In this blog you can find the latest updates from the professors and students of the Masters in Corporate Communication, Master in Digital Journalism and Master in Visual Media.

Alexey Shaburov: From Business World to Art World

Written on July 6, 2016 by Vanessa Dezem Baida in News


Alexy Shaburov is the founder of Contemporary Museum of Calligraphy, National School of Calligraphy, International Exhibition of Calligraphy, and National Union of Calligraphers. When he was a student, he was a member of the National Youth Judo Team of the Soviet Union. Drafted into the Army when he was 18 years old, he became a member of the Russian military judo team. In 1998, he started his professional career at Sokolniki Exhibition and Convention Centre, and became its owner and CEO in 2010. He has established numerous social projects, such as the first exhibition in the stratosphere; an expedition to the North Pole; and so on. Today, he tells us how he has established such a great life path.

—–For those who are not familiar with you, please let us know more about your background. What did you want to become when you were a teenager?


I was born in a small town called Ivanteyevka located in the outskirts of Moscow. Ever since I was very young I dreamt of a military career. I always believed that military men should be strong and athletic, so I asked my parents to enroll me in a judo class. I was very lucky to get great instructors who were Honored Masters of Sports.


—–You have rich experience in different fields such as Judo, army, and business. How do those different fields generate a synergy or how do you integrate them?


Whenever the time comes to choose a new field of activity I always focus on self-development and finding a new way of understanding myself.


 —–What is the most important thing that you have learned in your career as a CEO/owner of business?


As a business owner, I learned the importance of understanding human resources and how to manage people effectively.

—–What was your motivation to establish the school and the museum?


The idea to establish a calligraphy museum was quite spontaneous. I happened to run across an article about calligraphy in a flight magazine, and the theme caught my imagination. At that time, I had just finalized a large project, and I decided it was the right moment to establish the Contemporary Museum of Calligraphy and the National School of Calligraphy. The museum we now have is quite unique. True, there are many museums devoted to calligraphy in the world, but each of them is dedicated to only one kind of calligraphy art. I believe I have managed to achieve a seemingly impossible feat: to create a museum where one can find examples of contemporary calligraphy from every corner of the world.


 —–Why are you so interested in calligraphy?


I’ve come to understand calligraphy as a way of materializing my thoughts through a handwritten text, with its beauty and power. Since I discovered calligraphy, I’ve been writing by hand more, my way of thinking has changed, my literacy has improved and my senses have developed.


In this era of computer technology, the traditions of handwriting are gradually withering. I’m happy about the contribution I’ve made for the preservation of the beauty and richness of writing traditions of various nations for future generations.


—–In the 21st century, how do the business world and art world can live together?


That’s a hard question to answer. I suppose that the integration of art into business might help change the world for the better.


—–From your perspective, what business people can learn from artists, and vice versa?


Interaction with any form of art is bound to bring something new into the life of any person from any background and occupation. Art helps us change our lives for the better.

—–You have achieved lots of things in your life. What would be your ultimate goal in your life?


True, I have achieved a lot, and I don’t intend to stop any time soon. I have many goals, but my ultimate goal is to pass on my life experience to my children and to become a truly patient and understanding father to them.


—-If you could make a call to 20-year-old Alexey Shaburov, what kind of advice you would give to him?


Follow your dreams, keep your hopes up, move ahead and enjoy every moment of your life.


—–If you could leave a message to make the world a better place, what would your message be?


The world is full of wonders. The world’s general purpose is life. Know yourself through the mechanisms of life (positive thinking, inspiration, beauty, desired actions, and such).

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The Entrepreneurial Story

Written on January 25, 2016 by jnelson in News

Last week the 2015-2016 Master in Visual and Digital Media (MVDM) had a session at the IE Venture Lab. As part of the practical, project-based component of the academic course for the MVDMers, this was also an opportunity for new start-up concepts within the Venture Lab to pitch their various entrepreneurial ideas with hopes working with one of the seven work teams that make up the MVDM group. Essentially, the entrepreneurs pitched, we (the MVDMers) voted on the concept we would most like to work with throughout the semester, and finally we were paired with teams. Although this is just the basic itinerary of the evening, a few things about entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial spirit stood out to me.

First, to say that the range of ideas presented on the evening was wide would be an understatement. We heard pitches from enterprises that had every type of characteristic you could think of – from digitally based to product based, from finance to culinary – through a sliver of the scope of what modern entrepreneurship has to offer, we saw an ample range of possibilities presented in just a few hours. But how, how can there be so many entrepreneurs loaded into one building? Is this really an organic environment for innovation, and if so, why are we of value as budding specialists in all that is communication, digital, creativity and media?

My preliminary conclusions are telling me this — entrepreneurship is not an engrained trait, nor is it solely the skillset of persuasion. One thing that it seems quality entrepreneurial ideas have in common is not even this buzzword of “innovation”. The common factor is closeness to a process. There appear to be a few things, innovative-mindset, detail-orientation, peripheral vision, flexibility, resilience, and other traits of concepts that mesh together to tell a story. An environment that promotes the formation of such a story will find success. Realization that as students in a course defined as Visual and Digital Media, one of our greatest assets is the ability of means through which narratives and journeys might be creatively expressed is of unexplainable importance to the entrepreneurial process itself, adding value for those telling their story and those who ultimately listen. In the end, an average story that is well-communicated can be far more valuable than a good story that is poorly communicated.

Now my group is working with ShareMad, a digital sharing platform for surfing and potentially other sporting equipment. Alongside some talented MVDMers, these promising start-ups will have much to tell in the coming months, look out for it!



What happens next? #IEWeekend

Written on November 20, 2015 by kiszivath in News

Hi candidates,

It was a pleasure to meet all of you in the past #IEWeekend fall 2015 edition. I am a current an IE MCC student, but this was my first IE Weekend as well. After all, I need to tell that I had an awesome weekend meeting all of you, you guys made the event a success.

We had sessions of creativity and innovation, up to one were we learned about entrepreneurial opportunities in the technological world. I was totally amazed by all the products you guys were able to create, putting into practice the class of the Prof. Peter Bryant. Nothing is better than learning by doing, and I can confirm that besides diversity, this is the essence of IE. 

Let’s not forget “The Paella Challenge”. So many chefs! For me, as a judge, was a tough decision. Let me congratulate once again the PaeIE Team for winning, and of course, having the best paella!

I hope you guys liked the IE experience: diversity, learn by doing, and work hard but play harder. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment. So, what happens next? Apply to IE!

Until the next!

Suzanne Kiszivath

PS: Enjoy a recap from the weekend!

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IE Weekend – The Weekend In RevIEw

Written on November 19, 2015 by jnelson in News

A day after the completion of my second IE Weekend experience, I wake up before the sunrise to sink my nose into some tasks with alarmingly close due dates. Stopping to reflect on the fact that just last November I was awestruck with the prospects of attending IE and living in Madrid, it would be an understatement to say that I am a bit mind-blown to have the opportunity to actually reflect in this way. This affordance of a perspective that allows me to compare perspectives and views on all that is the IE Experience from both sides of the glass is truly valuable in that connecting with those participating in the IE Weekend this past Friday and Saturday did not in any way feel like a task, or an active practice. In reality, I felt very much like an attendee, transposing my year-old experience into the fresh, novel experiences of this year’s IE Weekenders. Fully immersed within my new capacity and role as a current IE student, oddly enough the weekend evoked strikingly similar sentiments in comparison to last year. Sure, this is the second year in a row that I have sat through Professor Andrew McCarthy’s creativity workshop (3rd time in 12 months to be honest), but it felt as captivating and novel as the first time I stepped foot into IE. Last year I was a prospective, aspiring student, and now I am a full-time and fully active member of the IE community—so how could the core of this event feel so analogous to last year?


That’s when it started to make sense – the essence is in the experience. Although I may be in a different position, things appear as clearly as ever. Maybe I am biased, as the paella competition was rather life-changing in my opinion, but the IE Weekend experiences seem to be pushing forth from an already high standard of representing what the IE Experience purports to be. I am just glad that I have 9 months left to experience it!


