Its Gotta Be Creative
Its Gotta Be Creative

Season 5, Episode 4 · 6 months ago

Alex Dvorak and Nahuel Fanjul-Arguijo, Screenwriters, Model, Journalist

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode of Its Gotta Be Creative, we are joined by Alex Dvorak and Nahuel Fanjul-Arguijo, co-founders of Negative Space Comics, as they share their story leading up to the founding of Negative Space. From childhood dreams of becoming comic book & TV writers and the struggles of finding your place in your early years to a battle against cancer and lessons about turning trauma into purpose. As always, this interview is filled with knowledge, insight, and of course, creativity.

If you enjoyed their story, don't forget to check out their other episode (S5, EP1) as they talk about creating the Negative Space Comics Competitions.

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So I'm not well funk. WHO WOULD BE COOL? I'll use the full name, which I'll rarely say out loud. Next. Welcome back to another episode with got to be creative. I'm your host, Ted There Alio, and, as always, we have an amazing show ahead. To sit back black in do the show, I know, right. So I'm a screenwriter and a comic book writer. been writing screenplays for a couple of years now. Got Into the comic book writing a couple of years as well. screenwriting for like ten years, but kind of book writing for the past few years, and I actually most recently I worked in communications at a private school. Left that this past spring, which kind of led me to go full time into writing in two thousand and twenty one. So do you guys? This is our big thing, our podcast, is the big question. Did you plan to do what you're doing now, like, you know, when you're growing up, really like, Oh, I'm going to be a writer, or, you know, I'm going to be in comics and stuff, or you like, I'm going to be an Astronot, I'm going to be, you know, a nurse, whatever might have been right. So what was that for you guys? Well, for me, I didn't know TV writing existed, or at least I had never realized it was like a actual job I could go do. I loved TV and I loved storytelling and I knew, I knew I wanted to be some sort of writer, like I knew that writing class was where I felt most at home. I have like maybe a hundred journals that I've written since I was a little kid. So I was always writing and trying to express myself through my writing, but it was always personal, like I didn't occur to me to publish anything I wrote. It wasn't really like that. And then it's some point it did all sort of fell into place and I started publishing personal essays from a manuscript of a memoir. I started writing and found these amazing writing mentors and then one of my best friends in college. I went to this small, Amazing Artsy College in La called Lmu, and one of my best friends became a TV writer on a show that I loved and he started to tell me about the process and the writer's room and how you can just to be in this room and totally express yourself and completely be yourself and that that serves the story. The more shit you've been through, and I've been through a lot. So I was like this is perfect, and that sort of became my new avenue of expressing myself, was through scripts and dialog and characters and bringing to life. Like all my friends and family years in Stu sick, because I grew up on construction sites and everything. I was kid. So my family in real estate development, but I never and I went to the theme Parson all that, but I never, for some reason, didn't think like someone had a job where they would have to actually just find that. I don't know why to make sense right, but like as a kid you're like, oh, yeah, that's cool, let you like that, just like is on my TV or like I go to Dinu whatever. But like when I like clicked them like Oh, that's an actual job, I was like, Holy Shit, that's an actual job. I should go do that. That's say, you know. Yeah, so same way home. It's mine blowing. Yeah. Did you have similar story or funny? If you ask like six eight year old me, I would have said yes, I'm on the comic books the rest of my life. I grew up and I grew up in Argentina and I used to like take these walks and my grandma's when I was a kid, we would go to the corner. She would smoke her cigarettes, never be a news stand and I would like be picking up comics and I used to actually like write and draw these little comics myself. It was mostly into turtles and Dragon Ball Z and that was all I would draw over and over. Nice like fold them up and like sell them the corner. Then I moved to the US and got into video game so like my dadd used to like try to like teach me how to like write video games, because he was a yeah, I got interesting mind and he like would let me...

...play video games and then would kind of try to teach me how those things can be made. So very different from Alex, like I was kind of told that these jobs could exist when I was young. Somewhere in high school and college, I started thinking that I was like some fantasy writers. I was like I'm going to write short stories and like study literature and go that route, but something brought me back to the screenwriting in college and that's when I started realizing that I wanted to write more. MOVED OUT TO LA for a little bit, worked at a TV network so I was always like trying to get into that world. I was always like writing adjacent. I did a lot of marketing communications that worked and PR stuff and La, but never really found myself doing it full time. So part of me always knew I would end up here, even like little seven, six year old me. It just took a while to get here. It wasn't actually until the past year, during the pandemic, that I was able to like really focus a lot of my time. I got to work from home, which allowed me like a lot of time to just work instead of commuting. I got like wake up early and right instead of like having to go into work and make breakfast like try to get there on time, and all these things that kind of like led to be finishing a lot more and actually like having some success and like a screenwriting world, which all kind of led to me being able to leave my job and focus full time. Soon. You save up the pandemic. Everything is so many people who've been on the pot talked about. Even though it has been like super dead fault, firstly, for a lot of people in the creative fields and stuff, it's also been like a blessing kind of, because they've been able to go back to stuff that they were working on, you know, find new creative outlets that they never thought they were would to pick up. We're like start pull new businesses and stuff. Yeah, my biggest takeaway was actually being able to create connections while not being around people in the industry. So I was able to make some connections with people in La and industry people. So I was able last summer to take a an online comic book writing class with Legendary Roun Mars. Those me scripts. So it was things like that that were that kind of opened up. Like I don't think if it wasn't for zoom classes being a thing, I wouldn't never been able to sit down and learn from Ron Mars how to write comic books. As far as starting the businesses, like, clearly Alex and I started the point negative face comics during the pandemic. The idea came about, I think it was in March of two thousand and twenty. One kind of came about from just wanting to find new ways to get creatives into the field. So we talked about screenwriting competitions a lot. I do think it's gotten to the point where there's just a little bit of or saturation. There's a lot of them out there for film and TV and we noticed that there wasn't anything like that for Comic Book World. So within all this we assumed there's other people like me that like figured out that, like, Oh, I can actually create this, these stories that I have as comic book scripts and try to get into this world and finding ways that there's other people that are doing the same thing I'm doing. Some might as well find it, have you for them to get their scripts out there a little bit more. There's so many, especially during the pandemic, that popped up classes, digital meet and greets and stuff, things that like you wouldn't have the opportunity to do even like but you're ago, two years ago, but like now people are like way more up to go like do that and like feel like it's actually like a professional, you know, like you know networking event. Before it was like if you like call us, someone was a Yow, can you kind of Zoom you? They yeah, that's kind of weird, no things, I canna. I want to do that. But now it's like yeah, like I'll jump on a zoom where you want to give me a call. Like I'm walking my dog at home and I have time to talk to you about like what's going on in industry and stuff. Let's kind of go back in time a bit. We like to kind of go from childhood all the way up to see if we could find stuff. So were you guys creative, like you know, children, were you? Did you like...

...schools? You don't like school? You skipping school? We playing Hooky, stuff like that. Like, what was your childhood like? What were you into? What were you not into? Stuff like that. So I was a super creative kid, always drawing, always coloring. I was kind of that kid that was more comfortable being in the corner by myself with like a book or my journal or crayons. Then I was like playing with other kids. For some reason that I just kind of loved my alone time to create, and that has not changed in anyway. And so, but I loved school growing up. I was kind of good at school. I felt in a way it was it like it was easy for me, like it's like, okay, you're told to study this and then you have a test on that. Everything was kind of a linear whereas I think being in the real world's a little more confusing. Or do that or difficult because you have to kind of create outside yourself and find gaps in the market the way we have and all the things being creative in other ways. And then came high school, where I felt like I was in a small town where like nothing cool could possibly happen here and I just have to like get out. So I definitely was playing hooky and just kind of did what I had to do to get good grades, but just really wanted to avoid school at all cost just so that I could go to lmo. I wanted to move to Lah that was sort of the goal. I knew in some way I wanted to be in the entertainment industry, and so I kind of had my blinders on for Lah, which was really magical for me, like actually being able to make it happen. So, yeah, that's one of my trip through school. It's been incredibly helpful and amazing and along the way I had really incredible writing teachers that encouraged me and I don't know, I guess maybe you saw something and meet me in me and made me believe in myself at some point throughout. And I didn't jump from college straight into writing. I went into the fashion industry and kind of forgot my writing or and so it took me a few years to kind of find my way back to it. But I think it always does. Like if I think, if you're a writer, you're writer. It's it's kind of going to come find you again. I hate school or I love I love learning. I just don't like I was never a fan of school. So for me it was always kind of similar in that I was always I was skipped school a lot. I would also always be like drawing and stuff and because I got like, I think second grade, go to sign theme parks or whatever. I was always like, I don't, like, why am I in this class? I don't need this, like I need to learn this or go to this cut. So that was kind of always frushing me. But there was one thing that always popped out, which was get to the page counts for essays. I would always tell these like elaborate stories. All right, I always had like the same note of like this was really great story, but like where was your paper in this that like, you know, you're actually supposed to be doing, or I would, you know, find things that I could connect. I remember a history paper. I really love history and everything, but I kind of I I mean I elaborate on the story that that I was trying to tell. So I get to the page count but I remember my teacher, I guess at the time I'll professor, my teacher. We like taking maybe you want to be a creative writer, and I was like, I hate writing. I sit here and I do it and I like hate it. I have to get to these page counts as always boring it stuff and for like Middle School, high school, like throughout the whole time, they're like I would always get a note like go take creative writing class, like your writer, like you don't know this, but you're like you're definitely run. I would like absolutely not not doing it. No, Fin way. And then I got into political speeches and stuff and I started seeing like how you could tell stories through them. And then I started, if you like, I can really see it, but I have all like notes on my wall over here of like lines for like speeches and stuff and I have a notepad that has all of it and I realize, okay, well, maybe maybe it's not always like you know, those boring essays. You can actually tell stories with like writing stuff, and I finally gave in and high or in college and took the crave ring class and it was like, Holy Shit, yeah, I know this is. This was definitely some I should have done this sooner. I don't know why I didn't listen to my teachers at the time.

We were, I feel like, for a lot of people, especially writing, it kind of like always there, even if you try to get away from me, like pulls you back. You know what? That reminds me of, though. I now I'm remembering that in high school when I couldn't think of what to write in the essays, if it was like in the middle of a test that you had to like come up with it on the spot, I would end up like quoting, but not putting in quotes, lines from film and TV, that I was obsessed with that in some way and I thought I was so profound that I was never caught. So now I'm realizing like no wonder, I'm into me and film like they inspired me and always built out my asses. Yeah, I would like if I would get to a test and stuff, I like, okay, an I's like forty multiple choice whatever. If I could just do good enough there. If I could get to the essay, I could come up with the story or whatever to hook up with that, you know, whatever they're asking me, and then you know, by the end they read it they're going to be reading all the boring other essays that all these other kids are just like this is what the book said. Putting it there, they're going to be entertained by buying and then they're going to be a good grade. So like, let me just get to the essay so I could get a good, great because of like wow, that's really good, it's somehow you connected it with whatever you're writing about it. But it was a story and it was awesome and I was entertained. I wasn't bored like the forty other papers I just read. So to me I always try to get to that spot. So like, okay, again, if I just get through these true false like just get like a D in this spot, maybe I could get it up there. See over here. But yeah, I feel that. Sorry. We we we went on. I would say I was kind of like you, Teddy. I as a kid. I liked school because I was good at it and I was a very competitive kid. So I was good at it so I like showing up and being good at things. It was definitely the kid that was like. I just remember when I moved to the to the US, I didn't know any English. So for like the first year that I was in like elementary school, I literally just sat in class and just drew all day because I didn't understand what the fuck was going on class right, I couldn't. I don't understand that they were just going on about things. And then like the my first summer in the states, I watched a lot of the simpsons. I got to like learn English through the simpsons and that's how I got like actually start figuring out what we're going on in class and started liking it, because math is the same all over the world. Luckily, I was still good at math. I wasn't good at anything else in school, history, English, whatever it might be. So like school took me an interesting route because I was always good at maths. Like they kept thinking that that's the quay what I should be doing. I remember even went into college as a math major. I don't know why that happened. The anxiety thinking about it right, and like one semester in, I think I was on that I don't think I was on I can approbation. I think I had like game to a CT D's and and I if it wasn't, it was like a withdrawal or something like that. Oh, yeah, yeah, it was bad. Yeah, yeah, I skipped classes a lot. I remember in high school my dad passed away when I was in high school, so I switched high school to a boarding school, and I don't know how I got away with it, but I used to like hang out in my dorm instead of going to class and I used I don't know how. I like classes like five steps away, like I could easily just go to class. I would find like bullshit reasons of like why I needed to stay in my room and plays Elda or play some like file fantasy or whatever it might be. That's how I got through school. Somehow bullshit my way. Definitely skipped a lot of class in college. I would say I would go definitely like my film classes, because I was like a film miner. I would go to a handful of my English classes and like, I know my family hates the story, but like graduation, I was like going through on the stage and I think they got to the point where they didn't I didn't know if I was going to graduate or not. They still had me go to graduation, so I was like yeah, terrified, ready to open the diploma to see ef there actually was one in there or not. There was quite funny. At the same thing, when we were graduate high school, meet him, were always in summer school with each other. We would always struggle along with each other through all these classes and I remember like a few weeks prior they were like okay, I teddy, you made it like you're going to graduate and everything, but my friend he had no...

