Gifts and Icons

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Sometimes the gifts just pour in.

I had the opportunity to talk with Andrew Venegas after class this evening, learning more about his theater interests and the direction he’s taking with his studies. We discussed Andrew’s recent blog about Scott Adams and his most recent book. More on that in a separate post.

I arrived home, flying over the mountain listening to Terry Gross and her interview of Parker Posey, who has worked extensively with Christopher Guest, a director who, in the actress’s words, “Really trusts his actors to bring something special to the scene.”

And then I heard of Robert Altman’s passing, at 81. An iconoclast in Hollywood who worked on projects of his choosing for more than 40 years. A director who, people said repeatedly, trusted his actors to deliver more than the words in the screenplay. My favorite quote attributed to Altman: “To play it safe is not to play.”

To play it safe is not to play. Sit with it for a while.

That’s where we are with new media.

 Learn all the journalism, ethics, software, equipment and new media tools; learn them well. Then play.

Do not play it safe.

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One Response to “Gifts and Icons”

  1. Cynthia McCune Says:

    “To play it safe is not to play.” I like that a lot.

    Some of the best things I’ve ever done — from taking a great leap of faith to move out to the Midwest for my first reporting job (with one suitcase by bus, no less), to beginning teaching here at SJSU…to taking on the webmaster role at JMC — were things I did on a wing and a prayer. They weren’t things I already knew how to do, but they were things I really wanted to do, dearly hoped I could figure out how do, and was willing to work hard to learn how to do.

    I think that’s what the current big changes in media technology require of us too…an occasional leap of faith off what looks like a cliff…backed up by a willingness to work like crazy to figure it out before you land.

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