AYD 3 | Creative Process

Ideas are cheap, but the execution is expensive. If you can do both through an effective creative process, you will have a long future in any business. Today’s guest is Joel Zadak, an Emmy Award-winning producer and manager. Joel joins Baeth Davis to talk about what goes into mentoring and advising creative people. He also shares his philosophy on the people he likes to represent and work with – that they should be content generators. These multi-talented artists are not only visionaries but also implementers. They come up with and execute the idea. But how do you generate authentic content that is aligned with your purpose and voice? What makes a good creative process? Join in the conversation to gain valuable insights!

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here

Award-Winning Hollywood Manager And Producer Talks Creative Process With Manifesting Generator Joel Zadak 

Welcome to the show where I invite people who I feel are living their design. They are in their purpose, on purpose and being of service to others by bringing their greatest work out into the world. We have an exciting conversation for you that you’re going to get a lot out of. We’ll be talking with a talent manager and an artist in his own right about what goes into mentoring and advising creative people. If you’ve been in the Your Purpose community for a while, you know we attract creative people. I call you all, the healing artists, ambitious entrepreneurs. You’re this interesting blend of being right-brain, risk-taking, innovative in your creativity, also interested in the structure and systems that go into building a successful business so you have a consistent income, consistent revenue and creating that balance in your life. That makes for a balanced life. That’s what we’re going to explore.  

Our guest is Joel Zadak. He is an Emmy Award-winning producer and manager. He grew up in Chicago. He always enjoyed comedy and appreciating movies as we all did such as Animal House and anything by Cheech and Chong. His dad introduced him and his twin brother to our R-rated comedies on cable far earlier than the average parent would allow and so did my father. Thank you, dad. That made him feel special.  

When you wake up, meditate, do some stretching exercises, and then get to writing. 

After college, Joel frequented The Second City comedy theater world. Many of you have heard of The Second City out of Chicago. That’s where some of the greats came from like Gilda Radner, John Belushi, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Steve Carell. They got their feet wet, performed and developed their craft before they became the big stars. That inspired Joel to take creative writing and screenwriting classes at The Second City.  

He wanted to write the next big comedy hit as many creative people do. He then moved out to LA where he got into the grad program for screenwriting at UCLA but then he dropped out once he landed a job assisting a manager in the entertainment industry and realized that Hollywood was a full-time job in and of itself. Shortly after, his boss left to start his own company and Joel was promoted to manager in four months. That’s where his next-level comedy adventures began.  

Let’s fast forward. Here is Joel’s philosophy on the people he likes to represent and work with as a talent manager. He says, “It’s pretty much a prerequisite for me that they have interests and talents in multiple fields. That means they are writers/performers, writers/directors, directors/performers, stand-up comedians/actors. I think it’s imperative that they are content generators. They’re not what I call vendors, vending their acting services or writing services. I want them to direct, to perform because I love multiple points of entry. I love those artists who can not only be the visionary but also the implementer.”  

That’s a familiar thing I’m saying to all of you all the time. “The person who comes up with the idea and then also executes the idea. Ideas are cheap. Execution is expensive. If you can do both then you have a long future in this or any business.” Two of Joel’s superpowers are networking and listening. I can attest to that. Joel resides with his wife and two children in Southern California. Let’s welcome our amazing guest, Joel Zadak. Welcome to the show. 

It’s great to see you. 

I’m happy to have you here. This is awesome. My first question to you is about you. When it comes to your own creativity, where do you personally find the most satisfaction? Is it writing, acting, directing? Where is it for you? 

It’s in writing. I moved to LA years ago to be a writer even when I was in Chicago studying improvisation. It was to improve my writing skills. I love to write. I write every day, be it in a journal or a novel that I’m working on. I was previously writing a self-help book that I had to put down at the beginning of the pandemic because a lot of the advice I was giving might not be relevant post-pandemic. Writing is what I enjoy doing the most. 

What is your writing process? When you say you write every day, do you write at a certain time of day? 

