Influences. Again.

Influence. Confluence. Same diff.

Influence. Confluence. Same diff. I am a river of many sources.

About a week ago my laptop suddenly died. We had hoped that this was merely a problem with the power cable, so we ordered a new one, which didn’t fix the problem after all. The Curmudgeonly Lion took the thing apart- a process which may as well have been rocket-surgery to my untrained eye- which allowed us to say with certainty that nothing had actually burned out (that is to say, there were no visible burn marks anywhere) but which didn’t offer any further insight into the cause of death.

The balance of all this is that I’ve migrated back to my desktop more or less permanently for the summer. This means that any time that I find myself staring off into space for lack of inspiration of what to write about my eyes naturally land on my 30 Day Blog Challenge prompts.

Today’s prompt:

List ten people who have influenced you and describe how.

How convenient! My writing prompt is about influences: the two very topics that I resolved to tackle more of this year in my New Year’s Resolutions. So I will plan to answer this prompt as a list which I will then use as further prompts for future posts. In no particular order, here are ten of my influences.

1 . Terry Pratchett- author of the “Discworld” books, among others. His tone is comedic and his stories are wildly entertaining which means that by the time you realize that he is saying something meaningful and insightful it already has a knife to your throat like a graduate of the Assassin’s Guild.

2. Ken Levine- a writer of television comedies about whom I wrote in an earlier post entitled: So I won’t go into much greater detail except to say that taking his class was one of the first things that piqued my interest in television production.

3. Henry Jenkins- a professor of Transmedia. Transmedia an emerging media form that you’ve probably already experienced, but just didn’t know it yet. Have you seen the movie “The Avengers” and the television show “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”? That is transmedia- storytelling across multiple platforms (film and television in this case). The minute that I heard that such a thing as transmedia production existed I knew that it was what I wanted to do and this man knows just about everything there is to know about it.

4. Marcia McDonald- a costume designer and my mentor through my undergraduate years. I’ve never had as much fun or worked so hard as I did during the years that I got to work with her. She gave me a deep respect for research and attention to detail that  has only gotten stronger and more useful with each new project that I do.

5. Tim Frawley- high school drama teacher. We’re going way back now- back to those crucial formative years where I learned, for the first time, that I actually had some Mad Skillz and that I actually enjoyed collaborating with others in the name of theatre production.

6. Jack Vettriano- a painter. You might recognize him from such works as “The Singing Butler”. His paintings have a narrative quality that has taught me a lot about just how much story can be told in a single image.

7. Julie Taymore- Theatre and film director. When you watch a Julie Taymore film (and theatre production, although admittedly I’ve only ever had the privilege of seeing “The Lion King”) you know that you are watching a Julie Taymore production and it is different from everything else you’ve ever seen before.

8. Jim Henson- Sometimes, when I worry about whether an Introvert like me is cut out to be in show biz, I think about Jim Henson and think that I will probably be OK. His work is layered and insightful (and funny!) and cunningly designed as children’s entertainment.

9. My Folks. From my Mom: organization, creative problem solving, and my driving need to accomplish things. From my Dad: individualism, responsibility,and a love of reading. If yesterday I wrote about privileges and my sense that they need to be earned, then my parents are the people that I strive to be worthy of.

10. The Curmudgeonly Lion. I would be remiss if I didn’t include him on the list because I’ve learned about the value of perseverance from watching him work than from any other person I know.


~ by Gwydhar Gebien on June 5, 2014.

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