...clue. He liked it would all depend on if he passed the final for this class. And when we got to graduation we both went up to get at diploma together and I was like, you know, tedy Leoks A, my high school, you couldn't like celebrate because they're a weird, very shrist Catholic High School in Jersey and like during the ceremony couldn't. You couldn't celebrate as a family. was more about like father's achievement of getting people through the school. So we couldn't celebrate or like Yello or whatever. And they kept their art diplomas in the gym because if you celebrated. You wouldn't get it. You would have to go to summer school. was like a punishment. So, like I was telling my family, I was like no one, no one scream, no one clap, I'm getting out of this place, like if anyone makes a noise, I'm going to be pissed off of you, like, you know. So like the whole rooms like dead silent. But my my bloody. To finally get through that phase. You Get up into the gym, walk up stairs were, you know, like sand. I'm like, all right, so close, scanner, diplomas and I'm like get Teddy, Leo and I are here you go, you know, congratulations. And I start walking down and I hear my friend, you know, say his name is stuff. They're like, oh, they didn't know. You didn't, you didn't get it. He was like what do you what do you mean? They're like yeah, no, yeah, you didn't graduate. So he had to go to summer school and all this stuff. But he found out like right there and I was like that's that is tough. He just said to go sittor to find Oh yeah, so bad. I was like yeah, and he failed by like point two percent. Like they didn't even go up home on yeah, I mean me and him both failed our fresh fear math class in high school and we are passing in high school. Was a six day I want to spend. So I failed with the fifty nine point nine and like I had to go to summer school and I was like calm Ah, like I was so close, do you kidding me? And they wanted, they want to give a chair as we actually as a punishment, they made you stand for it for the summer school. So we would stand that, just stand during class. Yeah, yeah, in our summer school class, it was supposed to like teaches whatever, but I was lucky because I had a I had like a support being behind me, like at my my desk. So I was standing there and I would just like press up against it. But then I was telling my family, like my mom and dad, how crazy my school is. Always like the stories we got home of like Oh, yeah, this is what they did to and I mentioned that. My Dad was like wait, what, he won't let you sit. He's like like you've a learning to feel. You suck at math. No way are they also now trying to get you the stand all the time? So my dad showed up and he was like the next day and he was like, listen, if they don't get chairs, I'll buy them all chairs, like like they they they all suck at school, like all of them have like learning disabilities and stuff. They all are here for the same math class, like obviously something went wrong. They're that makes me Love Your Dad. I would have lost if I had a kid that was being made to stand. Are you kidding? No, loll straight you actually and he was like would you? I'll because they're like knowledge. That can't happen. My Dad's like, all right, I'm going to buy chairs and like he started walking out and they're like no, no, no, no, hold on, hold on, maybe we could find some chairs and stuff. MMMMM. I would always joke with my friends that because they're all like can you know like ap classes and all that, and I would always like, yeah, I'm on AP to what? And Yeah, I'm on academic probation. I'm on probation class. Yeah, I was the APE nerd had all the AP classes. I graduated, was on or honestly it for me, it was my ticket out. I take it out. I was like if I can just get straight, he's I know for sure. I can get the hell out of here. So it's a gay onely, I only had apart. That was the only apes ever. Yeah, I ever read it. Yeah, nothing else. It was shiny, it so and all the other stuff. No, thank you. That's that's why I went wrong. They put me in AP stats and I was like, that's so, that's why I somehow I led to but yeah, said, that's traditional, like high school, or that's kind of like what I didn't understand in school. I was like the the gratings and like the point system, like...

...literally, if you they failed you for a point one person. I find it so ridiculous. I remember in college like that, a couple of really cool English teachers and instead of going in to take the final or something like that, they actually would call me into their off is and have an hour long conversation. I only took about the readings and about the lessons in and about all this stuff, and like being able to converse about the topics is a lot easier than sitting down and taking a test. Bes I thought so, and I think that's a better way of like really gaging whether you know the content or not. So luckily I had a couple professors that were cool enough to do that instead of making me sit for a test. Yeah, izing for me, test were always so bad. Like I would go for extra math help for weeks leading up to us like every single day. I was dedicated to it because I was like I have to show this teacher that at least trying. So maybe if it's, you know, it's sixty nine point, like nine and whatever, she'd give me the one point, so enough to go to summer school and stuff. She didn't buy the way, but whatever does. I'm not something about it, um, but but um. I would go like all the time and she like, Teddy, you've got it, like you're getting all these questions whatever, like you're going to kill it tomorrow. And then I'm getting no sit down on the test and he gone. I'm like Shit. And then she like, Teddy, how did you get a fourteen on this test? What happened? You were getting like every question right. I'm like, I don't know, I panicked, I don't know what happened. I'm sorry. Oh, until a few math teachers later that they were like, okay, I see you know here, and they would like give me extra time or stuff. They would like, you know, like actually try. They like no, we know, you know it. There's just something happening here. But like those teachers are so important, not only for like getting those things, but also, like the teachers I tell you, like hey, maybe you want to go take a creative rank class or like this is a something that you're good at, opens your mind to something. You know, those those teachers are really like life changing, you know, and you always get stuck with some crap teachers, but the few that you get that are really good, really change, could change your life forever, as long as you know. Those crap teachers are crap teachers in the moment and then they can't. They really like I remember having an art teacher and I'll never forget her. She would, I would like I was really proud of my R and I consider myself an artist in so many ways, and so I would bring her like my art piece and she would take her own pen or charcoal and like do her art over mine, like she would tell me how it should have been done, and I will suffer forget and in them I would go home, lived, jump into college. Then where did you guys go? I know we kind of touched on a little bit, but you know what was your major, minor, whatever, all that stuff. Would you start at as and then like how is your experience? I went to Providence College and Rhode Island, like I mentioned before. I went in as a math major just because for some reason that's what I did well for a while and they kind of talked me into it. I went out, I showed up at orientation undeclared and my advisor just having to be like a math person. They're like, Oh, yeah, I do math major, be in my classes. I was like okay, I can do that, and it went terribly. I went and declared my second semester and then my second year to Sophomore, I went as an English major and a film minor. So that's when I got to like really player on with creative writing for the most part, and a lot of like history and screenwriting classes in the film side. It was a liberal arts school, so it's unfortunately had to take a lot of classes that I didn't really care for, really didn't want to do. There's no as like a famous course at Providence College is called development of Western civilization, but every freshman and every sophomore has to take and it's like this crash course on like Western civil station and yeah, I hated it. It was all history, pretty much like they say. It was like the we also learned, like what, the art literature. I'm all history and I'm not I'm not good at retaining the that information, so I didn't do to all that. But you had to take science classes for like credits and things like that. It's a it was a lot of it was really hard for for me, but for the most part, the the creative writing and like the literature classes, like the...

