Playwrite, Producer, and Filmmaker Anthony Noack

INJ 18 | Back to Motivation


The secret to success that everybody knows but can’t do: Finding the part of you that wants to be a success and nurturing it.

Anthony Noack says it can be a hard thing to take yourself back to motivation, you just have to force yourself to do something. Playwrite, producer and filmmaker Anthony Noack works for Melbourne International Comedy Festival. He is an assistant producer at RAW Comedy and Festival Club. As a playwright and producer, his plays Brighter Whiter and The Gift premiered at the Melbourne Comedy Festival, and Banana Republic made its premier at the Melbourne Fringe Festival. His novella, Eaglemont, was published through Ginninderra Press and his award-winning short film, Twenty Five Cents, premiered at the St Kilda Film Festival in 2007. Anthony says you just have to do small little things to start to create that movement, and then all of a sudden you find yourself working.

Listen to Episode #18 here

Playwrite, Producer And Filmmaker Anthony Noack

Our guest is Anthony Noack. Anthony works for Melbourne International Comedy Festival. He’s an assistant producer of RAW Comedy and Festival Club, a playwright and a producer. His plays, Brighter Whiter and The Gift, premiered at the Melbourne Comedy Festival. Banana Republic made its premier at Melbourne Fringe Festival. His novella, Eaglemont, was published through Ginninderra Press and his award-winning short film, Twenty Five Cents, premiered at the St Kilda Film Festival in 2007. Welcome, Anthony.

Thank you.

Anthony, if you weren’t working in comedy or theater producing, writing, what would you be doing?

Probably a snowboard instructor. I’ll probably have to get good though. I love mountains. That’d probably be my next job.

Where do Australians snowboard?

We’ve got mountains about three to five hours away just up in there in the highlands. They’re not great by world standards, but they’re probably the most expensive in the world.

Is that true?

I don’t know why, but it seems to be that way.

Everything seems a little bit expensive here. You live in paradise, you got to pay for it. If you were a snowboard instructor, would you do half the year in Australia and then half the year in North American or European place?

I’d break my time up between Japan and America. If I do much snowboarding here, if I had the choice, it’s good enough, but I’d probably hit some international destinations up. Maybe do some walking in the summer months because I like being up high.

Most people answer this question in this pained way. You don’t seem pained.

Like I’d be giving up something else?

Yes, they’ll be like, “I don’t know.”

If I had a magical choice, spending more time snowboarding would be pretty fun.

That’s a nice life but you’re not.

I’m not even that good. That’s a real bummer, but I’ve enjoyed it, so I stick to that.

[bctt tweet=”Sometimes something will come to a dead end.” via=”no”]

I moved to Colorado fourteen years ago and people ask, “Do you ski? Do you snowboard?” I was like, “No, but I guess I’ll learn. It would be weird not to.” My plan was that I was going to take three days of alpine skiing lessons and then I was going to take three days of snowboarding lessons. Then I was going to choose. At the end of three days of skiing lessons, I was a competent skier. I haven’t gotten any better than that, but I could do fun things. I’ve gotten slightly better than that. I just never bothered to do snowboarding.

Snowboarding is even easier to pick up. It’s harder to get really good.

I made the right choice because I hadn’t even bothered to get any better.

If you pick one you like, you stick to it.

You do a lot of things. You’re a writer primarily. That’s the first thing on your business card.

I’m working for the festival for thirteen years in various capacities, so I was doing more of the technical production side things at first. That was my job. According to the tax department, that’s probably more my job, but in terms of if I wasn’t going to be a snowboard instructor, I’d be writing.

Tell me your writing setup. Where do you do it? What do you do it on? Do you have a ritual?

It’s pretty haphazard, I write on my laptop. I have set up a desk at home, but that’s pretty torturous to try and work there. If I’m going to try and do some solid work, I’ll get out to a cafe or a library and try and work there. It’s probably best made to be forcibly sat down somewhere.

I feel like it’s even less like work when it’s at a cafe.

It does. I like looking out the window a lot and just watch the world go by. It feels like I’m doing something even if I’m not getting the words on the page.

I like doing that quite a lot. Home is too quiet, and work feels too much like work.

