Story provided by 99U –
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld stopped by reddit to do an AMA (an “ask me anything” for the uninitiated). He touched on some behind the scenes moments of his TV show Seinfeld, and offered a peek into his creative process:
On writer’s block:
Writer’s block is a phony, made up, BS excuse for not doing your work.
On dealing with hecklers:
Very early on in my career, I hit upon this idea of being the Heckle Therapist. So that when people would say something nasty, I would immediately become very sympathetic to them and try to help them with their problem and try to work out what was upsetting them, and try to be very understanding with their anger. It opened up this whole fun avenue for me as a comedian, and no one had ever seen that before. Some of my comedian friends used to call me – what did they say? – that I would counsel the heckler instead of fighting them. Instead of fighting them, I would say “You seem so upset, and I know that’s not what you wanted to have happen tonight. