Judd Apatow On Writing, Reading, Funny

I Found This FunnyIn this interview with The New Yorker, Judd Apatow talks about his writing inspirations, collection of new books he reads only 5% of, and a collection of short stories he recently edited called, “I Found This Funny.”

One of the better parts about the interview is a story Apatow shares about a charity event he put together right before “Knocked Up” was released. I found to be quite funny:

Years ago, I put together this benefit that was a parody of benefits, a fundraiser that raised $140,000 for 826LA. But the premise was we did the benefit before “Knocked Up” came out—before Seth Rogen became popular—and the evening was a tribute to Seth Rogen for the charity work he has not done yet. So we had everyone in show business show up for this charity event to honor someone that no one knew. We had tribute videos with Brad Pitt and Robert Evans telling him to please do charity in the future.

Apatow’s habits surrounding reading and writing are right up my alley. He’s got more new books than he’s read. He started reading impossibly long and difficult books in the beginning, but has recently settled for collections of short stories, which are less demanding of time and attention span. Ditto over here. Though, I did just power through the last 100 pages of “The Sirens of Titan” by Kurt Vonnegut tonight. A quality line from the book that is mostly unrelated to this Apatow interview, but an infinitely good one that’s worth a pondering:

‎"The worst thing that could possibly happen to anybody, would be to not be used for anything by anybody.“

Keep on reading and writing, my dear peoples.

As Was Written

This Friday, October 1, in Old Town Alexandria at the historic Lyceum museum, I will join seven other readers and artists on stage for As Was Written – an evening of poetry, prose and song.

JMD and I at the March 2010 As Was Written event

I’ve taken a break until October from freelance work to organize this event that I co-founded with my friend, John-Mark Davidson, nearly three years ago.

The most fun – besides the actual show itself – is setting the line-up of talent. JMD and I bounce around to open mic nights in D.C. and Virginia in search of local artists, and we thing this week’s show features one of our best line-ups yet.

We have local DC-area readers, as well as performers flying in from California and Washington State. Some will read poetry, some prose, and two – Stacy Clark andThe Heligoats – will sing. Each person will perform their own original work – a requirement for taking to the AWW stage.

Once the show ends, I can resume freelance web work again. Until then, I will likely be editing, re-writing and re-editing my piece* for the event. As I like to say each time I sit down to edit my own writing before these events, “The self-loathing is high in this one.” I mean it just as any writer does who is their own toughest critic – write, edit, do better, rewrite, edit, perform.

This will be the fifth reading event we’ve held, and each time the excitement is just as high. The event has been sold out for the last two months, so we have a large audience looking for a great show. Hopefully we will be able to deliver – all signs indicate toward just that.

See you (or not) Friday night at 8:30pm!

*I will be posting the piece I read on here the week after the show, for your reading pleasure or torture, depending on your taste and/or my talent. :)

What Motivates Us

Interesting take from Work Awesome regarding a study that looked into what employees rank as things that motivate them at work:

When the workers said they were having their very best days, these were the 5 factors that influenced their level of motivation the most.

  1. Making progress = 76%
  2. Collaboration = 53%
  3. Organizational Support = 43%
  4. Interpersonal support = 25%
  5. Doing important work = 19%

The last study I read (when I hunt it down, I’ll update) regarding people of my generation – 20s-early 30s – noted that we choose jobs based on where we will have the most impact in the workplace. It’s intriguing that, once in that particular workplace, the top motivator is just getting things done. That makes being up-to-date on the GTD movement even more vital. Your sanity is at stake.