whereas, like sitting
the waiting room for results might be interest
yeah, I wouldn't I mean I wouldn't be opposed to to seeing it. I'm not like. I need to get to it, but yeah we're an another curiosity line, because this also, as you mentioned this happen to you and you're, very young, and at a time where salute there's a different, very different frame, no matter when this happens and and yeah I've had this conversation with so many different people when you have that diagnose and you're living with it yourself, your experience, your own thing and then other people around
I do tend to not know how to handle it in any way, shape or form when this is happening to you and you're you're, literally twenty one years old, where people don't know how to handle themselves anyway. Looking back at that window, I'm curious what the source of the experience was. Your like new in the world out there solo just creating yourself. I imagine you have sorta like a crew of people, you're rolling with were creative and certainly from the theater scene too.
new stuff up, and this doesn't just enter your life, but their life and the relationship between you. How did effect that, and how did you experience it, though? The first image that came to my mind, is at that time I dealt with difficult situations like cancer
with. By being really like funny about it or a kind of making light, and also wanting to make other people feel comfortable, as opposed to myself,
so I didn't have that emotional maturity to be like. Oh my god, this sucks, like I need my time. I was just like shit. This is so crazy. Let's have a going out of booby sale. You know where you could touch. My boobies for a dollar
so the image that came to mind that serve encapsulates the house.
Feeling in that moment and what I did. What
I literally was in the hospital after having my mastectomy,
in the room was my girlfriend at the time and my mom brands data and it was like a party, and we were so loud that you know somebody had to come into the room and say: could you please keep it down and at that
I'm always I shut up like best party ever cancer rocks. You know- and I realized after every, but he kind of left the room and began
quiet. I did have a moment where I was like this is fucked, you know and yeah. I think I am
I just went so deep you're asking questions that are triggering so many images in my brain that
I'm not sure where I was going with it, but by Adam people you know people did things like quietly retreat. You know I had a friend and I was actually diagnosed with
second breast cancer, that thirty one years old and at that time I had a friend who had had kind of
Slowly gone away and
another person in my life that couldn't talk about the cancer like every thing was about just regular stuff and finally had to say you know what. Actually I can't. I don't give a shit about the fact that you can't find parking space
I have no hair and I feel sick. You know- and I didn't realize that it would impact me like that, but that that's how it was different things became of vital importance and other things I just did not give a shit about,
yeah, and then some people really showed up in an unexpected ways.
As well. I had a really good boyfriend, gay boyfriend Ben who,
I was going through cancer, the first time in twenty one he's like. Let's go dancing I might be. You know it, but really
taking me out of those situations and into places that fell joyous, and I also felt a connection to my body- was of like vital importance to me
yeah yeah. I also knew asia. I mean you showed the feather record when you're thirty one and and and at that point you are already familiar with what the scars looked like and felt like. But you also turned to running, and there was a moment at a race where you decided to show up and do something and take me to that moment and sort of like what was going through your head and what happened when you decided to make a move and talk to somebody next to you. So when I was first diagnosed with
cancer? The thing that actually freaked me out was the fact that I was going to I didn't know when they sit a mess sect me or they remove your breast. I was I do they take machete and chop it off. Like literally, I did not know what that men to and what the physical ramifications were, what it looked like a like what a scarlet like, because nobody is showing scars at that time and
it scared me to not now and then, when I had my mastectomy, and I saw my scar mike- it's not so bad right, and so when I was
us again, another mastectomy scar and I thought well what? If, what? If I can show people that domestic me scars aren't so bad there, not so scary, and so anyway
Before this moment of of realising that, I wanted to share what my scars look like. I had been running during chemotherapy massacre
I'm the kind of I mean when you're bodies like poked and prodded at from the medical industry. It just it feels like it's, not your
and and and so running for me became a way for
to literally and an metaphorically move forward with with my body and dumb. So why
excited to run a ten k at the end of my chemotherapy, that was a gold mine and that's when I decided that I would do it topless too.