It’s almost like an office. A lot of people are doing stuff there and it feels a bit creative.

It shows that even no matter how misanthropic we get, we still are social creatures. The idea that you go to this other place to work, drink coffee, and eat, all the things you could do at home if you wanted to.

INJ 18 | Back to Motivation
Back to Motivation: No matter how misanthropic we get, we still are social creatures.

It’s also like having a person watching over you because if you get up and pace around the cafe and start polishing their glassware and tidying things up, they’re going to be, “What the hell you’re doing?” It’s harder to procrastinate. You put in your spot, this is your role, you sit there, I’ll bring things to you, and do what you got to do.

The worry for me is the internet. There are some coffee shops that I go to that don’t have Wi-Fi. I can’t do all my tasks there, but there are times where I truly need to write. Those places are great.

If you get offline, that’s a huge advantage. Sometimes I won’t ask for the password. I usually cave after 40 minutes or so.

“I need to do this piece of research. I need to find this thing.”

It’s funny how often you start typing some random thing that was very pertinent to knowing as research for something. It leads to a rabbit hole and you don’t necessarily need to know the exact date of this thing happening and whatnot.

I’m high in self-control. I know that, but I don’t feel high in self-control. It’s hard to do the work because enough of the work’s subversive. There are so many other less subversive, soothing, fun, interesting things at our fingertips these days.

One part of you is telling you to work and another part is wanting to you to do anything but and trying to work out which part to listen to.

The work has to be aversive if people will procrastinate by cleaning their house.

Cleaning up the environment is good.

It’s good, but that’s chore. People describe that as a chore.

It’s amazing how it becomes something you choose to do if it’s something else to do instead. That’s the bane of anyone trying to motivate themselves creatively at home. There’s always something else you want to do.

Do you still manage to write plays?

Yes, I just finished drafting another one. It’s probably draft six or seven now. It’s a never-ending process until you just get sick of it.

Can you talk about this play? What’s the premise/plot?

It’s set in an anger management group.

There was a movie already made about this.

There are quite a few plays as well. It’s about the interaction between not only the people in it, but the interaction between the person running the group and the group.

How do you create characters for that? How many people were in the group?

Four and one person in charge.

Who are these people? Are these people in your life? Do you know these people?

One kind was from another play and had the character already in mind.

[bctt tweet=”Fear is withdrawal emotion, but anger is an approach emotion. If you want to get something done, being pissed off is a great way to do it.” via=”no”]

Same name and everything?

Yes, because it was easier to drop them in. It’d be interesting working with people from two different texts, but otherwise I tend not to over overthink it. I might just start writing what feels necessary for the story. They tend to flush themselves out naturally. I don’t do big bios or outlines beforehand.

Like personas?

No, I just do a rough of a number and ages and then go from there.

You’re writing this for theater to be performed on stage, so it’s not like writing a screenplay. Is there something different about character development for theater than for like film or for a novel?

There’re a lot of similarities. I’ve written short fiction, short films and I suppose the short films, I’ve been able to get away with more of a snapshot where you can create this sense of the character through juxtapositions and edit together. Whereas theater, I tend to try and flush out the characters a lot more. The medium itself, you’re going to be working with actors who are not in your direct control. With a novel, you can essentially create how the audience is viewing the character to a larger degree. Whereas with the play, I hand it off to the director. They’ll start working with the actors with their own things and sometimes they go in a different direction to where you initially intended it. You’ve got to bear that in mind as well. If there’s a scope, you want to narrow it down if you don’t want the character to be perceived in a certain way.

You’re right in a particular way that might not let a director and actor do something that you don’t want them do?

I don’t like to be over prescriptive in the stage notes. That’s a bit much. You want to give as much freedom as you can, but for some particular scene that I want to get across all, then I will put it in.

There’s this saying about, “Film is the director’s medium and theater is the writer’s medium,” and there are some other ones like, “TV’s the producer’s medium,” and whatever. Medium might not be the right word, but you know what I mean.