Until next time,


Jonny Nelson

Enjoying the IE Weekend with fellow IE fellow, Suzanne Kiss

Enjoying the IE Weekend with IE fellow, Suzanne Kiszivath



Anxo Peréz: Linguistic Prodigy. Be True to Your Vision

Written on November 11, 2015 by Vanessa Dezem Baida in News

Anxo Peréz is the founder of 8Belts which is an online service to allow people to learn Chinese in 8 months. He is well known as a language genius that he speaks multiple languages. He is also the author of 88 peldaños del éxito. Today, he tells us the essence of how to take a leap of faith to build your own life.

foto libro - Anxo Portada


1. First of all, for those who are not familiar with you, let us know more about you. You are well known as a polyglot. How did you get interested in languages so much?

AP: I am just a humble apprentice that still has much to learn. I became interested in languages when I was a child. However, my interest wasn’t what was important, it was the fact that I realized that language teaching constituted one of my oil wells. However, I’d like to stress that my abilities aren’t better than everyone else’s, they’re just different. As soon as I discovered that one of them was languages, I decided to strengthen this ability as much as I could. There are two ways to increase one’s value in the world. One is improving the bad. The other is taking advantage of the good. The key to success isn’t found in the first one, it’s found in the second.


2. When you speak different languages, what happens in your mind? Does it feel  like you’re a different person?

AP: Anxo Pérez is Anxo Pérez, whether he’s speaking Gallego, Spanish, Chinese, or English. It’s just like how you continue being yourself making lunch and writing an article for a blog, a person is the same person no matter what language they’re speaking. Me communicating with someone in one language or the other doesn’t matter. The important thing is that we communicate. I feel the same way in every language.


3. You often encourage people to take  action. Are you naturally an outgoing person or did you have a specific episode that changed you to become proactive?

AP: When I was fifteen, I realized that I wasn’t making the most of my talents and I decided to move to the US so I could better take advantage of them. While there, I was able to develop my language-learning and musical abilities. If I hadn’t decided to incite change at that time and in that way, none of the wonderful things that have happened throughout my life would’ve ever happened. Actions have strength. Not one thing in the world around us has come from someone’s indifference.

The world isn’t moved by people with ideas because everyone has them. The world is moved by the few that are willing the do something with theirs. This is why I defend the standpoint that there’s magic in action.


4. What was the motivation for you to help people learn Chinese in 8 months? Why it was Chinese instead of any of the Romance languages?

AP: Because I couldn’t find any other language that was as distant and useful as Chinese. I wanted to dispel the notion that Spanish speakers aren’t good at languages. If we were able to demonstrate that anyone could learn Chinese with the proper method, why couldn’t we speak any language, like English, in the same amount of time?

Our mission is to demonstrate, to Spain and to the rest of the world, that there aren’t any “bad” ways to learn, but that there are ways to teach that can be improved.  When people don’t learn, it’s not their fault, it’s the method’s. If you teach properly, everyone learns. Even Chinese.


5. How do you make yourself outstanding in such a competitive market: language learning?

AP: You can’t achieve more than anyone by doing the same as everyone. We offer a different method where there are no classrooms, no books, no teachers, no exercises, and no tests. We also offer different results: you learn to speak a new language in just 8 months. If you don’t, you get your money back. Up until now, we haven’t had to return anyone’s money, not even once, because 8Belts doesn’t work 99% of the time, it works 100% of the time.


6. For most people, it is very scary to take a leap of faith to change their own life. How they can get out of their comfort zone?

AP: With monotony, you don’t suffer, but without risk you don’t grow. There are circumstances in which life puts a “dare-to” moment right in front of you. In such a case, you have two options: stay in your comfort zone, the safe place where you’ll never suffer, or launch yourself into the unknown. If you choose the second option, you may win or lose, but you’ll always grow.


7. What would be the first thing that someone could do to change their life?

AP: Incite change. Do things that you’ve never considered doing, play a new sport, learn a new language, talk to people that you never thought about talking to,… shake things up and observe the repositioning of all the pieces that make up your current situation in life. Action is magic, and shaking things up multiplies your magic’s impact.


8. What is the most important thing you have ever learned in your entrepreneurial life?

AP: Be true to your vision. When you begin a project, there are a thousand people that “advise” you to stop, they say that it’s not worth it, or that you should give your idea a 180 degree spin to “make it better.” Resist these temptations. Accept advice, but always stick true to your project.


9. If you could make a call to a 20-year-old Anxo Perez, what kind of advice would you give him?

AP: Don’t let a day go by without getting closer, even if it’s just a little bit, to achieving your goals.


10. If you can leave one message to make the world a better place, what would your message be?

AP: Chase your dreams…


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Every Weekend Is An IE Weekend

Written on November 11, 2015 by jnelson in News


Frazzled, groggy, and anxious I step off of the Ryan Air jet, hoping that my first moments in Spain are smooth ones. Touching down at 9:15, my interview at IE Business School was in only 45 minutes, and I had not even yet lifted myself from my window seat. All the while, seething with anticipation, I sipped down a quick coffee and rushed to the bathroom – just after the Spanish officers eyed my passport and permitted me to pass. Hurriedly dressing in the bathroom stall, I felt as if I was racing against time. Could I have really forgotten all methods of tying my tie in this crucial moment? Maybe it was the fatigue. After all, I had been up since 4 AM in order to catch the bus from Limerick to Dublin which finally got me to the airport. Either way, time was not particularly on my side, and I had about thirty minutes to fix myself up, catch a taxi, and get to Maria de Molina 13 in decent fashion.


In my overconfident and underdeveloped Spanish – which I had hardly used in a year – I got in a taxi and directed my good man at the helm to my final destination. Buttoning my cuffs and straightening the ever-problematic tie hanging precariously skewed around my neck as the taxista weaved through mid-morning Madrid traffic, I pondered what the next hour of my life might have to offer for my future endeavors. Deepening in thought while conversing about Real Madrid, we passed Avenida de America and I was scaling the steps to MM13 before I knew it.


As flustered as I was, I remember thinking how smoothly the past 12 hours had gone to get me from Limerick, to Dublin, to Barajas, to Maria de Molina – and at that moment, I knew things were on my side. From then on, I might have had one of the best weekends of 2014. Enamored by the aura of Madrid and captivated by the quality of the people with whom I was interacting, I knew IE was a place that I needed to be, no doubts whatsoever remained in my mind. Friends that I connected with on the IE weekend are ones that still remain as I traverse Madrid and the IE experience throughout this year. As a stepping stone—a platform—into my real IE experience, I would have to say the enamor remains. The allure of uniqueness, opportunity, and a life-changing experience has only been scaled to appropriate proportions. The contentment and the gratification felt on that one weekend has been amplified into a year of prospects, and I couldn’t be happier. From the IE weekend to the full IE experience – I was privileged enough to get a glimpse into what life might be like a year later. Now I’m living it, and I am loving it.


IE Weekend Welcome- Suzanne

Written on November 5, 2015 by kiszivath in News

This girl over here is me, Suzanne Kiszivath.


I am a Puerto Rican doing a Master in Corporate Communication (MCC) at the School of Human Science and Technology (HST).

I am glad to welcome all the IE candidates into the IE Weekend that will be held this 13-14 of November in Madrid. A year ago I was going through the same process deciding on what to do with my life and how I can enhance my professional career. Let me tell you I still haven’t found an answer BUT I decided to take control and push myself into a new amazing journey called IE.

The IE Weekend is an exciting weekend where you will taste the essence of what means to be at IE. Being an IE student combines the awesomeness of living in the beautiful city of Madrid (no doubt you will fall in love), live a unique experience of diversity (while studying with young professionals from around the world) and have professors that are gurus in their fields.

I will be with all of you during the weekend so feel free to ask me questions about IE, life experience or just about where in the world is Puerto Rico ;)

Let the fun begin!