Share, the fact that I was now a healthy body and in a different form, I just headscarves, where my breasts used to be, but that enabled me to save my life.
and so yeah. I I remember showing up to the race on race day, and I you know I I it wasn't about making a grand gesture. In fact, it was the opposite. I felt really like small and vulnerable
in that moment and anybody who is listening, who runs races. It's like there are literally thousands of people at a race. It's not just you and your os
idea to share your scar,
and so I am there and I'm about to take off my shirt before the race to expose
scars and it's a race for breast cancer awareness and all this kind of stuff and there's a woman's sent links the ending three or four feet away from me, and I thought I'm just gonna tell her that I met to take off my shirt and exposed to mastectomy scars. Garth socialism freak
yup, and so I turned to her and I mike in a few seconds, I'm Nbd taking off my shirt, exposing two mastectomy scars. I just didn't want you'd freak out and she looked at me and she said: can I hug you and I
yeah. In that moment, I was just blow
away in an we embraced, and then you know the the
to sit in runners go and I went
in that moment. Had that moment not happened, I would have still done the race, but there was something about that emotional support that really
help me endure what happened after the rays and in and other races that I I've run without my my shirt on, which is people got really scared. Some people avoided eye contact with
me. Some people avoided looking at my chest, even though the race is IRAN, we're all about breast cancer awareness, which I thought was sort of ironic,
it also necessary. You know, and- and it wasn't fun for me to do it was like. Oh I'm, taking off my shirt. This is so fun it literally. You know when we talk about vulnerability in this word. To me, that's the most vulnerable. I've ever felt is to be half naked in a sea of thousands of people, with my scars exposed
Just wanting to share this new way of being in a body in the world that has scars there. Do you stolen
because I I went on to run like marathons and half marathons for years, and then I hit a moment where I'm like. I think I'm done right now. You know, I think I spent about seven years at running at least one or two half marathons that you know a year and although recently I kind of feel like I might, I might have another one in me- yeah yeah, I'm curious about. So we talked about the moment that you decided to take your shirt off and then the fact that you continue to do that. The races I'm also curious about. Did you eventually say? Okay, I'm I'm good. I want to keep running, but I mean I can have my shirt
again and what it felt like to serve the first time he said. Okay, I m showing up differently I'm showing up, and I don't need to take this off them and keep it on. How did a feel for you after having done of roma
I think that it was it's actually a more profound feeling when I would show up and take off my shirt because would happen because in those mom
I'm making a conscious choice to put myself in a situation that is extremely uncomfortable to me,
self knowing it might not be received with open arms or hug, so we eat.
Really sort of a natural process of the of the pudding. My shirt back
on, and also I'm very focused on context end.
audience. You know I mean. Maybe this comes from a theatre is like you, you read the broom, you consider your audience, so I
was an interested in running like a topless race for testicular cancer. You know
if they were, they were really focused on breast cancer communities and things like that. So it literally ran it's course for me, I felt like I I I did like a handful of garlic and I did what I came to do. I did when I came to do and- and I felt good and bad and it was it was all the things that make us feel
I've made me feel alive and when I didn't have that
instinct. To do it any more. It just had run its course and then
realized. All I'm
runner like I love running, so it sort of transcended the knee
two to share my scars and it was more
me feeling, like I was once again connected to my body and health
way, since almost like you made the journey from me,
king up to a certain extent, making a public statement like that. Was it that a central part of why you're out they're moving your body to making the journey to know I'm showing up for me and entirely me at this point
kay with the absolutely here and also for me walking long distance
is running long distances is part, my creative process and practice
so. You know it's less. It's more internal actually said, though, the
ways in which I was showing up to share something with people
was sort of an external gesture, and then I went
two using running and and walking in my body in motion for for me, as you said, yeah there. So while this is assault is sort of like a yoga, doesn't your backdrop where this is sort of like happening,
you're, also moving out into the world and stepping back into the the this world of contribution and work and trying to figure out. What is this look like like? How am I actually going to do this thing and how? What what's the blend going to be, and it took a lot of different shapes and forms.
So over the years you end up also at some point finding herself in a museum in art museum tommy about that experience, yet
so it was at a point in my life where I feel like. I have lots of these points in my life.
and maybe this is just a creative soul. Maybe we all you know everybody was listening like I always have with those points in my life, where I'm like what the hell am I doing
What do we do with my life when it my purpose and my folkestone things? Any two am I being the human eye was meant to be.