Who has the power? In film, the writer can be thrown out instantly. If the director wants to rewrite the script, it’s purchased by a studio and heaven help you if you disagree fundamentally there. TV, they build the name and they might get a whole room full of writers. There’s truth in that. Ideally in theater, your script is respected. You’ve got the means to fight it if you wanted to, you could stop someone putting on a production that goes against the original intent.

You said there are stage notes. I don’t understand what that is.

In the text you might say, “Describe what the actor’s wearing or their movement.” I try to be as definite as I can, so when it has to happen rather than telling the director that so and so takes a breath here. I do still do that. I did that more when I was starting out, but I try to weed that out as much as possible. Hopefully, what is there is more solid.

INJ 18 | Back to Motivation
Back to Motivation: I listen to conversations and get a sense of how people talk to each other and try to capture that.

I know that is the case in screenwriting. That’s frowned upon to spell out.

You don’t want to say, “This is a POV shot,” and director goes, “I’m definitely doing that in big shot now.”

The director goes, “That’s a great idea.”

I do the opposite.

When it comes to writing plays, what are you best at?

Probably dialogue. Character and voice. That’s probably where I’ve had my most interest and what I enjoy most. It’s creating dialogue banter and human interactions.

How do you do that? Suppose I want to get good at that, what do I need to know?

Back in the day, when I had a cassette Walkman, I would get tapes from the library of plays. I liked Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard. I listened to that over and over again, getting used into the language. Same with, Waiting for Godot. I would just listen to that. Just sensing a good production of it, the dialogue only and getting a feel for it. That was back when I was a student and trying to improve and get a sense of what I was doing. That was a good ground and certainly influenced the first few pieces I arrived, which were very much of that kind of ilk, that snappy dialogue, short lines, and trying to be as witty as I could. That worked. I did enjoy that. I listen to conversations, get a sense of how people talk to each other and try and capture that.

Which has to be different than the way you might write dialogue for a novel or something like that where you might have extra words.

You can use adjectives.

You can use words that people wouldn’t use in conversation.

If I were to try and write naturally in a novel, I try and use the same thing.

This reminds me of two quick stories. One of which I know is true. The other one I’m not sure. The true one is, and I think you can find this online, Steven Soderbergh on his blog once took Raiders of the Lost Ark. He stripped away the color and he stripped away the music, assuming also the dialogue and then he put non-vocal track on the background and just watched it to learn how Spielberg would frame shots. The idea was similar to what you did. He stripped away as much of what he could strip away that you would normally attend to, like how people are dressed and stuff in your case, just to better his framing from watching a master in that way.

The other one that I heard was Michael Jackson, when Stayin’ Alive by Bee Gees came out. He listened to that song or that album 100 times to try to figure out what they were doing, which is incredibly striking behavior where you think of Michael Jackson as the supreme talent, one of the best singer, song writers, dancer, performer, etc. Yet here he was listening to another great pop artist 100 times. We like to think these things gets bestowed from above. What do you want to get better at?

In terms of my work, not only is getting over procrastination and motivation, but in overall structure. That’s probably where I want to improve next is be able to say, “This is what I want to write. This is where I want to tell, and this is where it’s going to go.” I tend to be a bit more free form and that’s causing a lot of headaches for me where I hit draft six and I got to get it into shape.

[bctt tweet=”Cultures aren’t too dissimilar.” via=”no”]

Do you ever write yourself into a corner and you can’t figure out how to get out of it?

Sometimes something will come to a dead end. If you want to work on something, you can get out of it. Sometimes it can just be indicative of the whole piece not being worth pursuing. Sometimes that happens.

Forgive me because I know film much better than I know theater. Typically, in film, people always complain about the third act. The third act is crap in film. I can think of a variety of reasons why that is, but one of those, to me, seems to be this idea that people begin writing and they don’t know exactly where they’re going. They have a nice idea.

They haven’t tied it together.

They knew who the character is, and they know the problem, but they don’t have a way to solve it and figure it all out. Speaking of Spielberg, Raiders of the Lost Ark, great movie. Holds up today if you watch it, which a lot of movies from that time don’t. It’s not a great ending.

Thought can’t be formed.

It’s still wraps everything up, where the good guys win and the bad guys lose. It doesn’t do what Star Wars does, where the big battle in the end and the protagonist has to overcome their own internal challenges to meet external challenges, etc.