Suzanne at Toledo (city that is 2 hours away from Madrid)


Start-up yourself: A lesson from the author of Start-up Nation

Written on May 19, 2015 by Vanessa Dezem Baida in News

If you have worked closely to the startup scene or if you read many books, you may have heard a book called “Start-up Nation” Saul Singer is the co-author of “Start-up Nation“, one of the most famous books about innovation. Today he shares with us how he has innovated his Life.



06.02.2009 - Author and journalist Saul Singer. Photo:Ariel Jerozolimski

1. For those who are not familiar with you let us know more about you. How did you get interested in journalism and writing?

SS. I started in journalism when I moved to Israel 20 years ago, working for a newspaper called the Jerusalem Post. I have no training in journalism, but my background in policy, from staff work in the US Congress, prepared me for writing editorials and eventually my own weekly opinion column.

2. When you write something, what happens in your mind? You know what you want to write from the beginning or you articulate it gradually?

SS: I find that ideas come from writing, rather than writing from ideas. Good writing usually requires clear thinking, but writing is often an important means to clarifying thinking.


3. What was the most difficult thing when you published your book? How has that experience changed your life?

SS: The most difficult thing was to invest a lot of time and effort without knowing whether anyone would actually see the result. The book completely changed my professional focus. Before the book I mostly wrote about strategy and politics. I have since become immersed in the much more interesting and exciting world of innovation, particularly, how countries become innovative. My travels to many countries to speak about the book have opened my eyes to the changing global map of innovation.


4. When you start something new, there are so many unpredictable things. Looking back, what did allow you to take a leap of faith?

SS: Ignorance helps. If I had thought too much about the chances of a book becoming successful, I might never have written it. All entrepreneurship involves a suspension of disbelief. Daniel Kahneman has written about the paradox that the most successful people have an essentially irrational approach toward assessing risk, and that progress and growth seem to be driven by such people.

5. Through your research and experience, what does make some people think differently?

SS: The main barriers to thinking differently are social and psychological rather than individual capability. Water likes to take the easiest, well-worn, path and so do we. I think that creative people don’t necessarily have more ideas than anyone else, they are just more driven and willing to stray from the well-worn path.


startup antion


6. What is the most important thing you have ever learned in your life and why?

SS: Victor Frankl was right; the greatest human need is for meaning. Most people are trying to make their life easier, but that’s not where meaning comes from. I know of only three sources of meaning: spirituality (belief or struggle), relationships (family and friends), and work (paid or not; what we do to have an impact on the world around us). We should be trying to bolster all three sources of meaning in our lives as much as we can.

7. When you hear the word “successful”, who is the first person come to your mind and why?

SS: It takes a lot of courage to actually do anything. I admire people who can build companies that change the world. I also admire people who can help one person at a time. Sometimes that takes even more courage.


8. What does “life” mean to you?

SS: Life is the pinnacle of creation. We are entering an age when we have to discover and re-discover what it means to be human. We are living in one of the most exciting moments in history. In this century, human life is changing faster than it ever has, and maybe faster than it ever will be.


9. If you make a call to 20-year-old Saul Singer, what kind of advices you would give to him?

SS: Get more experiences. Get out of your comfort zone. Educate yourself by building things and learning from people, not just in schools. Study stuff that you wouldn’t normally touch outside of school, like great literature, philosophy. Find ways to force yourself to write more often because that’s the only way to learn how to write – and other forms of creative communication.


10. If you can leave one message to make the world better, what would be your message?
SS: There so much that needs to be done; finds something that matters to you and do it. But in order to get stuff done, you also need to build your own character (see The Road to Character, by David Brooks). We often forget that part.


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The Entrepreneurial Design

Written on May 14, 2015 by Vanessa Dezem Baida in News

Jack Schulze is a Principal at BERG, a design consultancy based in UK, and co-founded the company in 2005. He obtained his MA from the Royal College of Art in 2006, where he worked on physical products connected to the web and new behaviours for mobile phones. He is a world-class profound and conceptual thinker. Today, he tells us about how he has built a bridge between the design and business.