And I was having one of those existential moments and I had a phone call from the director of a contemporary art museum a few weeks before my existential crisis, and he is the museums called scottsdale museum of contemporary art in arizona and teeth.
said, you know we are creating this new space in the museum and we want new programmes, new revenue streams and new audience members to fill it, and we want to break the rules of the larger museum and which is something you even be interested.
And the to, and I'm like wow. You know, that's that's interesting, so that kind of incubated in my mind- and it was a slower process for him to for them to get the space up and running in the meantime, I'm like you know what
Lee. I was hating arizona, we'd move from allay to arizona, because my wife had a good job in arizona.
And I make this by thugs and then
I thought I can
their wine, or I can take a job where I'm building I'm building something,
from the ground up and made it may be in doing that, I can bring.
All these amazing performers that have shared the state with around the country and internationally and bring in
things from the outside, and so I started. Thank god. This actually would be an awesome idea, and so I got the job and it was. The job was called programme coordinator
we're just pretty blame ways because, because with it just goes to show,
you that it doesn't matter what the job is called or where it is, but you can do whatever the f you want right. There are, like thousands of different ways,
create new revenue streams, get new audiences and the door. You know do what your job responsibilities are so yeah. I too
took the job and I started and I'm on my first day my boss introduced me to all the real curators and they were just freaked out that I was there. They, like the you know, he's this thing
tanya she's a you know as a degree in theater, and we can do some dry
around here and there like now
damn, and so I hit the ground running.
With no. I had the budget of a like a girl scout idly like that. I sold like ten boxes of cookies, and that was my budget
I didn't have a team because there was a real curator
damn anyway, so
I decided that the way to bring people into the the museum was to acknowledge that
that museums had been a little bit uninviting and maybe sometimes austere. This was in.
two thousand and eleven, two thousand twelve issue, and
and instead of pretending that people
enter the space need to know all the rules or they're gonna be judged. Maybe we should
You know, offer an olive branch and invite people in proper.
And see who were inviting it and so
I started to create programmes that seem to cast a wide net and invite people in it
warrant, just you know in the art world. So when the programmes that I made about with my budget, an arm wrestling table
typically lawyers yeah and where died this,
I never. I never talk about beef, so I decided I would do an event called arm wrestling for art
Ok, the idea was, I thought. Ok, everybody likes are everybody wants art, but arts? It can't be procured by everybody.
because it's expensive and that shitty in the latest, and how do we break that the out? And so I thought, okay
get a famous artist to give a piece of art. I have access to some well known artists, so I called up Eric Fishel in a mike, hey dude. Can you make a piece
that we will give away in his, like sure, did
and then my arm wrestling like that's such a democratic way to win something right doesn't involve. Money involves like a little bit of grit and sweat and trash pumping end
so we'll do it, and then I thought our missing part. That's a fun name, go tanya, let's so so I came up with all these things. I bought the arm wrestling table so a couple of weeks before I decided to do
what are and and this they never talk about. I have a video somewhere and I go to a mall because there's an arm wrestling competition, I'm like I'm going to enter it cause. I'm gonna see what the
What am I doing here like a crazy prison, and so
They have like the men's heat before you know, and these guys
and one guy breaks the other ones arm like like a
like a chicken bone that was like hit in the in the in the joint
and it literally went limp. I know a freaked me out to- and here I, like you, know the flyers without firmer thing for aren't. We send we posted unfix book in that and I was like butch circles end, and then
heat came up and I kicked ass. I won ok now the girl I was up against was
team, but she was angry other ten year olds can be, and so anyway I had this weird experts. So what I did was I got back to my desk and I wrote the best release.
you know it because I didn't want. It was like my first few months on the job and like somebody's going to bring the ambulance showing. First, autonomy is on a real, soon
So I started you know doing these programmes and arm wrestling for we had. It was multigenerational. The people came,
It was you know, super diverse. We had people from the arts community, but we also had like people on first states. We had grandpas and grandma's. We had people from the fitness community, it was awesome, and so this is how I take the boxes.
I have my job and it's creating. You know like new programs that brought people in from the outside and also show that museums didn't have to be like the sterile, don't touch. In fact we could touch each other and and yeah it was. It was awesome. It was a great experience for me such a powerful example to just again. This is such a huge part of who you are,
and- and we showed the world is the idea of taking the quote back to the constraints that you ve been given that,
especially like, you've assumed like I said these are the rules, these are the resources of these are the constraints, and this is, I have to work within all of them and saying can the questioning at all saying well what okay I I do acknowledge that there are resources that we have limitations and there are considered
but there may still be entire ways to bring myself to this.