There are very few movies that get it absolutely right, which is why those who do stand out. It is hard to plot everything out and know exactly where you’re going and to know that that’s the right way.

I was having a conversation about M. Night Shyamalan.

Is that The Sixth Sense?

He’ll swing big with these surprise endings, which The Sixth Sense did exquisitely. Others are kind of like the surprise ending doesn’t wrap it up very nicely. It’s hardly a surprise ending and it’s confusing. I want to ask you about some beliefs, things that you think about. What have you changed your mind about? This can now be positive.

Maybe my outlook on myself. I certainly used to be very dismissive of self-help and things like that. My sister was big into it. She’s a sports woman and used to be big on motivational quotes and I thought it was the daggiest thing I’ve ever heard in my life.

There’s a lot of that out there nowadays.

There’s a lot and it’s growing.

Self-control’s difficult. Self-motivation’s difficult.

 I used to think it was so stupid to just do what you’re doing. Having had difficulties in motivating myself, I’ve certainly read a few. I read the classic, Carnegie’s How to Win Friends & Influence People. The classic daggy title. I’ve read a few. We do have to look after how you see the world, how you interact with it, look at all these things, look where you’ve probably may have been harsh on others and make your own faults and how to improve.

One of the worst ones I’ve read is called The Magic of Thinking Big. It’s the same era as Dale Carnegie. It’s doubly embarrassing because it’s woefully out of date in terms of the stories, and the language, and the way it’s written. In some ways, you might call it a precondition to try to improve your life because what the writer suggests is that the first step is you have to believe that what you’re going to do is important. That you’re worthy of it, and the benefit of going even bigger than you might be inclined to.

It’s not quite The Secret, but it’s getting close.

INJ 18 | Back to Motivation
Back to Motivation: You have to believe that what you’re going to do is important, that you’re worthy of it.

It’s the secret first step. I don’t know if this hit Australia, The Secret. The Secret is just a different version of that, which you imagine what you want. You visualize what you want your life is going to be and how much better it’s going to be. The missing step is then, “How do you achieve those things or get those things?” That can be a motivator.

Even some truth in that is The Secret is daggy. It’s like that classic Orpah book club. If I looked into it, I’d probably find some truth in the idea of picturing what you’re aiming for as a goal to move towards.

You’re reading books? There’s lots of YouTube videos out there.

I’ve been getting out amongst it and start putting my tail between my legs and going, “What can I pick up here?”

These things are hard. Creative work can be fulfilling and can be enjoyable and a good way to pass the time. If you want to try to produce something, you have to work for it.

No, there’s no other way around. You got to slug at it until it takes form. If you can find things to help you along the way, then go for it.

I’ve looked at those things. I’m probably more like your sister. You said she’s into sports. Sports lend themselves to this a little bit more because you’re very clearly putting in a particular type of work. It’s surprising the number of these YouTube videos that are motivational, that are sports focused.

Imagine guys getting up at 5:00 AM to get training.

The Rocky montage, drinking the raw eggs and running up a mountain.

It’s a huge effort. If you’ve got that goal, you need something to get towards it, if it’s there, they’re probably more likely to take it. Whereas if you’re in a creative field, maybe a bit more cynical about that and anyone tries to put that forward, do you think it’s snake oil and try and just keep moving into some purer way. Everyone needs something to keep them on the track.

One thing that I changed thankfully was I set aside anger as a way to motivate. Some of these videos are focused on like, “You’ll show them.”

It has revenge. Probably not the healthiest way.

It’s not and that’s why I did it. Anger is a great way to motivate, so it’s an approach. Fear is a withdrawal emotion. Anxiety is a withdrawal emotion, but anger is an approach emotion. It works. It’s one of the upsides of anger is that if you want to get something done, being pissed off is a great way to go do it.

It’s a great way to get out of bed and make the phone calls and do things. It’s also short-lived, unless you want to keep yourself in a constant anger state.

That’s what people do. They look for slights.

To give them something to want to move forward, to keep bringing forth that kick.

It’s not good for you physically and physiologically.

It’s not good for those around you either. You’re completely putting your motivation in their hands.