...film classes, where my favorites. I got to study with Father Gumber was my screenwriting professor. Loved the guy. Still Talk to me once in a while, but he was like he taught like the Farley's when they were a providence college, like when they were making like dumb and dumber and stuff like that. It's so yeah, so it was really cool studying with him and think a really funny like like the fishing of like this guy who's like a priest, but the same time he's like talking about dumb and dumber and it like it really it works for me. So I had had a blast in those classes and that's really like where I got to like play around with some. My grandma like is really was really into like film and stuff like that. She's the one that really got me to like start watching films and like going back to like analyzing and thinking about like what they're trying to do with certain movies and things like that. So being able to do all that and hang out with her and talk about movies and film like it was really awesome for me, and that's when, like I really start to realize that that's what I wanted to do. I was very happy to be able to have those classes but, like I said before, I I wasn't great at class, at being a student. A lot of my time was mostly spend the film classes, and then I also ran the newspaper, so I was like I did the arts entertainment section for a couple of years and I was a associate editor in chief of the school newspaper, which was like my favorite thing, just being in the newsroom all day putting out papers every week. That was like my my way of learning, right, like writing and editing and all that set of things. Actually doing it every week to put out a newspaper. That's like my way of like learning and getting good at stuff. So like the classes and the college itself was one thing, but like the experience of like the paper and like creating short films and things like that. That's why I really learned. Yeah, like just things that the education, everything the classroom teach you. But for me, I guess, always it was like real life experiences, like actually getting varience. Yeah, yeah, like do it and like mess up and be like OK, that didn't work, like let's do this way or something like. That's really where I've always felt like if they could try to figure out how to do that in a classroom, we way better because, like you actually really learned and like it can really help you down online right now. So what's Your College story here? My college is a little complicated. So I had done really want in high school so that I could move till I finally did. Had and like an amazing freshman year at Lmu just like made the best friend, just I finally found like my people. Everyone was creative and art see and either a musician or an actor, a green writer, and I just felt like I just finally fit in and loved it and partied hard and had the best time. Like really just felt like free and happy and independent. Then I actually got cancer my sophomore year, so I had to drop out of school and move back to like my small town. So I had had this one year of finally feeling like and I'm never going to Lee and I finally found where I'm going, and then kind of have it all taken away and went into full time treatment and all the things and didn't honestly think I was going to survive, but did, obviously, as I'm here speaking. And then had to like go back to school and we're school had once been really easy for me. It was now incredibly difficult because, like something you mentioned earlier, it was sort of like how is this going to help me? And I just had such big problems. I mean I was now an addict, I had just finished treatment my I was physically unwell, I was mentally unwell. It was a point I was a GORPHOBIC and scared to like leave the home to go to class, like I would get a panic attack in call, like everything was just danger and I just didn't understand life anymore and I didn't understand how to relate to other people and they didn't understand how to really to me. I just felt weird. I felt like totally not, totally out of place, the exact opposite of what I had once felt at Lmu. I didn't understand how to be myself, I didn't know what I didn't understand...