Various that be the outcome was like the creative output. The experience can be profoundly different and the way I experienced personally can be profoundly different too.
Yeah absolutely end. Also, you should know that people weren't nest,
lay like good tanya, like oh you bringing in new revenue, and I would imagine tat a lot of this or like more older installed. People were sort of like this is this: is it's almost like
assault to what nearly the idea of fine art and culture a fine art and is all about yeah. It was it in
I wouldn't even be likened to appoint a specific age because
really like young people who are just bit mount more tis to your point. People who had gone on a very clear and focused trajectory were pissed off
it's like. I went to school and I got my degree in art history and then I studied curatorial studies. Now I'm a curator, and now this knucklehead this like scrappy lizzie running around like having people, are muslim shit, it's insane, but what they did
realize in some did
is that my job was to fill the museum so that people can see their job. You know it wasn't like a one off. We know thing
storytelling advance in arm wrestling and all kinds of I did a good
plenty artists grant that was community funded. So all of these people who are either never
into the museum or felt comfortable uncomfortable going into the museum now knew about the museum now felt, seen and heard and invited in and then came back
see the art that the curator
said installed. So you know my job
if the day was contributing to the vis
and admission of the museum definitely plenty people or like she's an hour,
treasures, havin fun cause. I I I smiled a lot and I had a sense of joy and purpose in the work. I was doing
Do you know I might work and play or are not mutually exclusive? It so interesting to me also serve the in the cultural level and at that and I've seen this unfold in the world of art across yet finer. But all sorts of different demands is that there is weird
tension between the fact that ok, you're running an institution or a gallery and organizational wherever it is that has to become a and remain a viable.
city that is self sustaining, so there's got to be an engine of people coming in and we, which means we have to robin the base we have to bring in nearly people from all walks of life and yet, at the same time there there can also be this sense, but but what we have on offer can only be appreciated by a certain type of people. So those are the people who should be here and and it and and there's this really kind of fascinating tension, and I feel, like that's, also changing a lot. These days, o two
absolutely like without any doubts, and in fact I too, when the museums that were were pioneers and in brief
in irreverent, uncomfortable, uncomfortable and and playful programmes was empty. Ay Denver
and adam learner, really was at the forefront of doing that and would also say that I think is
really fascinating and weird, and this is not really
it too museum or arts and culture is the disconnect between what
what a museum or what anyone is quoting quote selling and how they're doing that to me is the the
weirdest and just an inner. When I speak in companies, this is like than the number one question people ask is like you know how to have fun and cook at the wheel
wasn't it outta. You know if I might get fired and I hold the line. Let's look at what what the vision is. So for me,
the imf, for example, I'm I'm certain a lot of the vision is to bring
berlin and have new experiences and make them feel excited about arts and culture and yet the way in which,
we're doing that if we're rigid and we're like, but you can only do it like this than are, are we connect did or is there disconnect between what
offering not by mean if you're, selling, transcendence and ear approaching it in a really bridges,
not creative way. Are you really selling transcendence? You know any. I think that that's that's that disconnect is it when people feel like their stock or out of whack. I always say: go back to the text. Go back to what read your mission statement. Look at the new york
but his website c with the languages or you know your values. You know everybody said like our company's values are innovation. I'm like when was the last time you innovative, you know, suits like we don't
that's right, but it so easy. It's anywhere. You know it's like the. We ve already plotted our map towards success. It's just that. Nobody is taking the time to see the signposts anymore. That's it it's like. We think we we ve sort of were be
and, if being creative any more anyway. I think that that's the the issue is the disconnect there and I think, there's also a lot of the this likes. You know the the innovative and innovators dilemma there, like a lot of us start out scrappy.
Just again innovative and pushing the envelope and breaking all the rules, and that because there
how we actually create something different that that existed,
well differently and grows differently and fills a new need in a different way and they would get to the point where you rachel a certain level of success,
as and then you move from your like a prevent offense. Yet you, instead of being the agitator and the disruptor, you start to play to defend what you have already achieved and you become more and more conservative and less and less and editing parlor
As you end up moving away from the values and the actions and the ethos and the culture they got you to this place. Simply because you're afraid of retreating from it, not realizing that that is exactly what will ensure that you do in fact retreat yeah, that's the like the deep dive into ego.