For those who are not familiar with you, let us know more about you. How did you start BERG and what was the moment that you determined to pursue it?
JS: I founded BERG with Matt Webb and Matt Jones. We decided to pursue it as a means of producing culturally relevant work in the technology sector. We also realised that the most significant artefacts of our age were connected products, and amongst them, those that included media the most powerful of all. We became determined that we should make our own piece of connected consumer electronics, manufacture and sell it.


You had entrepreneurial experiences before BERG. What has cultivated your entrepreneurship mindset?

JS: Entrepreneurship was a necessity. There are no business models for small companies manufacturing consumer electronics in North London. Mostly business is a flat, dull and uninventive pursuit by people in companies waiting for Californians to eat their breakfast and kill their markets. Experimental business models were all we had.


When you founded the company, BERG, what was the most difficult and challenging thing and how did you overcome it?

JS: Because we were unfunded, we had to overcome the costs of a brand new product to manufacture by bootstrapping the development to our consulting business. This creates a duality in motivations for the business which is very difficult to maintain. We managed it through solid internal communications and by billing very well in our consulting. Secondly, we lost quite a few core staff to Apple, which is hard too. Hiring is hard when you are small.


How do your entrepreneurship spirit and artistic mind work together?

JS: I’m not sure there is really a separation. I regard most of the artistic or creative pursuit as the core value that the business leverages for income and sales. So there is no entrepreneurship without the art. In some sense, design can be understood as a hybrid between entrepreneurial activity and artistic aims.


What would be the skill-set that would help artists to gain more business opportunities?

JS: Understand tax law, runways, P&L and know your worth when engaging business relationships. Especially with large companies. Ironically, traditional artists are under absolutely no illusion that they are part of a very lucrative market. It’s only the technology sector that artists resist commerce.


What is the viewpoint or perspective that artists have but business people do not have? How business people can apply that perspective to business?

JS: Business people cannot apply artistic instincts, because they don’t have them. The best thing they can do is put power in the hands of people with a cultural understanding. But they rarely do. Consequently, the best place for artistic or creative endeavour in the technology and media sectors is amongst the many floundering, panicking businesses run by ageing white men with no strategic grasp of their own markets. This panic and flux can create some remarkable opportunities for really inventive and commercially successful work.


When you design something, come up with new ideas, experience Eureka, what happens in your mind?
JS: Ha, good question, and one for which I’m afraid I have absolutely no idea. I can’t remember having any of the ideas that have emerged. I will say that lots more successful ideas emerge when I’m involved in the technical and cultural front end of making and prototyping. You have to be building things to understand the potential of the technology and markets you want to occupy.


If you can make a call to 20-year-old Jack Schulze, what kind of advices you would give to him?

JS: Learn to write C. Stop talking and start making.


If you can leave one message to make the world better, what would be your message?

JS: Big companies are bad at making the world of stuff that we live in. You can make things better, so make them.



Art Chooses You

Written on April 26, 2015 by Vanessa Dezem Baida in News

Bryan Callen is an American comedian and actor, who has starred in Hangover 1 & 2. He also hosts his own Podcast show, Bryan Callen Show. People often associate successful public figures with the fame and money instead of learning something from them. We got an amazing opportunity to learn from him about HOW TO CREATE YOUR LIFE.


bryan callen


First of all, why did you accept this interview offer, which is not as huge as mass media that you are accustomed to?


BC: I’ve never had an agenda. I’ve never been motivated by popularity. I’m more motivated by substance, and I think that also I very much appreciate anybody. I suppose it’s always thrilling to me to make a connection with anybody from somewhere else. And if I can have an impact on, then it is great. Interest and Passion. Those are the things that I pick up on, even in emails sometimes, which was I found from you a little bit.


What motivates you is passion?


BC: Yes. I love motivation, effort, and interest. It doesn’t matter if you have 1 million twitter followers. If you’re a young person just trying to get ideas out there, I like your idea. I like what you’re trying to do. We spend a lot of time fighting for something, but we lose anyway. I don’t think winning is the point. I think the point is to reach. The point is to try. Become a better person if you try.


What was the reason for you to be an actor/comedian/performer, and what kind of difficulties did you have, and how did you overcome then?