...the point of life. I was like I this makes no sense to me, just everything felt like chaos. So I transferred to a school out America, in university in DC, so I could be living with my parents and still have like full time therapy and have my own college as nearby. When Shit like went awry, and so I had to slowly start to rebuild my life while taking classes, and unfortunately they didn't take any of the classes that I had, like my credits and transfer. So I just start from scratch, which was really frustrated. I just felt like I had missed a lot of years and time in which other people's lives were moving forward. So it was difficult. It was. College was really difficult. I'm very proud of myself looking back now that I actually graduated and like did well, like, but to be honest, a lot of those years I don't even like remember. They were really a blur. I really spent all my time trying to study how to like, be well and and get better and like understand myself and life and much less so like studying for the test, like I really didn't. I was just kind of doing school so that I could figure out what in the Hell I was gonna do with my life now. And the way we were talking about writing and how I'd always been a writer, like definitely when I was ill and recovering, for years after, didn't write a word. Journals were put away, like I it was just like no longer felt like shit felt too real to write about. For me at the time I kind of had to like survive first and then, luckily, years later, writing helped me to like actually look back and heal all of those years. So college was tricky, but I made it sounds I grew. Yeah, so how do I side completing it? Yeah, that's that's that's actually a crazy compli should that's I. I mice was diagnosed with cancer March whatever. She's six or seven, something like that. Yeah, so she's been going through like all this stuff past few wants and everything. So I I know that like for her everything, like school and stuff. It's like, you know, like she's missing all this stuff now, and I always think, like how the hell. Do you go back that? Cause even for me, I had a bunch of anxiety after eleven because I had bunched. I like friends in my class that like like, you know, like they said by hide of a parent. They never saw them again when I was in my Jersey and stuff. So like as a kid I was always like Oh, like, that's what happens when you go to school, like something could happen. So I'd always be like super scared to like go to school and stuff or like and I would like fall behind it stuff, and I always think about that. For like my niece right now, like she's like falling behind and stuff. Like how does that whatever pot in you, Su but the writing thing, because when I got injured a few years ago boxing and stuff, and I was a head chef, so I was like really just working my body like way and Mutch, I destroyed like my back and neck and everything, and for like the whole time I didn't like do anything. I was just like, you know, try it look recovery mode, you know, like just get me through his pain and everything after it, to get back through everything. I know, books that filled with like my life story and stuff that I wrote down and I was like, let me just go through her, because right now feels like I had on anywhere like a year. I've just been like stuck here, really like two years of all this, right, and I was like, let me write down like all these different things, and it really helped me, not only one to create this comic, because then I created this home, my control, and I was a ar thing. It was really fool like accomplishment, but also helped me like personally, because you, like you. I could see it now, like writing it down, like going through it, like Oh no, there has been like stuff that I've cheated and stuff and all that. So it's again like writing sort you can't, can't get away from the stupid thing always comes back to you. Yeah, yeah, I love that so much. I I feel like it's one of the best ways of giving yourself a voice when you feel like you don't have one. I mean definitely, when I was sick, like I'm never boys, I have a say, I didn't have control, like zero zero, but then in being able to write about it afterwards, I felt like I even if it was just in my journal and just for being which it was at the time, it at least I had that space for me. It just like it carves out something...

...for yourself and I feel like in writing in whatever form, especially about traumas, especially about the things we're feeling, like it just, I don't know, it reconnects us to us. It I don't it's like a grounding healing, really important, but also could be really scary to like start writing about this. Sure, that real and that personal, but oh my God, the help. But you know, it helps like shit move through so we can move on to the next like phase of our lives. Or hopefully, I feel like any writers listening will totally understand. Like it just and allsome if you're writing poetry, comics, you know, TV shows, even if it's dumb and Dumber, you get it. It's still somehow you know. Does it all right? So, all right, that crazy college, College, college, and then after that what was like? You know, like you guys first jobs out of it? What were the industry you guys wearing at that point? What was that like? Your first break? They feel like those type of things, or even not only that, but also first adult kind of like failures out of college or you're like did not work. I did not expect that to happen. MMM, I like that. So I left college, or when I finished college, to move to New York to be a model actually, and my I just decided like this is the life I want. Fuck it, I don't I don't want to write, I don't want to do anything serious, I don't want to get a dusk job and ninety five and hate my life. I was like, I hell, I want to do something fun, I want to travel, I want to make money, I want to feel beautiful, I want to feel like a bad bitch, I want to be on a runway. I just had all these visions of like no, no, I'm going to get to New York crashing me, like, okay, Oh, so they think I'm just like weird bald girl and they think whatever. They think I'm weird and I don't fit it. Non, no, I'll just watch, like it's fine. So I got I just got really motivated and it I don't know. Some you know, you say your model or say you want them at l whatever, like people have all sorts of like misconceptions and that's fine. Like, I'm sure I can't like text people's minds about that, but for me it was a very liberating choice, and so I spent years being able to travel and have a lot of fun and be in Lah and the New York and live in Milan, and so that was sort of my yeah, and then, sort of, maybe not so surprisingly, at some point I realized like okay, cool. So I hit a lot of those milestones. I wanted and I got in that really don't fashion. So I wanted and it was thirty seconds and it was so cool and and a wind tool and all the things and you feel amazing and then you kind of walk out of the building and you're going home and you're kind of like okay, but like they're sort of like that, now what, or like but no on that. But I didn't actually I don't know. There was a weird feeling of like well, did I even earn it, or like I don't know. There I didn't feel like that. I had like legs to stand on and thank God that's when I sort of remembered as a writer and that's when I, I think, had enough distance from my cancer journey to be able to write about it. I felt in a safe enough space to like go back in, and then I left my modeling agency and wrote a memoir in like three days and it poured out of me and all of a sudden I was writing everything from like speeches to poems and I sort of couldn't stop, like like it's just that amazing flow feeling of creativity, or you don't even know where it's coming from. You're just like okay, like grab a piece of paper, and then I you know, all those like things line up. By stumbled onto this like Incredible Writing Mentor, Sou Shapiro, who's this Badass and best selling author, and she taught me like, Oh no, take that chapter and write an essay from it, a personal essay, and you can publish it in a Washington Post and you can publish in your times and you have things to say and you you have been through stuff that only you can like. I don't know, I guess. I guess I thought, like who am I to like rite and off Ed in the Washington Post? And then she really taught me like no, you act, you have likes to stand on, you have something to say and it's worthy of people will want to hear it. And so thank God for her. And so I started publishing those essays and then, like I mentioned before, my friend got a...