I mean I as opposed to you know being in the world and choosing things that scare and excite you
single time and anger reminded me of something I wrote about, which is
You know lorry Anderson there he asked crash maisie love: did you see her move
I didn't ya, be prepared to weep and smile on all the things in between so lorry Anderson. At the
if her career decides to get a job at Mcdonald'S- and
The reason why is because from behind?
the counter and in a uniform she's able to observe people.
No end, and in a way that's really natural, I mean she every every one of her performances is really about the human condition in I mean they're about what it means to be alive in the world, and so that was a vantage point that she didn't have any more as like the exalted performer on the stage. So you know my
areas. This is when you go to a point of success and you're, making a certain amount of money that you need to go, get a job on the ground. Do it. You know, I think, having that balance.
Is it real and it keeps it real and it did stops you from diving into the yummy massive ego dealing with not so yummy. It's like a leading a bunch of cupcakes
you just like others, is so good, I'm in a few countries too much, but aren't you.
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experience in a bit of a reawakening to like what is actually possible in your museum at some point
you, you move back out into the world, and you made this really interesting leap into the attack and then
Can you show up and like ok? So I'm gonna do something profoundly different, which turns into this massive viral eye opening campaign? Yes,
first of all, a philosophy that I have as a mature adult as opposed to somebody who's in my twenty is.
Or jobs when I'm ahead and things are in a good position. You know it's always a good thing, yeah. Well in the past, I literally was like well, you do your own dishes in the shared sink, I'm leaving or like fill up your own ink cartridges, but with the museum I
things were going really well with all the programmes, and I felt like it was a
natural time to leave. In fact, the space
that I was in its caught. It was called the smoke a lounge and the concept behind it like from my boss, was that every three years it would be
lately redesign by an artist, and so I
as a work there one year and my got my stride on and things are going well and in your too
Listen. I dont want to work my way out of a job, but I really think that every three years my position should be like not liking
with some one else. I think that would make so much so. But ironically, in three years, I felt like
have done so many things in it that everything's great and growing it's time to leave and around that time,
I had a conversation with a software company in scottsdale called exo, soft and dumb. They were like
no, we love to talk to about software, and am I I
I don't know anything about the hum. I do I really didn't and I didn't give a shit about technology and ahead like an iphone three and
not that long ago. Ok
and so I met with the.
see all the time is sort of like. Let's
I can see who we are and whatever and a d you know the company could have expressed
we were in were interested in this role called evangelist and like a brand evangelist, and I had
no, I just knew evangelist as like a religious zealot, and I thought that's cool,
my jewish mamore freak out how we I go and preach no, but I didn't. I really did not,
with this role was you know they said something about sales and you're, so good at public speaking in this, and that no I'm ok right time. Let's, let's do let's try something
and they made me a really nice offer, and I thought it's time to take a leap of faith.
So I literally started the job knowing nothing about their software for real and then my first week on the job. I was like. Ok, what is this cool software? I just assumed it with some like something that I can
I understand or use, and they were like it's a project management software for software developers. It's a b to b sass and I was like holy shit. I don't know
those things are at all, and it was you know you like
entering any new space there's an
language and new concepts and everything's, weird and exciting, and of that I, and so
or to learn about the software on some high level. I was seriously I glazed over. I was just like holy shit. Can I quit? When do I get my first paycheck? So I have a bridge to my next job
and dumb, and so about two months into my job, we decided to sponsor a girls girls in technology,
he's a global organization and
having an inaugural event in arizona and we decided be sponsors, and so my boss came to a colleague, Sarah myself and said you know like let's come up with big idea about
in technology and we'll have like a little booth. Their tiny yoga talk about it. Now, my ok and
and so we brainstormed and came up with nothing as per lots of brains from accessions
and then you know I started thinking about women in technology. This is two thousand fifteen. The Ellen pow trial is going on
women in technology, meaning that there the pipeline was not happening. Women were not feeling like that
safe or seen or invited into that space
so anyway. You know I started thinking about symbols that represented women and
and thought of the bathroom symbol. You know the triangle dress with the round head and, though to arms, so like every battle,
if she's everywhere she gets around the lady yeah, and so I realized that that symbol. You know, I made a lot of different symbols. You know like the women's symbol with the cross and the bump above, but that one I thought was
is easily recognisable across cultures and genders, and you know having the privilege of travel and I ve seen her lots of places in the world and dumb. I brought her back to sara. I said I have this lady answers. Like green
you know liquid, it wasn't. An idea was, as it was, a symbol that was it an
I just kept looking at her and you know poking at her a little bit to see if there was something there and I it was her triangle dress that triggered the fact that that that shape his address. But it's also lots of things and then I thought, hmm, I think she's wearing a cape, and then I felt like a crazy person
like my gun, like until sir she's gonna, think like I'm the hundred year old woman working in technology, make sure the coop time you idiot and so
Well, I printed out the women's bathroom vector and with a prayer and a pencil made a few lines and realized holy shit. She is wearing a cape and you know, in fact we were looking at her the wrong way, we're looking at her back and in front she's wearing a cape, and I showed her to Sarah and she said like it was never addressed.