BC: I didn’t necessarily choose it but it chose me. I don’t think anybody should be an artist. It chooses you. It takes a great deal of work to refine and to distil your expression. I think that an artist’s life is actually a life of discipline. Learning where to place your energy. There are a lot of artists that have not-so-disciplined lives, but sometimes they’re disciplined. Art chooses you, and it’s up to you to listen to it. Somebody says, “Mom, Dad, I want to play piano”. “Mom, Dad, I want to be an actor.” “Mom, Dad, I want to be a comedian.” “I want to be a painter.” And parents, even my parents, would say, “No, you’re crazy. Don’t be crazy.” I knew that was going to happen and they were going to be worried, but I knew also that if I didn’t do that, I would be a small person and a coward. I felt like I wasn’t going to be listening to the true me, my primal urge, who I really am.


Very interesting. So it just naturally happened?


BC: Yes. An artist never has any satisfaction. The great dancer and choreographer, Martha Graham said, “An artist’s job is not to judge his own work, it is to keep going and to do it”. You will always have a sense of queer dissatisfaction, always a sense where I didn’t get it right. Even me, I think of how many people laugh. Sometimes it needs to be better.


Most of our lives we have been polite. Look at the Japanese society. The Japanese says, “You have to be very polite. Protocol, manners, discipline, all these things are very important but we are all different. When I’m on stage, I can say what I want, I can be who I am, I can move the way I want. Do you know why they laugh? It is because they recognize that inside of them. They come to say, “I feel just like that. I didn’t know it until he showed it to me, but I’m laughing because he surprised me. I’m laughing because I recognized it for the first time in me.” That’s what I think great writing, great art does.


When you write a script, what kind of process do you have in your mind, in your brain?


BC: When all these people are laughing, I forget when I wrote it, or how I wrote it, or why I wrote it. I’m always surprised at how it all come together. How did it come together over two years? How? I don’t know. Writing, painting, and singing, it’s an act of faith. I believe that the song or story already exists. It is already somewhere up there. It is up to you to keep showing up and channel it through you. Keep showing up in faith. Anything you try to do, when you’re an artist, it’s an act of faith. I know I can do it. I know it’s there. I have to keep showing up every day until it reveals itself, until it shows itself through me. I’m not making it; it’s coming through me. I think it’s a much better way to look at life.


I don’t like when artists take pride in their own work. It is not yours. You happen to have the certain wiring. Whatever happened, you channeled it through you. Why do you make art? Why? For girls and money? No. It is to make the world a better place; to remind the world of what is possible. Remind humanity that there’s a much higher level.


We as people should be reaching beyond ourselves. We are not the measure of all things. Sometimes when you read a great story or see a great movie, you cry. It’s because it creates a feeling in you that’s bigger than you are. It humbles you, and you realize that there is something beautiful, bigger, and all encompassing. You are overwhelmed by the beauty in the world. This is what I think the ultimate goal is. This is all I care about.


I’m not that great man, not even close, but at least I can try to surprise and to shock myself with my work at the end of my life. For what? It is just because I can. Maybe it will make the world a better place. That’s what I love. This is my god.


What are important criterias when you make a big decision?

BC: Usually, you know what you have to do. A big decision is not a big decision. A lot of times, you know the answer and the rest is denial. The difficult thing is how do I do it? I don’t think there are big decisions. What do I do if I want to quite my job, and I want to become an actor, but my father always wanted me to be a doctor? He paid for medical school. How could I be an actor? My father paid for law school; I’m supposed to be a lawyer; otherwise I’ll shame my family. You know the answer. The big decision is how do I tell my father? How could I disappoint my friends and family? That’s the decision, but I don’t know if there are any really big decisions about what you’re supposed to do. You know what you’re supposed to do. There are hard decisions sometimes but for the most part, you know the answer. Human beings are afraid of their own greatness. A lot of great athletes when everybody is looking at them, and they are supposed to perform, they give themselves an injury to take the pressure off.


In the 21st century, there are many people who are materialistically abundant but are not fulfilled. How can they get fulfilled?