TV writing job and then a producer reached out to me and I was like Hey, like, your story hasn't really been told. He sort of agree with me, like I haven't seen a cancer story in film or TV that didn't make me cringe or was corny or was really like romantic and like, I don't know, I had cancer and like the hot popular guy didn't fall in love with me. So, you know, like always a storyline. Man's true. Yeah, that would have been real cool, but like not, that's not actually what it was like for me. So I now I'm able to like put those experiences in ways that are like to me, funny and like dark and Weird and, I think, Cool and interesting into TV and film. So yeah, that's sort of like the big picture and now being able to like pitch it and trying to, I guess, maybe in a way change the or my own narrative or give myself a voice still in some way. Just yeah, I think, like you said before, writers understand the wanting to be heard part and always feeling fueled by that bottom it's not there. Yeah, sure, and all that. My sisters got degree in like Fasht and stuff, and she she ended up working at macy's, for she did like all of the design for their like windows and all the displays and all that type of stuff. But I that's a dream a DREWIA. That's the coolest thing I ever heard. I love it. Yeah, I know, this is sus. She differ a long they literally they were like using the large firth second artist is New York is, you know, like their flagship. So she was in the Short Hills, Wan and Jersey, which is there whatever, their second martist, I guess. But once pandemic hit they, you know, they were like, well, we don't need people designing windows and, you know, displays and stuff. So yes, we do tape. Yeah, hopefully they get back to it. But yeah, I know it's crazy. Again, there's also so many jobs out there there you like don't think about, but they're, you know, people are doing every day. It's crazy. Yeah, and those window displays, I mean, especially for us in the pandemic, like all I could do, especially being high risk, was I go out for a quick little walk and come back and I live near Fifth Avenue in Central Park. So being able to walk past Fifth Avenue and see the like the window displays like gives me light like gives me inspiration. It is like, you know, like me, I think it's maybe it sounds silly, but like I think we need that kind of art. I don't know, it lets me up and it inspires me. If if we were naming the pandemic, it's that like that human you know, interaction, face offace, either the's a restaurant or, you know, a window to some lay. It really a bunch of people post college. I think this kind of went happened in college a little bit and like where I was in high school, but I definitely didn't have probably the confidence to really go for some of the things I really wanted. So I was finding like the writing adjacent kind of jobs to like feel like I'm in that world, but I'm not being like the creative or the lead that I want to be with my life. And I say all that, but I still had like really cool jobs right. So I moved. I moved out to La Right after college. When I got out there I made a lot of really good friends that were like like minded and doing some more things. I started working at Apple, one of like they're the big stores out in la which was like a super fun anyone that's like, first of all, like apple, like back then would I don't know how it is now, I can't really speak for it now, but like it would hire people that were all like kind of like minded. They were all creatives, they're all like cool people to hang out with. They're all super social and fun. But it being La, a lot of them are also actors, writers, directors, wanted to be all these things. So you got to like build a little bit of a circle. So I was like like the start of like my la time. And then I found a job doing marketing for like the International Martial Arts Channel. Like I alwayys loved martial arts and...

...started doing some marking for them, some guitar stuff, a little bit of lighting for their for their shows, but unfortunately it was run by someone that had a very tough personality to work for, very demanding, very aggressive, sometimes unrealistic with what he was asking for, and also kind of like wasn't really guiding us very well and what he wanted. So there's a lot of ways I like I was kind of like throwing around and I wasn't really understanding what I need to do or what I wanted to do. and not surprising to anyone that was there at the time. There was like a moment. I think it was like two years and I was working there again. It was cool to be like working on some of these shoes. We had like some interview stuff. We get to like had to like work interview sessions. Were like Tony Halk and like Rhonda Rowsie and all these like really cool people that I loved. Basically started like letting people go, and I like this two years and I was there. I started letting people go and it started like leading to this idea that like go, like this isn't working like the he's like losing out of money, he's not really leading this thing as well, and basically I was like one of the last ones to get let go and I was kind of like in this place where, like what do I do? I got a chance to go back to Argentina, live with my family for a year and spends time just writing, which was like really cool for me. I got to like hang out family, like recondised and start playing around with the idea of creating stuff, right, creating like writing something. And it was during my time, and this was at this point maybe like seven years ago, seven, eight years ago I went back. So I lived with my GRANDPA and my brother moved in with us two so it was like really cool, like be sitting on my grandpa all day, like having breakfast with them, hearing stories about our family and life, and also like reconnecting with my brother, who had moved back to Argentina when our dad passed away in high school. So I had like lived with him for eight years or something like that, whatever it was, and that was a moment where I started, like a really see writing as a possibility. So I put into their couple stories while I was down there, one of them being a screenplay. That that one some competitions, got some traction at things last year. It was it's a screenplay I wrote about the two guys who found it, a to SIP brothers who founded Adidas and Puma. So it's a biopic about their their life and their story. I would definitely wash them a base sneaker heads then all, yeah, it's I love the story. I am still very confused as to like how more people don't know that this story, like everything every balls around, like their life together, like their growth as like sneaker makers and like running shoemakers. And like the Nazi Olympics and then trying to like get Jesse Owens to like wear their shoes. It's a guy. The stories like wild to me and I don't know how people don't know about it, but basically that's when I started realizing I think I can find these stories. It was a short time after I a couple years after I got back from Argentina moved to New York, that I started working. I took a couple of classes at this screenwriting studio, Jacob Krueger's screenwriting studio, and got paired up with one of their writing mentors. And again it's going back to like some movie y'all were talking about how you kind of like through trauma or through things, you end up finding writing always right. End Up finding like ways like use the writings, like come out with things. And my time realizing that I can write screenplays and finally getting a mentor in life to the kind of lead me in some path in the screenwriting world. He was able to connect some some doubts of like Oh, like, what's your relationship with your brother like, and how can you put that into a screenplay about two brothers that are creating something so big and fighting throughout the entire creation of it. So yeah, so that was that script was like my moment that I created something, that I realized that, Hey, I love the story be I can put something of myself into the story and I can...