That's genius, and so we took this idea to the bar son. She thought it was.
eight and then we got a lot of push back for in house and I think it's important to know, because being people thought, why would we invest any time or energy?
and turn in making a you know, designing an image and tanya giving attaka cook,
if it were selling software for project managers. What does this have to do with it, and then some people like
This is the best idea ever in and sort of all the things in between, and
What we had her blessing. I worked with the designer to make
image, and then I gave I've. I've wrote the website like this,
If you can't, you know how people I speak, it lot of marking conferences and people are like. I want to create a viral campaign, you can't, and when you do, you are fucked because you do
realize how much infrastructure needed to happen that didn't happen. You know because you're not plant, you can't plan that shows it. Okay, so
I wrote out with the it was never address website and basically you know,
the writing, a grant where you have to leave it open enough to
aims, but specific enough to be engaging. It's like okay, this is about shifting people's perceptions of women in the works.
Listen? You know in the home space in the church and labour, and and so I wrote this whole thing-
and then we literally went to the car, and then I wrote a like a talk about gender equity, and then we went to the conference. A few days later set up a little table with our project management software and then these stickers that had the women's bathroom vector and then it was never a dry
written on them and somebody posted an image of one of the stickers and it went viral in twenty four hours
it had over twenty million organic impressions which, as you know, like fancy tik tok for a lot of people, liked it a lot and it would really became huge
there is so such example as how many different levels re about things are talking about. The idea of redefining
imagining what you're actually doing a willingness to look at something and that you know even internally, you, you present, and you youth, think it's a little bit not to the first version, but you still want to do it and then that person give you
by in and then even internally. There's a battle that goes on around us and be willing to serve say- and I said I I can't even tell you know.
Is fairly whether it's going to work or not, but I feel in my gut there something here and am willing to to to get behind it, like I'm willing to actually invest myself in pushing this power, which I think is such a scary.
Place for so many people who are working who out and the workforce to be these days. I mean like you and I have this amazing blessing. We can run around thing, but the vast majority of the world works in the context of these big pre existing
cultures and organizations, and it's not, that they don't have amazing ideas all the time. It's like there's so much fear I think, associated with sharing them and then aligning yourself with them in the context of these bigger organisms that we sort of like that, that we depend on to sustain
four thousand oil absolutely and that actually become my litmus fur following through
Big scary idea is that if I I find myself
instinctively continuing to fight for it, as opposed to back away from it, and then I realize it's worth fighting for, and that was the case with it was never that was never address as well is because,
in a lot of meetings where people were all over the place about it
and I just found myself saying now: it's not
stupid idea. You know whatever I mean I didn't know what the outcome was, but a news that the idea was worth fighting for an eu bring up an interesting point, though,
bout getting by un along the way. You know when we do finally express her big scary,
Wild ideas and people are pushing back, but those people who say on the right track on are really valuable in the process, and you know
when I talk about it was never addressed, and I you know it and I say it's a collaboration. You know some people, a lot of people think oh collaboration. It's like five
point around and they're all doing the same things you know, but the collaborative part on this project that I think is so interesting is that you know that my boss, at the time blah dan, took us big score.