I write in the morning. I will wake up, meditate, maybe do some stretching exercises and then I’ll get to writing. I usually set aside a specific time. It all depends on what I’m writing, how much time I give. I will put it on a timer then I’ll start. As soon as the timer is done, I’ll finish the sentence I’m writing and then that’s it. 

How do you know when the writing is “done” and ready to go to the next stage to edit or to be delivered? 

I’ll write as much as I can about something and then I’ll go back and edit it. If your question is, when is it ready for somebody else to read or to send out? I usually read it. I feel it in my bones. Do I think it’s the best point? You and I were in a program called Strategic Coach. They talked about this 80/20 Rule where the idea of it is creating something and getting it to 80% of its potential and then passing it on. I like that principle. If it’s 80% there, I will then send it off. I know that there’s going to be more. No matter where I send it, it’s never going to be finished.  

The beauty of the 80/20 Rule when it comes to projects is it takes out that perfectionism and the need for it to be so. Dan Kennedy said, “Good is good enough. Get it moving.” What do you typically write about? 

AYD 3 | Creative Process
Creative Process: People need to speak from their truth, authenticity, and life purpose and be very excited to express that.

The self-help book I was writing about was a book geared towards people who wanted to make comedy their profession. Come to Hollywood and be a professional comedian, writer, director or actor. That was the book that I was writing. The novel that I’m writing is about surrender. It’s based on characters of people that I know and their fictitious journey to healing and bettering themselves to surrendering to what life is for them.  

What does surrender mean to you?  

That’s something that I’m working on a lot in my personal work. There a couple of things. One, it’s letting go of the need to control your life. It’s also truly loving and appreciating the truth and what is.  

Do you have any particular spiritual practice? Did you mention meditating in the morning? 

I meditate. I’m using a method called the Jose Silva method. In that meditation, I’ve created what I call my Circle of Elders, one of my favorite spots in Yosemite. The Circle of Elders consists of people who are real or fictitious in my life who are older and wiser than me. In that meditation, I will speak directly to them, ask them questions and then they give me advice. That’s one of the things I do. I’m also very much into breathwork both the Wim Hof Method which is popular. Wim Hof is a fascinating human being. He’s got a great method that’s simple. I regularly practice and I’m a trained facilitator in a method called Revelation Breathwork, which is a variation on holotropic breathwork. It’s intended to get you to some of those abnormal states, those non-typical states that will maybe bring some wisdom, advice and help you see things that you may not be able to see in a conscious mind.  

In terms of the people you represent as a talent manager, in addition to being a spiritual seeker and artist yourself, you look for people who have multiple skills and can enter into creativity and multiple different ways. Is there a set of criteria that you mentally go through or a checklist when you’re bringing on a new client where you think, “This person is ideal for what I do?” 

Number one, I have to find them talented and think that they’re good and that I feel that I can sell them. I meet with them and I get a sense of their mindset. Are they people who want a relationship with me and want to grow creatively together which I much appreciate and favor? Are they somebody who is going to ask me to do stuff for them and then rely on me to make their careers go? Those are the people that I tend to shy away from. Talent and mindset are other ones. Do they have something to say that I believe is original, that is worthy of being spread to the masses, that people will respond to and want more of? 

Create content that’s authentic and aligned with your purpose and your voice. 

What do you think are some of the things that need to be said more by artists that maybe aren’t being said out in the marketplace of entertainment? 

I don’t know if I have specific examples of what needs to be said more. As it relates to the work that you do, people need to speak from their truth, authenticity, life purpose and be excited to express that. Everyone who’s in this business will talk about how authenticity sells and many of their favorite projects have an element of authenticity. Yet so much of Hollywood, the world and social media are people projecting themselves of how they want to be seen or how they think will be well received. Hollywood has long had a criticism of the people within it being phony and superficial. The reason that has that reputation is that it’s oftentimes true. What needs to be more said is people’s truth and what works for them. Hopefully, they can continue to grow whatever that is to the point where it is truly special and worthy of being digested and purchased. 

What are some of the biggest stumbling blocks your clients bump into? Do you have any examples of things they bump up against that potentially could create a creativity block or even create some setbacks in their career? 