...somewhat understand me and my brother's relationship through someone else and through what they went through. I don't know if I want to call it a failures experiences. I did have a lot of time that. I work nine to five jobs, so a lot of time that I didn't really believe in myself to be able to write and be able to like be a writer or be a creative alone, and so I spent a lot of time working for other people. My time in New York, I said, I worked in communications at a private school over here, which was cool. I learned a lot, love the community and all that, but it wasn't what I was meant to do in life. And that's a job that I left in two thousand and twenty one in the spring. But again, it all connects that one time that I was able to have realized I can write the script, I can put something into it, I can finding a mentor that kind of like led me into like realizing and how I can make the sprint to be the best thing and be the best story. Yeah, I think I rambled a little bit there, but I got it and then the day I also like really like them that you said when you brought up your story, and that there are just a million different ways to be able to use writing to work on your trauma and work on your things. Like that's the one thing I realized last year in two thousand and twenty while I had sometimes like really focus on like how to write comics, and I'm like, yeah, I had a couple like ideas for like some cool like dystopian things, like superhero things or whatever it might be, but I'm like no, like you can actually write comics that like also deal with trauma and also deal with like or help you deal with trauma and can kind of dive into some of these a bigger emotions and bigger things in life. So finding waste right about siblings and about family and about trauma from childhood, even in a medium like comic books, I find fucking amazing. So that just all goes to like the power of writing and like once you start, you really using it to heal and like really use it to open up and like find some kind of what's the word? I'm looking for, some kind of just moment in your life with the writing. I think it's amazing. I'm kind of sad for myself that I didn't figure that out sooner, just because I feel like it would have helped me like when I was growing up and everything. But I'd say that. I say that all the time. Yeah, like there's some way sounds are. I'm like, Damn, I just wish I thought about this. You know, our did death enders. It's really though. All right, we have a minute twenty eight on this one, so we're gonna Damn stop this and then the next one. I think this actually a good spot, spot position into all the negat space, because writing all that, and I'm gonna have this one. Then we just come back to this one real quick. They'll have to convert now. So should we give you a couple minutes, because I feel like, oh, yeah, slower if we jump straight back on. You know what I'm telling yeah, yeah, yeah, let's let's doe like five, five minutes. Yeah, like fifty. I've jumped right into it. Yeah, perfect, all right, okay, like, what's up? Guys, stay there, Leo host of it's got to be creative. So this, as you can tell by this ending, actually goes into a whole other episode where we dive into the whole negative space competition, what they're up to, how they created it, you know why they did it. So if you want to go listen that episode, just go back. It's the first episode of Season Five. It's a special edition all about negative space complic writing competition. The first one just wrapped up and they just launched the next one, which is a female comp book writing competition to try to get more female writers in the industry, which is badly needed. So go check out that episode and then go head over to negative space comics to learn all about what they're doing next. I just wanted to mention that. You know, this episode we talked a lot about, you know, trauma and cancer, Alex's obviously journey, and I mentioned my niece. Unfortunately, my niece passed away in November. She unfortunately didn't make it. But if I learned anything over the past few months, you know, life is fragile. We don't know when our last day is or what's coming around the corner. All we do know is. You know, there's certain elements that are important in life and I hope you focus on them and don't lose sight of them, and I hope this podcast has been able to inspire you to go chase new dreams...

...or dreams you already had but figured out new ways to get to those dreams and accomplish them. So Yeah, you know, Nice, fragile, do what makes you happy and hopefully, at the same time, that leaves the world a better place. So, Bell, where of you are, I love you and I'm going to go leave the world to better place than when leave off found. Peace Out, and it's going to the Outra. That's it for this week. As always, thanks for tuning in. Don't forget the subscribe so you get nor Fred a new episode. Drove well, hollow us on Instagram at it's got to be creative protest and subscribes for you to channel for video. Well, that's it, because stay of the RELIO SOUNDING.

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