The thing that I realized this later and it wasn’t one of the things that factored into it, but no one ever goes, “I thought you were a middling scholar and then I read that paper you wrote, and I realized you’re a really strong scholar. I’m impressed by what you’ve done.” It never happened because most people, they don’t give enough of a shit to think the negative things, let alone to admit that they had or to compliment on the positive things. There’s a hollow victory. Those tropes happen like There Will Be Blood. The guy sits in his big house alone. No one’s ever like, “I never thought you could do this.”

[bctt tweet=”Prioritize. You don’t have enough control over your life by taking on too many things.” via=”no”]

It’s the idea that, “I’ll show them. I’ll get there.” You made it, you won the statue, you got the prize. I’ve got shit to do.

There’s this flip side to this issue of inspiration, motivation. Then there’s this issue of self-doubt, the inner critic. This also leads to procrastination. Do you have an inner critic?

Yes, for sure. After I did a couple of plays, one after the other.

This is Brighter, Whiter?

Yes, then we had the Banana Republic. That went well. It’s sold out by the end of the season, which is good, but it didn’t launch into some big career or international opportunity. It was like, “I’ve got a next year. I’ve got to hire another theater and do it all again.” I took a bit of a break after that. It’s just like, “I’ll just keep writing.” I did a few readings, which is good because I was working out what exactly I wanted to work on next. I had a play called Gingerbread and went over to New York for a year to live over there. I met up with a few different theater makers over there, had some short excerpts read, readings nights were basically actors would sit in front of an audience and read it, like a rehearsed reading and other times hire a venue and invite a few people along. It was a process I haven’t done before, which is more of a long form thing that something you’d probably do more excited to be working with a theater company and just developed it. I had probably about six or seven readings over the course of the year, so I didn’t have to go all in putting on a production.

It’s like pilot testing it, almost.

That worked well. That gave me a lot of motivation as well because I probably was a bit waning at that point. Just the thought of going through the whole producing of another play on a low budget. I haven’t yet produced anything with a $1 million budget, but I’m suspecting it’s going to be easier than doing something with a fraction of that.

You can’t romanticize low budget. It might be.

It’ll be different headaches, but it’ll be easier. I enjoyed working on the ones that I did. It was great. You do wonder if it’s good to keep doing because it does take away from working on other jobs, building a career in other areas. I decided, “I’m going to keep throwing time at this,” and it was good to see this play on stage developing. That was a good way around it, doing small chunks rather than looking ahead at the next big thing.

Did you have to do anything different for American audiences and American actors?

I had to get rid of daggy. It was basic spelling changes. It was there originally. It was a huge amount. Every time, something else will be creeping in, like even just using the hospital or something had to be removed because it’s more likely to say, “Go to the hospital,” where we say, “Go to a hospital.” Things like that. It’s more than I imagined. It’s separated by a common language.

I enjoy the way Australians use English. To me, it’s fresh and fun. I’ve only been here a little more than five weeks and there’s already things that I’m picking up that I like from it. Then other things still seem strange.

We do shorten a lot of things.

I don’t mind that. The one I can’t get around is ‘reckon’. I can’t reckon about anything, but ‘mate’, I like the way it feels. It’s very friendly and it’s very communal. It feels like we’re all in this together thing. Some, they’re just fun. What about other things? The language stuff, I’m not surprised to hear, but were there anything surprising aside from that or you’re dealing with universal emotions and stories and so on that t it doesn’t matter?

In terms of the content, it was fairly similar, although it worked quite well that I heightened the elements about liberty. There’re strong arguments in the play about freedom to wear what you want. In this particular play, it was about a character who was into wearing adult diapers. His angle is about liberty and the dramatic moment was work to a dinner party.

He would wear the adult diapers to assert, “I can do what I want?”

He was caught wearing it, but then he asserted his right. Originally, he was hiding it. That element worked quite well, and I did heighten that because the idea of liberty is ingrained in the American mind.

I knew the tall poppy idea. For people who don’t know it, the tall poppy gets cut down. I think of it as a more Asian mindset. The Japanese have this, the nail that sticks up gets hammered down.