What is a stumbling block for many of the artists that I work with is a need to make a certain income, to make a living. Oftentimes, that means taking jobs, being hired as a writer, as a director or an actor in a project that doesn’t fully align with their purpose or what their original ideas will be. There’s this need to make money and gain experience. I represent a tremendous artist named Jordan Peele who was an actor on Mad TV and created Key and Peele. He wrote and directed Get Out, Us and many other projects.  

Fortunately, he is at a place where he can choose his next projects. He is in the extreme minority of artists in Hollywood who can truly choose their next project. What’s a stumbling block for many of my clients is how do they get to the point where they are fully trusted in their creativity by the people who hold the purse strings and what they need to do to get there? Oftentimes, it does mean taking jobs or working on projects that aren’t fully aligned with their purpose and authenticity.  

Do we call that paying your dues? 

It’s certainly paying the dues. There’s the paying the dues that go to learning your craft and there’s how do you get to a point where you are considered valuable and can attract an audience? Many artists have attracted an audience by doing things, projects and work that was not fully aligned with their purpose and authenticity. That’s the way that the art world oftentimes works. 

What would you say to someone who’s starting in the comedy field in terms of what they could do to increase their chances of getting that audience and potentially getting investors to want to invest in their work? 

The first thing I always recommend to anybody getting into entertainment is to create content that is authentic and aligned with their purpose and their voice whether it’s comedy, drama or horror. One of the stumbling blocks to that is what is that thing that’s going to get people’s attention? Number one, what is the idea? Number two, “How am I going to pay for this?” Number three, “Who am I going to enlist to help me make it real?” Oftentimes, anything that’s considered content especially in entertainment, requires more than one person to do. It’s about figuring out what that is and figuring out your system.  

AYD 3 | Creative Process
Creative Process: A stumbling block for so many artists is the need to make a certain income to make a living.

I’m long been a proponent of people getting involved in bonafide education systems. When it comes to the comedy theaters, Upright Citizens Brigade, Groundlings, not only does that provide you education but it introduces you to a bunch of other people who could be your present and future collaborators. Much entertainment is a system of collaboration. The sooner that one can find their cadre of collaborators and also learn the skillset of collaboration, which we all know is not easy, the better they’ll be suited to springboard their success once they get their opportunities. 

What do you personally find funny? That’s the first question. The second question is what do you think people ought to joke about more than maybe they don’t? 

I like a lot of comedy. I tend to gravitate towards silly. There’s silly comedy or comedy that speaks about individuals’ insecurities and then relationship insecurities. What people should joke more about are themselves and their relationships. We’re in these strange times. We have a strong PC culture, a Time’s Up culture, #MeToo culture, Black Lives Matter culture and Stop Asian Hate culture. There is this nervousness to talk about subject matters that are outside of one’s demographic. One of the ways that I advise combating that or that some of my best and wisest clients advise combating that is to have their material talk about the human condition and their personal experience in the world. If you can do that, you likely can avoid being canceled or being a victim of the Cancel Culture.  

Do you take ownership of it? 

If you take ownership of it and if it is meant to speak to your insecurities, fallibilities, experience within the world. If you’re talking about things that all human beings face, you’re probably pretty sick. 

What got you interested in relationships as a theme from your own experience? How did that come about? I know that’s a huge question. What comes to mind in terms of why relationships? 

I’ve never lived alone. I grew up with somebody who’s my fraternal twin brother but there is always somebody who looks like me, going through the same thing as me and yet we were different. There was a lot of comparing and contrasting growing up. I live with my brother and my parents growing up. When I went to college, I always had roommates. They were good people. We got along well. We were four guys. We always had girlfriends. There were always people around. I was fascinated about who was attracted to whom, why they liked people. We would laugh about what went wrong in relationships. We would laugh about each other’s faux pas, false moves, stupid drunken nights, what we said and what we did. At the end of it, we always appreciated and liked each other. That was fascinating to me. I had a lot of laughs in and post-college. That’s what started it for me. 

When you do the healing work, trust that your art will be even richer. 

You associate close relationships with something positive. Everybody wants that but I don’t know that that’s everybody’s association. What has been challenging for you in relationships? 