Crazy risk to hire somebody who knew nothing about technology, a public, a playwright by training and background to blue being evangelist for a tech company that was the beginning of the collaboration right there and the boy.
And so, when you know foundational your supported- and this is my more in positions of power and leadership in mentorship and
say: you know what we support and trust. You come up with wild ideas and we we actually receive them and
don't shoot them down. We allow for that space network culture. Then the people
generating those ideas, will generate the best ideas ever suit.
initials like invitation like hey, crazy person,
Antonia come on in. We know it doesn't make sense and that's why we want. You allowed me to feel safe enough to to try out
Yes, yes, I think that release that dynamic right down so important, a member marie
in the study. I think it was at a university of pennsylvania, maybe seven or eight years ago, and that looked at this dynamic of
managers or leaders demanding from the people. We need better ideas to mere most creative stuff and then a lot of the complaint was
just not getting enough ideas not get enough creativity and this tumor researchers look at that and what they found was that they looked at a whole bunch of different teams and different organizations, different sizes. What they found was there
in fact end. This independently analyzed the quote, creative note: the quality of the ideas that were being offered and they found that, in fact, there are amazing ideas being offered all the time every day or being
add, but not offered, but what they found was that, even when they were offered very often the person who said give me your best. Ideas was looking at all these things and saying: no, not quite
right or no, not good enough or no not. There are no, not that
not even realising that weight, because then they start deconstruct wise is happening with the. What did the theory was that
these people legitimately believe that its no it's not right, because dot dot dot, but what's really happening is that if they say yes to something, then they are then backing stepping into nearly joseph camels abbess, along with the person who offered it potentially allocating resources of time and effort
so they are on the line to an their brains literally, like would not allowed him to see the potential.
in an idea because it also put them in a position of exposure that he didn't wanna be it. I think I read that
steady analysis so ass to love and with your work. It's so after up- and this is where you know it's a
because I really am not like. Oh my god, big data, blah blah. However, this is where data analytics all of this
Those resources allow. I have worked with so many people who are that boss who's like come up with your wildest ideas and they're like that sucks that sucks and then it ends up
their idea in the end right- and this is where you know what it's not actually about- you you're, not our.
do you, sir, you know what you are not the people we are serving so at vienna. We now
to see who are end user is who are audiences and then serve them,
and that's were dead and analytics and metrics in all? That can actually be helpful and
liquid eyes, this weird dynamic,
between ego and the boss, and you know people they're trying to get the best ideas from you know what you're, not the gatekeeper
you know too- to remove yourself from that situation of being the gatekeeper and you're, not our audience,
that's the weirdest thing that I've encountered in the work space and in working with companies and think is that so
just anointed themselves.
Knowing what their audience ones, even though there not the
Graphic at all what the fuck,
like, why that's ego the hunter
and it is also if you go on its fear. It's just. I dont want to put myself in my livelihood on the line, because this means, but but then they knew you ass. You are putting yourself in a position of spaces and then you're, putting
the entire organization incirlik sustained sideways by not going there, which again
like? There is no sideways you're only going up or down so eventually, if future sidewise
you're really choosing down yonder people. Don't we don't process that and I'm raising my because we all were really nobody's above this we will have brains and a mig to lessen the things that make us freak out
if you so so, you're sort of like developing all these ideas and theories and and a sense of confidence around how to be creative and how to bring an element of creativity out into the world. So when you step out of your experience in tech, you step into this world of, let me take a lot of these things, the still them into frameworks and ideas and things I can share and teach and become not so much an evangelist for this one thing anymore, but an evangelist for these ideas and go into and share this with other organizations. And you come up with, with this phrase: creative trespassing. Where does that come from what does it mean? And- and and this taught me
yes, it is fascinating yeah. I think that after years of people asking like so what do you do? Tanya, because I never made sense in the lot. I you know like in my presence and again I go to fly today where we're going back to this idea of me, threatening somebody's professional trajectory,
when they went to school, to study the thing and then they did the thing and then they became proficient in the thing, and here I like super left field and to people literally, would be
What do you do and am I glad a playwright but, as you know, a book
not a g and I'm a storyteller really like to connect the audience and really I loved you know so
I sat down and I wrote language just like you know.