It’s more a conformist culture.

The US has no saying like that. Nothing that I can think of.

It’s like stand up as high as you can and yell as loud as you can.

INJ 18 | Back to Motivation
Back to Motivation: It’s just doing small chunks rather than looking ahead at the next one.

I see that here. There’re things that I noticed that’s very consistent with that saying, so I didn’t know if that thing comes up and in this liberty idea.

Cultures aren’t too dissimilar that you don’t want to boast making too much of yourself.

Do Australians have a humblebrag?

It’s probably more of a humblebrag. We’ll just drop hints at you, you’re killing it rather than just being in people’s face about it.

When were you in New York?

Did you find that helped you create creatively?

It did. I was seeing a lot of theater and I was meeting a lot of people, doing a lot of those readings and just getting out and doing as much as I could.

Americans are so busy. You probably got that, especially in New York. In New York, the Americans truly are busy, but there’s that very strong sense of busyness, which is interesting.

You need to be occupied, you need to be working, and you need to be getting somewhere.

It’s a sign of status. It’s like, “I’m so busy because I’m important. I have all these important things to do.” I don’t get that sense in Australia where people are always talking about how dang busy they are.

If you’re successful, you’re probably more laid back. You’ve got time to not do much.

I’m slightly isolated here in in part, purposefully.

Anyone who’s trying to do something or get something, they’re going to be busy.

Are they going to talk about it? Is that going to be a part of their narrative in their conversations beyond weather, traffic or busyness.

I wouldn’t say it is probably as prevalent as in the States.

I stopped using the word. I felt like it was maybe trying to communicate something positive, but what it in some way suggests is that you don’t have enough control over your life.

You’re taking on too many things. You’re automatically cutting yourself off from someone else as well by saying, “I don’t have time for you.”

No offense to anybody who uses busy all the time, but it sounds like you’re being victimized.

The world is doing this to you.

Really, it’s not. It’s you.

You’re trying to do things.

Which is good. I think that’s great. One of my friends surprised me here and he was joking that because I was going to move the time or whatever, and he’s like, “He probably has ten things going on today.” He knows me. I like having ten things going on, going from this to this. It’s energizing, it’s fun. There are things I like to do. Let’s not complain about them. I set the schedule and I have to do all those things.

It’s not something that you should be inadvertently complaining about in that way.

My mom was busy when she was working three jobs because she was a single mom and had two kids and then came home and made sure she’s cooking dinner. That’s legitimate. She should gripe about that. I don’t think she had choice in that. It was either that or welfare. What are you reading, watching or listening to or all three that’s good, that stands out beyond just the normal good stuff out there?

I’ve been watching Jordan Peterson’s Biblical Series, which is interesting. He’s a Canadian psychologist.

Was he the free speech guy?

Yes, a bit of a quagmire in the papers, but his work’s interesting.

[bctt tweet=”Set the schedule. Having a lot of things to do is not something that you should be inadvertently complaining.” via=”no”]

Smart guy, I hear.

He is a very smart guy. I’m going to get his book soon, but I’ve been watching the videos and they’ve been enlightening. It’s based on the Bible. He’s coming from it from a semi-religious element, but I found it fascinating from a story element and historical element.

Is this like a documentary?

It’s just him giving lectures.

He’s pushing this notion of free speech pretty far.

His argument that he wouldn’t be compelled to use other people’s words essentially. If someone wanted them to use a particular pronoun, he would say, “I don’t want that codified into law because that is one step towards tyranny.” He had a fairly strong view and it’s caused him a lot of trouble.

I hope he’s tenured.

I think he is. You don’t want to be ruffling feathers. That’s pulling him a lot of attention, but the videos and everything are interesting, especially some of his old lectures that drew attention.

Anything else?

I had a brief look at Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek again. I read that about ten years ago and picked it up again.

Is it any good the second time, ten years later?

It’s outdated and a lot of it was used at that time.

He was early.

It was interesting more of reading about his story about how he had a very hectic schedule that you needed to pair it back and stop being so busy.