I got many things. It’s all things that I’m working on my various therapies, shamanic work, breathwork and spiritual coach that I work with. At least now, what I’ve been working with is that my life from the outside, somewhat idyllic. I grew up middle class and in a nice neighborhood. I went to good public schools that we didn’t have to pay for. Much of what I’m working on is trusting my feelings. When a feeling comes up, I’m feeling it. I grew up in a time where boys weren’t supposed to have feelings, to cry or emote. If they did, they were referred to as derogatory terms for homosexuals. It was like, “Don’t feel.” 

I also grew up playing competitive sports. It was very much about beating other people, be better, be stoic and don’t show emotion. That got me through my younger years but has been challenging in my adult life because I’ve rationalized why I shouldn’t feel certain emotions. That doesn’t work as many people who have grown up and gone through the therapies and lived a more rich, borderline enlightened life have ever realized. What I also enjoy as a manager, talking with artists is encouraging them to write about their feelings, create work about their feelings, own it, discuss it openly and not to push it down. That’s so much of what has led to, in my opinion, a lot of the toxic masculinity that’s made the news and cause to create the Cancel Culture or some of the political or social unrest in our country.  

I’m wondering about something I’ve observed. I’m going to apologize in advance. I’ll take the generalization and make it a personal question to you. In your personal experience as a man, when you were younger, have you found that you would think thoughts, positive or negative or have feelings and not express them and not communicate them to people? It’s harder for men. Statistically, women talks more. We talk to release oxytocin. What the research shows is that men tend to go internal as a group. Generally speaking, go internal with their feelings. Do you think that is more innate or more conditioning? What’s your experience with that? 

I would lean more towards conditioning. I’ve been also studying a lot about the masculine, feminine and how they interact because they exist in all human beings whether they’re men or women or non-binary. It’s a generalization but I would say that women contain more feminine than masculine and men contain more masculine than feminine. There are traits that are associated with both. Emotional, sharing, caring, nurturing are all feminine attributes. The conditioning of growing up as a man in a competitive household, in a competitive world of getting good grades, making a lot of money and win sports games. For me, the more I succeed, the more I will have a chance of surviving and not dying. Also, being separate and above the fray. 

Do you think it’s brutal for men until they find their way to where you have? Is it brutal for you now? 

It was brutal for me until I made a conscious choice to work on it. 

Was there a turning point when you made that choice? What made you decide, “I got to go deeper. I need to get more connected.” 

There were a couple of turning points. One of them was the death of a close friend of mine who died from pneumonia unexpectedly. I had all these dreams of being successful, making a certain amount of money, having a certain number of clients who are doing well, maybe winning an Emmy. All those things came true. There then wasn’t the happiness and fulfillment that I thought would happen when those came true. From that point forward, for the first time in my life, I had a baseline of depression. I said to myself, “There has to be more than this. What is going on here?” 

I remember sitting in an airport waiting for a plane that was delayed. I struck up a conversation with a woman who told me that she was a therapist. I said, “I might have imposter syndrome.” This was on the heels of all my success and feeling I didn’t deserve it or it was false. She said, “I don’t think you have an imposter syndrome but you likely have some trauma from your youth that has gone unhealed or unresolved.” She was an EMDR therapist. She recommended I try EMDR. I tried it and I uncovered some memories and some root issues of what was likely causing a lot of this. That kicked me into gear to explore more.  

One of the things I found out in doing talk therapy is that I would leave every session with a headache because I would use my mind and my mind would be hyperactive to rationalize my emotions. I was largely ignoring my body and what it was telling me. My mind didn’t trust my body and my body didn’t trust my mind. I started investigating modalities of therapy work that involved the body. That’s when I started making a breakthrough. I got far more in touch with my feminine aspects and honest with the way I was feeling. I got more expressive. My throat chakra or my truth opened up. I started sharing more. All of that allowed me to better represent my clients who are artists.  

Not to make a complete generalization but what I find about artists is that we all have traumas as children. I feel that most artists are leaning towards the more sensitive side of people. They were more sensitive to the trauma that their parents, caretakers or peers laid on them. They worked through a lot of their trauma either consciously or unconsciously, through the creation of art. If it was good, that gave them a little bit of recognition from some of their peers. They were told they were talented and they ran with that. They continue doing that. 