BC:You can have everything materialistically. I know so many people with money, who are very successful, who fly first class, drink good wine, or have a nice view. I think there is a certain catastrophe to success. When you get successful, you see a luxurious life: nice clothing, house, status, reputation. These things can make you fat: spiritually and physically fat. I don’t think they are the answer but the struggles and challenges are. Putting yourself in an uncomfortable situation where you don’t know if you can do it or not makes you better at something. You know, human beings have a need for safety and certainty. I know I want to have a house. That’s very important, but you need some uncertainty and some adventure. You need to live in a world where you’re not sure what’s going to happen next. When people come back from war, it is hard for them to adjust. Why? Because of the adrenaline of not knowing what’s going to happen next.



What is the most important thing you have ever learned in your life? In terms of whatever, what is the most important thing you have ever learned?


BC: Learn what not to think about. Learn what not to do. Don’t worry about what to do. Most people are doing lots of things everyday to ensure their own failure. Learn what not to think about. Here is a good question: “If I knew I could never fail, what would I want, and do?”. Now you’re starting to ask the right questions and your body will start to move in that direction. Don’t think about who doesn’t like you. Don’t think about what could go wrong. You have to be critical and analytical. Everybody should make a “not-to-do list,” not a to-do list. There is a law of subtraction, not addition. Don’t worry about what to add to you. You don’t need to add anything to you. Learn how to get everything out of the way. Look, when Michelangelo carved the statue of David, he looked at the marble and said, “It’s in there already. I just have to know what to take away from it. I have to know how much stone to get out of the way.” Human beings are the same way. Your perfect self is already there. Learn what to move out of the way. Don’t worry about adding. Learn what to move and what not to think about. Learn what to move out of the way.


So the point is to make yourself simple. Then, you can reach a better quality question that will enrich your life.


BC: Yes. We are always thinking along the lines of safety. I think Schiller said, “Man is never more himself than when at play.” What is play? Play is not cocaine and hookers, no. Play is what you would do for the sake of doing it. What you would do just for it. I would do comedy regardless. I don’t do comedy to make money. I make money now, but I don’t do it for that. I never did it for that. I love making people laugh, or hearing people laugh. Everything is okay. I’m never going to be a professional, but when I get better, I learn to move my head. You know, stuff like that. I feel like I’m learning something that’s very difficult. That’s play. Play is to be free. Play is what you do when you are free. That’s what you should think about. What would you do anyway? What would you do if you made no money? What would you do if it didn’t come with any status? What would you rather be doing? I’m not saying you shouldn’t do a job like be a lawyer or a doctor. I’m not saying you shouldn’t make money. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a good job with healthcare. If you have it, there is no problem. Have something else that you are passionate about. Have something else that that makes you feel like you are also enriching your life.


If you can make a call to 20-year-old Bryan Callen, what kind of advices you would give to him?


BC: I would say, “You are enough. Learn what not to think about, and the things that you really want to do. Do the best of your ability. Do it with good faith and with patience, and know that if you keep showing up every day, you will be satisfied and fulfilled. I don’t know if you’ll win a trophy; I don’t know if you’ll make lots of money, but you will be fulfilled, and you’ll like what you see when you look in the mirror.


If you can leave one message to make the world better place, what would be your message?


BC: I think the world is so incredibly diverse and different, but I do think that all of us should strive for freedom of expression. I believe strongly in meritocracy. I just believe that all of us should be striving for individual freedom, personal responsibility. Our governments should be governments that facilitate that privilege, that human right. We don’t have countries with institutions that protect property rights, individuals, and minorities; whether they’re women, gay people, or whatever they are. When you marginalize people, you erase their potential and weaken your country.


It is very important for all countries to provide safety for the gentler spirits, artisans, and your innovators. It’s important to protect the rewards that come with that kind of effort. If you don’t, you will not have a better way to do something. The truth is freedom. The truth is expression. The truth is letting people do what really matters to them; letting people come up with a better way and rewarding them for that, protecting them, and allowing them to do that. Freedom comes with responsibility, but take the responsibility. That’s how you make the world a better place.


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