I remember reading that a long time ago, too. Pareto Principle 80/20 stuff had a big effect on me. That’s good advice. It makes sure you get very clear about what it is you want to do, what you’re getting judged or evaluated by about your work. It’s good for prioritizing. Some of the stuff doesn’t work well for my job as a professor because I can’t automate things. I can’t create passive income and stuff like that. I create passive income when I stopped working and just keep collecting checks, but that’s not the same. I like my work too much. That stuff kicked off a lot of these things. I share your skepticism of some of it. Some of it is just young burly guys trying to teach other young burly guys how to get over. Some of it is incredibly thoughtful, modern day philosophical work on how should you view life and work and well-being.

It’s 20% of useful things and the rest is 80% filler. If anyone ever writes a book about the 20%, it’ll be an absolute bestseller. A lot of them just repeat that same 20% with their own version of the 80% of fillers. That’s pretty much a self-help book market.

For me, doing this pod has been great because I’m getting a glimpse into people’s worlds. I’m tricking you into teaching me to think about the world in a different way. What is the version of listening to the tape of Waiting for Godot? What is that for me? If I want to get better at something as a scholar, my closest story to this is I reread The Big Short, the Michael Lewis book about the 2008 financial crisis. I reread it not because I didn’t understand the arguments he was making, I reread it because I did understand the arguments he was making. I was like, “How can I learn to write like this?” That’s not the same as what you’re doing, which is you stripped away the stuff that would distract you. It’s an interesting idea. The secret to success, everybody knows but can’t do.

[bctt tweet=”Do small little things to get the movement.” via=”no”]

Finding the part of you that wants to be a success and nurturing it. Just thinking about the idea of the different parts of your personality, there’s a part that wants to sit down and work, but it’s buried probably quite deep. Your conscious mind might be saying, “This is what I want,” but it’s not because it just wants to go make a sandwich and think about something else. That’s a hard thing, that also goes back to motivation. It’s, “Where’s it coming from? Do I need to go do small little things? Why don’t you just work on some small little mini plays with a handful of friends and that’s enough to get the movement?” That’s the whole basis behind it. The strongest thing for me is forcing myself to do something and that’s the way to tap into that part of me that wants to do it. It’s just creating the movement and then all of a sudden, I’m sitting down and working.

What’s the saying? If you want to be a confident person, start behaving confidently.

I want to be happy, to smile.

There’s all this work on identity. I don’t know much about it, but the labels that we give ourselves have a big effect in that way. I know, for me, I started considering myself as a creative person. It’s easy to say you’re a scientist, you’re a professor, you’re a teacher, you’re these things, but you might go, “I’m a creative person.” When you allow yourself to believe that you’re a creative person, it allows you to approach all of those tasks, teaching, and research and other things in a way that you might not have thought to. You’re playing out a script, which is the scientist script.

Collecting and analyzing the data within certain confines. You might not figure out what you discovered. It takes sometimes looking at it from a different angle.

Another one would be to start to believe that you’re a successful person. Success is a good day of writing. It can be quite rewarding.

If you frame it like that, it can be. If you can frame it as in, “I need to win an Academy Award by next year,” it’ll be miserable.

That’s a hard one. For me, finding a way to enjoy writing was the biggest step. I don’t mean enjoy like I enjoy nap or a burrito.

It’s creating something and it’s very rewarding when you’ve created something that you’re happy with and it flows, and it’s got a nice feel to it. You just appreciate the form and that’s a nice thing as well. It flowed together nicely. It sounded nice and have a nice ring to it. You’ve created something and it’s like making a pop or something.

Anthony, this was fun. I appreciate you doing this. I will be seeing you soon at RAW.

Please come along.

That will be great, cheers.

Resources mentioned:

About Anthony Noack

INJ 18 | Back to MotivationAnthony Noack works for Melbourne International Comedy Festival. He is an Assistant Producer RAW Comedy and Festival club. A playwright and producer, his plays ‘Brighter Whiter’ and ‘The Gift’ premiered at the Melbourne Comedy Festival and ‘Banana Republic’ made its premier at the Melbourne Fringe Festival. His novella ‘Eaglemont’ was published through Ginninderra Press and his award-winning short film ‘Twenty Five Cents’ premiered at the St Kilda Film Festival in 2007.



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