Yet many of them have done some healing through their work and art. Many of them have not. No one painting is going to resolve the abandonment they may have felt from their mother who worked nights or father who was a drunk. They didn’t even know. What’s key for many artists moving forward is to continue to do the work on themselves. Maybe seek the help of others and modalities that will allow them to identify their past trauma and then work through them. 

What causes low self-worth typically is trauma. If the person can get into their body doing bodywork, breathwork, movement work, it facilitates healing much faster than talking. Although talking is important but it’s not enough. 

Another fear that I’ve seen especially with comedians is that, “If I address and heal my trauma, I will lessen my art. I’ve been using my art to heal or address that.” That’s a lie people tell themselves. I had a therapist who told me, “If you do the work, you get to take the gifts with you. You won’t lose the gifts.” I will say that you won’t be painting the same paintings or telling the same jokes. Oftentimes, they are writing the same stories. “If you do the healing and it will be different,” that’s scary. The question is, “I was known for this. Will I be accepted for this other thing in the future?” That is scary. A lot of people say, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” I mean that in terms of art. I don’t mean that necessarily or anything for that matter. I would challenge artists to do the healing work and trust that the art will be even richer on the other side of that. 

I wonder sometimes if that whole story about, “I’m going to lose my edge if I heal,” is a rationalization to not heal. As you and I both know, going through the process of addressing one’s trauma, at least initially, can be uncomfortable and confronting. 

AYD 3 | Creative Process
Creative Process: What’s key for so many artists moving forward is to continue to do the work on themselves, seek the help of others, and seek modalities that will allow them to identify their past trauma and then work through them.

There are stories out there that are true that comedians are doing stand-up material, then went to a psychiatrist and then were prescribed medications. They would say, “When I’m on the pills, I am not as funny.” That’s probably true. 

Probably because there are a lot of other sedatives, they’d slow you right down.  

Maybe other people are saying, “I shouldn’t go to therapy then because maybe I’ll be less funny.” It’s not the healing. It is the effects of the pharmaceuticals that may be associated with certain psychiatrists. 

I’m sure that’s part of it. In general, I find that deep healing is something that the majority of people I encounter resist until they realize that the resistance is going to cause them even more suffering. They have something that they want that’s greater. They have a goal maybe that is something that’s beyond what they previously achieved and they can’t see that until they move these boulders out of the way, it’s not going to happen. 

The other issue that I see that maybe people will face is that healing work takes two things, time and money. If there is an artist on the rise, time and money are incredibly valuable. They’re like, “If healing is going to take me an hour a day of work, that’s an hour a day I could be writing, painting or rehearsing.” The one thing that we know in our society is that good work is expensive. Oftentimes, the best people who do the healings are not covered by insurance. That ends up being a major expense. They’d say, “I could spend this money on a therapist or healer. I could save that money. I could spend that money on classes or technical equipment that I could be recording podcasts.” 

A microphone. 

“That’s the cost of a camera that could up the quality of my Instagram posts or my web videos.” I understand how challenging and daunting it is especially for people on the rise. There has been a long sense of shame associated with getting help and treating trauma. If I do the work, I’m going to find things that are going to scare out of me that are going to redefine who I am that I may have to say publicly, “I’m broken. I have a problem. I scare other people away either in personal or business relationships.” I get how scary it is. Going through the process myself, I can tell everybody it’s worth it.  

What has been the most exciting project you’ve worked on? Can you briefly walk us through the process of that? 

The most exciting project I’ve worked on by probably a country mile is the TV show Key and Peele. At the time, I was representing Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele. They were both on Mad TV together. They had left. Keegan was doing a show called Gary Unmarried with Jay Mohr. Jordan had done a pilot for Fox that didn’t go. Jordan’s show didn’t get picked up. Keegan’s show got canceled. I called them and said, “Why don’t we do a show together?”  

