Anna Deavere Smith

I recently had the distinct pleasure of attend not one but two inspirational performances by Anna Deavere Smith while at Chautauqua. She is a masterful story teller, master of words and master at the art of speaking and listening. Much of her work uses the actual text of others and is the result of hours and hours of taped interviews. But how she assembles, collages and pieces together thoughts of others is an artistic wonder!

She spoke a bit about creativity, in the lecture I attended and I took some notes to so I could share them. (Notes taken on my Blackberry no less as, ironically, I had no paper with me!)

  • Uncertainty
  • Independence
  • Lack of safety
  • Need
  • Contradiction / doubt
  • Physical beauty / nature
During this economic downturn we are all faced with these precise elements. A wonderful rminder that some of the most fruitful thought, creative inspiration, ideas and entrepreneurship come not during times of rest but during times of unrest. Very reassuring indeed!

I was so inspired I attended the meet and greet and shared a few words- what an honor!

Not familiar with Ms. Deavere Smith's work? Be sure to visit her website:

And you can and LISTEN to some of her interviews at and experience for yourself how this artist works.

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