How to Be Amazing
A while ago, I stumbled upon a podcast—How to be Amazing—and have been obsessed ever since. The host, Michael Ian Black, is a loveable, brilliant comedian who interviews artists and other creative sorts about the journeys that got them here.
As a creative, it can be incredibly daunting to be constantly bombarded with stories of people who have ‘made it,’ with no accompanying explanation of why or how. Since I haven't 'made it' it can leave me feeling like perhaps I never will, or that whatever fairy dust the others must have been sprinkled with ran out before it got to me.
Michael Ian Black, thankfully, dispels all fairy dust theories and delves into the stories of his amazing guests with humor and wit, exploring their numerous past failures, half-baked ideas, unpublished manuscripts, seized opportunities, and incredible work ethics in an attempt to demystify the success of the artists we adore.
Some of my favorite episodes include his interview with musician Ingred Michaelson, writer Elizabeth Gilbert, comedian Amy Schumer, and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda. In all of these interviews, Michael draws his guests back to the point before any success seemed probable, in the days of unrecognized slogging away at the craft they loved when none of them would have dared to hope that someday people across the world would adore their work and know their names.
The interviews are entertaining and delightful, full of laughter and profound insights. If you are a discouraged creative, or any kind of creative, or just here and breathing, I can’t recommend this podcast to you more.
Thank you, Michael Ian Black. YOU are amazing.