The Chappelle Show on Comedy Central had been off the air for two years. I knew directly from Comedy Central that they were looking for something to replace it. I said, “Why don’t we do a sketch show together? It’s just you. It’d be like all those single-camera sketches that you did on Mad TV. We’ll do it without a laugh track.” We put a pitch together. It was my idea. I wrote a treatment. Nothing that was in the treatment ever ended up in the show. Keegan and Jordan started writing sketches together. There’s a famous sketch that they wrote called I Said Bitch. It’s funny. 

They came up with that idea. They pitched it in the room of Fox and Comedy Central. The buyers were crying. We got offers from both places. We chose Comedy Central then we started doing the pilot. We hired the director who was a client of mine and showrunners who are clients of my colleague. It was a loving family, virtually problem-free for five seasons of two of the most talented people I’ve ever known working together and collaborating. Unbelievably versatile actors who can do almost every accent. They play men, women, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, Indian, various dialects of the African American culture. It was a real joy to be a part of. It was great because I’d hang out with the guys in the morning. They’d be dressed as women and have a business conversation. In the afternoon, they’d be gangsters. It was so much fun.  

At the top of the show, both Jordan and Keegan are such lovely, wildly creative human beings that set the tone of the entire production organization. Everyone got along. It was trouble-free. It was beautiful. In a way, it spoiled me for some of my subsequent productions because I thought, “You’d go to work and there are no problems. Everyone’s having a good time.” That wasn’t the case in all of my subsequent productions. In my first couple, I was ill-equipped. I was not a great producer because I was like a fan of the Bulls when they were winning all those championships as opposed to a fan of the Bulls in any other season. It was challenging.  

Anything exciting that you can talk about?  

I have a lot of great clients with a lot of cool, upcoming projects. In terms of something that I’ve shot that’s in the can that’s awaiting release, I don’t have anything of that nature. I have a lot of cool things in development. I’m excited. I’ve been a talent manager for many years. There was a period years ago that I was thinking, “Maybe this is the end. Maybe it’s time for a new chapter.” Through all the work I’ve done personally, I’m more excited about my career and helping artists. I feel more qualified to help them at the mid and highest level than I’ve ever been in the past. I’m excited about a lot of the work that my clients have coming up. That’s all I can say about that. 

You were in Brooklyn. Can you talk about why you were there? 

I’m an executive producer on a TV show called The Last O.G. which is a TBS show. It stars Tracy Morgan. It previously starred Tiffany Haddish. She was a client of mine for many years during her meteoric rise. Jordan Peele is the executive producer on it. It’s a fun show. The premise of the show is Tracy Morgan plays a character who sold crack in the ‘80s or ‘90s and then spent fifteen years in prison for that. He comes out. The girlfriend that he was with before going to prison is married to a white guy. It was played by Tiffany Haddish. He has two kids that are his. It’s this re-entry into society. It’s a show about reinvention and redemption. It’s fascinating. It’s also a show about how our country has the chip stacked against people coming out of prison, particularly African-Americans. Many of whom were sent there harshly.  

Every guest, I asked them if they have something they’d like to look at their Human Design. You asked about your environment for success and if you’re not in that environment, what you can do to protect yourself. What’s wonderful in Human Design is this is a category and it’s a variable known as the environment. Your environment happens to be caves. I’ll explain what caves are because it is a common environment for people in the entertainment industry. People with caves are often drawn to the entertainment industry.  

The idea of the cave is a safe enclosed space like a soundstage, theater even a nightclub or a comedy club. Often, those things are in the basement because they’re dark. There was a lot of underground theater at one time. Even my grandfather, his basement in his building was a 99-seat movie theater way back which is super cool. He was probably caves. It’s this desire to have the interior space be nurturing. Typically, people with caves environment likes a beautiful home. The aesthetics are super important. Do you find that’s true for you?  

That’s correct.  

So much of what you’re saying is exactly what you’re exercising in.  

It’s ideal if any room has the same door in as the same door out. If a little child is caves and they’re scared at night because the closet doors open, if the parents install a curtain, photo or something in front of that door, the child will calm right down. They need to know that they’re safe. There’s a huge desire for safety in this environment, feeling nurtured by your space even feeling enclosed. Your car is a mobile cave. Usually, people in this environment, depending on their budget, want to have a vehicle that is akin to a traveling office that allows them to make phone calls or even be driven around in a limousine so they can work in the back. That’s your correct environment.  

