30 episodios

Every creative work you’ve ever loved has a hero’s journey behind it. On Spark & Fire, you'll hear creators tell the story of bringing one beloved work to life. 
Iconic creatives — like Wicked composer Stephen Schwartz, Pixar director Domee Shi, comedian Patton Oswald, musician Wynton Marsalis, and novelist Isabel Allende — share the endless iterations, the inevitable setbacks, and the breakthrough ideas along the epic process of creation. But this isn’t an interview show. It’s a story — told entirely in the artist's own words.
Spark & Fire is a WaitWhat original series in partnership with the BBC. Season 2 out now.
With host June Cohen, cofounder of WaitWhat and the former executive producer of TED Talks.
Transcripts and images for every episode are available at sparkandfire.com
Sign up for the weekly Spark & Fire newsletter.

Spark & Fire: Fuel Your Creativity Spark & Fire

    • Arte

Every creative work you’ve ever loved has a hero’s journey behind it. On Spark & Fire, you'll hear creators tell the story of bringing one beloved work to life. 
Iconic creatives — like Wicked composer Stephen Schwartz, Pixar director Domee Shi, comedian Patton Oswald, musician Wynton Marsalis, and novelist Isabel Allende — share the endless iterations, the inevitable setbacks, and the breakthrough ideas along the epic process of creation. But this isn’t an interview show. It’s a story — told entirely in the artist's own words.
Spark & Fire is a WaitWhat original series in partnership with the BBC. Season 2 out now.
With host June Cohen, cofounder of WaitWhat and the former executive producer of TED Talks.
Transcripts and images for every episode are available at sparkandfire.com
Sign up for the weekly Spark & Fire newsletter.

    How to build trust: Apollo Theater’s Kamilah Forbes

    How to build trust: Apollo Theater’s Kamilah Forbes

    “I want to make this into theater, in a way that’s never been done before.” When Kamilah Forbes first reads Between the World and Me, by her friend Ta-Nehisi Coates, she’s moved, shaken, gutted by its truth and beauty. She dreams of presenting it at Harlem’s Apollo Theater, a legendary space for Black art and excellence. First step: convince Ta-Nehisi. In this episode, Kamilah shares the work’s journey from book to stage to HBO — during a pandemic — in a story of collaboration and trust, joy and challenge.

    Follow along (with transcript and amazing photos) at https://sparkandfire.com

    Subscribe to the Spark & Fire weekly newsletter for images, stories and creative prompts: http://eepurl.com/hkmyMr

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 37 min
    Take responsibility for your creativity: Joseph Gordon-Levitt

    Take responsibility for your creativity: Joseph Gordon-Levitt

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a creativity master. Many of us know him as an actor and director, but Joseph also co-created the collaborative media platform HitRECord. Joseph shares the journey of developing HitRECord: how it evolved from a single page of HTML to a global community of creative collaborators. Joseph’s story reveals that you have to take responsibility for your own creativity. Don’t stand by until an opportunity finds you. It’s in your power to participate, find collaborators you love, and share your work with the world.

    Follow along (with transcript and photos) at sparkandfire.com/hitrecord/

    Subscribe to the Spark & Fire weekly newsletter for images, stories and creative prompts: http://eepurl.com/hkmyMr

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 33 min
    5 strategies for starting something new

    5 strategies for starting something new

    There’s an intimidating blank page. A blinking cursor staring you down. A looming deadline for a project you haven’t touched. Sometimes, starting something new is the hardest part of the creative process. In this episode, you’ll hear from 5 creative people in 5 different fields offering 5 different strategies for how to start something new.

    Featuring novelist Ann Patchett on “The Dutch House,” Pixar director Domee Shi talking about “Turning Red,” “Wicked” composer Stephen Schwartz, the designer Thomas Heatherwick, and salsa legend Rubén Blades.

    Follow along (with transcript and photos) at sparkandfire.com.

    Listen to the full episodes that inspired this mixtape:

    Novelist Ann Patchett: https://listen.sparkandfire.com/AnnPatchettFullEp

    Pixar director Domee Shi: https://listen.sparkandfire.com/DomeeShiFullEp

    Wicked composer Stephen Schwartz: https://listen.sparkandfire.com/StephenSchwartzFullEp

    Designer Thomas Heatherwick: https://listen.sparkandfire.com/ThomasHeatherwickFullEp

    Salsa legend Rubén Blades: https://listen.sparkandfire.com/RubenBladesFullEp

    Subscribe to the Spark & Fire weekly newsletter for images, stories and creative prompts: http://eepurl.com/hkmyMr

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 19 min
    Tell a universal truth: “Wicked” composer Stephen Schwartz

    Tell a universal truth: “Wicked” composer Stephen Schwartz

    Stephen Schwartz has a motto for songwriting: Tell the truth, and make it rhyme. In this episode, Stephen tells the story of composing the Broadway musical Wicked. Not only does Stephen reinvent a beloved classic for the stage, he also commits to drawing out the universal truths — like the experience of friendship, betrayal, and love — that connect us all. This allowed Wicked to resonate with audiences in a real way, making it one of the most successful musicals of all time. Stephen’s story shows that when your work expresses a universal truth, the widest audience will respond. 

    Follow along (with transcript and photos) at sparkandfire.com/stephenschwartz

    Subscribe to the Spark & Fire weekly newsletter for images, stories and creative prompts: http://eepurl.com/hkmyMr

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 41 min
    Sweat the details: Punchdrunk artistic director Felix Barrett

    Sweat the details: Punchdrunk artistic director Felix Barrett

    Felix Barrett, MBE, is the artistic director of Punchdrunk, a British theater company that specializes in immersive storytelling. In this episode, Felix shares the story of Sleep No More, Punchdrunk’s most famous and longest-running show. Sleep No More is a reimagining of Shakespeare’s Macbeth through a film noir lens. As Felix experiments with the production, he doesn’t get lost in the grandeur of it. He stays focused on the details: from finding the perfect abandoned building, to secret passageways, to the music playing in the background. Getting those small details just right — again and again — created a larger-than-life experience for audiences. 

    Follow along (with transcript and photos) at sparkandfire.com/punchdrunk

    Subscribe to the Spark & Fire weekly newsletter for images, stories and creative prompts: http://eepurl.com/hkmyMr

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 38 min
    Embrace your inner weirdo: Pixar’s Domee Shi on “Turning Red”

    Embrace your inner weirdo: Pixar’s Domee Shi on “Turning Red”

    When Pixar asked Domee Shi to create a feature film, she ran to her friend’s office and rolled on the floor with joy. It was a dream come true. But Domee had to learn how to own her unique creative voice with all eyes on her, which meant embracing her inner weirdo. As Domee shares the story of directing Turning Red, you'll hear how she commits to seeing her outlandish ideas through and surrounds herself with people who can recognize a great, weird idea when they see one. When Turning Red released on Disney+ in 2022, it immediately broke viewership records on the platform, showing Domee that her specific quirks were more universal than she thought. 

    Follow along (with transcript and photos) at https://sparkandfire.com/turningred

    Subscribe to the Spark & Fire weekly newsletter for images, stories and creative prompts: http://eepurl.com/hkmyMr

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 33 min

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