It was never redress in writing your drawing symbols. I wrote all the things that I thought that I did
one umbrella. Word is creativity. I mike ok, creative kind of is the umbrella for
thing. I do it's for its imagination, really, you know it's sort of like maybe
wacky and wild in either creative as a good word, and then I thought
do I do with my crew
if any and then I realized o oftentimes, I go into spaces where I'm not really invited end and then I kind of works magic. I used my imagination to solve problems,
xo redress, obstacles with the company and the people realize huh, that's pretty gray, and then there
I can't leave without that shit anymore. I want more of that
actually in order to get into those spaces. I felt like I was break
in entering you know, and then I'm like well, what is a word? That means that and then after I dunno what kind of words I wrote, I think, are a bunch of words, but then trespassing is.
It's definitely something you know when you're going into a space you should not be in, but those are the only spaces you should be. You know the ones that don't make sense. So then I just put combinations of words together and creative trespassing on my that's it,
you know. I literally had two columns of words and I circled words and felt them in
I'd them on in that that's what I
and then I started beta testing it with human beings. You know, as you do cause you do, as the people do and you know people will be like. Oh what do you do and I'm like I'm a creative trespasser and they're? Like oh, tell me more, and so I realized it hit a nerve and a really great way, because it was enough information that it was it wasn't so esoteric or abstract creativity, people understand so the moment. I say korea
is like. I understand that and then trespassing. They understand that were too
like that even work
So that was the inception of the phrase that I use just to make people feel better what did make
feel like I understood what I did in the world and then, unlike with this, is like a like, I'm, not the only creative
passed her out there. I mean a lot of creative trespassers in the world and actually do this, and maybe I could explore it in, and so I started real.
Thinking about what it means to be a creative trespasser or to be creative trespassing
especially in the working world, and and when I, you know, even when I worked at the tech company in them, when I left you know, I was invited to speak at like like technical
Gee conferences and manufacturing conferences and all kinds of india,
freeze and I would talk about creativity and about making the
day and rigid processes, fun and people would come up to me after out, speak and they'd be like. Ah, oh, my gosh
the right place to- or you know or like I play music, and I wish I could bring some
that to my job at my job sucks or it's totally rigid and and
and I realized. Oh, my god, there is a disconnect between who we are and what we do, and I know that there is a different way of being in the
working world, and so I felt like a had enough information to start really digging in writing. Crave trespassing, dad it's funny, azure serve sharing it and knowing that within the book is just a whole series of principles, many of which we work. We ve touched on in different ways, they're kind of like a framework or a road map to a certain extent of how to get back to that place, and as long as I'm thinking when it occurs to me is is
To get back to that place is where we started our conversation, which is you
five year old, lying on your back in the playground, looking up at the clouds and making up all sorts of cool different, unique store.
about what it is. And what possible are you trying to make me cry said: yeah, that's really beautiful! That's really,
sweeter to to bring in around. I mean that's what it is and I think that you know there's a study I actually write about in creative trespassing, tina, doktor george land was a steady and creativity
and it's really beautiful- and I I do anyway- and he decided he created a test for nasa so that they could hire the best engineers. So as for adult
people and it worked so well and they hired the most creative engineers and does that that he decided to to give the test to bunch of five year olds and do a longitudinal study, and so the five year old's did this test. It was divergent thinking. It was like coming up with as many creative ways to solve a problem and they all tested. It was like ninety five percent tested at the highest level called creative genius and then five years later, at ten years old, these kids dropped like fifty percent and then at fifteen. It was like less than twenty percent, and- and so the point is, is that we're born creative were born to lie on a concrete
and look up and see rabbits and see, you know see an entire world and then through systems in training and em,
I said, Jang were taught to stop that. You know funny business, but the reality of it is is that those are the only businesses that are going to survive are the ones that employ creative,
an imagination so that an and on an individual level yelich for us to feel in some way close to fully expressed. We have to find our way back to that place, or at least as close as we get to at some point, or else we die with a latin side- yeah yeah, let's not let's let it out. This feels like a good place for us to come full circle, also so hanging out in this container of the good life project. If I offer up the phrase to live a good life, what comes out now to live a good life now.
Thank you. Thank you turn it. In fact, you so much for listening, and thanks also to our fantastic sponsors who helped make this shell possible. You can check them out in the links we have included in today, show notes and while you're at it, if you ve ever ask yourself what
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Transcript generated on 2023-06-26.