Where you’re not protected is if you get into other environments for too long of a stretch without having the cave to go back to. There’s also usually a need for a lot of solitude with the cave. There’s the phrase man cave, although women have caves too. What I find with this environment whether the person lives alone or with their family, there’s a need to have their own space within that environment. An office, meditation room, art studio or something that they can retreat to and tell everyone, “Do not disturb.” It’s vital. Home offices are common with caves environment.  

For you, anytime you’re out of spaces that are familiar to you that feel secure, it’s important that it doesn’t go on too long. You get back to a space that does feel enclosing and secure because that’s what protects your energy. The environment is what protects our energy. There are twelve different environments. This whole system is based on a binary of masculine, feminine, yin and yang. In Human Design, the left energy is active. It’s focused and masculine as yang. An active cave environment would be a movie theater, a soundstage, a writers room, an underground comedy club. You’re in the right environment. When you’re in those environments a lot, it activates your energy.  

If you were isolated in a yurt on the mountaintop without a lot of social interaction, that wouldn’t be good for you, not long-term. It would be unhealthy. It would be okay for a weekend but you wouldn’t want to move someplace remote because this is about being in the heat of the action in closed spaces. Even in a nightclub, that’s an active cave. Someone who is a nightclub owner who has caves is perfect. They’re in the right space. They might even have a back office in there where they have a little bed where they can go sleep in. They don’t want to leave the cave. I find that a lot.  

In terms of overall success for you. Your body graph, which is the heart of the Human Design System. It’s the one thing that sets it apart from all the other systems. It’s essentially a circuit board. Whatever is colored in his job. What’s not colored in is where the conditioning comes in. It’s also whatever’s in white is what attracts the other person. What I find interesting is you have this 1-8 channel right in the center that connects this G center to your throat. The 1-8 channel is the artist talent manager. It’s both.  

Gate 8 is called the talent manager. It’s its nickname. Gate 1 is creative self-expression. I find it interesting that the first code on DNA or Gate is creative expression. It is number one. That is the first piece of a healthy self. Self-love is to express. Since you have the whole channel, your creative ideas are able to be expressed through eight. Gate 8 is technically called contribution. It’s nicknamed the talent manager. The contribution is finding creative projects and sharing them with society. That’s the highest frequency of it. A lot of times, it’s like, “Let’s make money,” which is fine. The higher calling of this is to have art that moves, influences and impacts society in positive ways, which sounds like you’re much about. 

When we get into the deal-making on a lot of my clients’ stuff, I lose energy. I’m fortunate enough because there’s usually an agent and attorney involved who loves talking about the money. 

You’re not a dealmaker. It’s great that you have dealmakers because you’re more of the star creator type. You can do both. If I were to encourage you in any way, I would be saying, “What about your show?” Even a show that you have a part in it because you’re charismatic and intuitive. You have excellent instincts. You have a wide emotional range. The 34-20 is the charisma channel. I find this consistently in performers. It’s the only pure manifesting generator channel which means that this energy from the 34, which is called power and it’s not verbal. It’s like pressure. It goes right up to the throat. It’s this feeling where words must be turned into deeds. It’s like, “I’m not just going to talk for the sake of talking. If I talk, I’m going to make it happen.” People with this channel do what they say they’re going to do. You almost can’t help it because you’re driven to get that creativity out. You have it in two ways. You have the 34-20, which wants to verbally express that creative urge. The 1-8 that wants to take the art and bring it out to society and to the masses. 

In terms of your environment for success, creatively, it’s about relationships and emotions. I find that interesting. This Design Mars, which I call desk work because the planet of Mars is the energy for doing. It’s also the youngest part of us that’s wanting expression. When I teach classes about people’s business structure, I look at this Design Mars first. Gate 30 is over the solar plexus. Gate 30 is called desire. Your work is about desire. Line two energy is about messaging, marketing, partnership, intimacy, being mesmerizing. The essence of your work is your work.  

The deeper you go into this, the more exciting it’s going to be for you is what creates desire between people? What do people do with their desire? Desires are always coming and going. You can’t live off desire. You’ll make yourself insane. Some people try to until it burns them out. This is getting to desire as a way to have new experiences for the sake of the experience. When you talk about surrender, that is perfect for this design. Surrender says, “I’m going into this experience because I want to. I don’t know how it’s going to turn out, what’s going to happen, who I’m going to meet, what I’m going to feel but I want to feel something new.” One of the things in our DNA is the desire to feel new feelings, to have new emotional experiences, to be able to say, “I’ve never felt this before. I’ve never felt so alive, connected, aware.” The more a person is growing, every relationship will build on itself.  

The essence or theme for you of your creative work is desire plus partnership and all the things that go with that. The way you create it is through your Design Jupiter, which is a Gate 9.3. Gate 9 down here off the sacral is about focus and details. When you need to get something done, watch out. You have the business channel. The 34-20 has all that charisma. Gate 9 is details. Line 3 is about having a business that’s a family theme. You do best if your team is 3 to 15 people and not much more. Even on a set, it’s ideal if it’s under sixteen people. It’s the right number for you. It’s called the unit and it has a family dynamic to it. You and I’ve talked about this before, this family energy that you have.  

The other piece to this is what you bring is the strategic focus. That’s what I would call 9.3 to something as ephemeral as desire. Your own setup is balanced between masculine and feminine. I don’t know if people have mentioned that to you, your therapists, coaches or other clients. You’re level-headed and it’s because your mind can tame your emotions and you’re able to release them in a sense when the time is right which is a real skill to be able to be having emotional mastery and not deny our feelings but also not be breaking down at every writer circle. Breaking down inappropriately during the deal. If you have to have a breakdown, you’re able to but maybe you do it in your car when you’re by yourself. You have a mastery of your emotions.  

I would encourage you more on this relationship theme. I know it’s hot now because I’m seeing all these embodiment coaches start to proliferate the internet. I have clients who do embodiment. I’m taking an embodiment class with a guy teacher and it’s a whole group of women and learning more about polarity, the work of David Deida which I’ve been studying for years but I can’t get enough of it. From what I’m seeing in my online business world, I know that people are wanting a different kind of intimacy. It would be great for you to bring out more humor, levity and vulnerability in terms of relationships. Even in movies, for the most part, I feel like the intimacy isn’t there in stories. I get bored. I’m like, “Take us deeper. Let’s go deeper.” I will finish with this thought, “What is being asked for is depth,” and you have the depth. Any a-has from what I shared?  

The a-ha came for me are two things. One is so much of what you’re saying is exactly what I’m exercising in the novel I’m writing, which is a romantic comedy where many people are meeting for the first time. It’s a group of people who are starting new romantic relationships. It very much aligns with that. It’s been easy and fun for me to write. It’s exciting. It’s humor. It’s funny but, at the same time, it’s still honest and real.  

Surrendering means letting go of the need to control your life and loving and appreciating the truth. 

The second thing is so much of what I’ve been working on in my personal work. I feel there’s a balance between the masculine and feminine me. I spent most of my 49 years not trusting the feminine side. It most likely has to do with my experience with the feminine in my youth. As I’m doing the work of trusting the feminine, unblocking that channel, I do feel that some of my best work and my greatest gifts will be shared in the coming years. Thank you for providing further motivation for that.  

Any final words of wisdom for our readers?  

I wanted to thank you. Some time ago, you gave me a reading and explained it. You also coupled it with your hand analysis. It’s something that I will listen to at least annually. Every time I listened to it, I gained new insights from it. Never, even one bit of it felt to have rung untrue. Anybody out there who’s reading who hasn’t got their charts read on Human Design or not had a proper hand analysis, I strongly encourage them to do it. Record, access and reference it on a regular basis. I do think you’ll be rewarded the way I have. Thank you for reading. 

Thanks, Joel. We’d love to have you back sometime.  

I’d love to be back. 

It’s great to have you. Bye for now. 

Important Links: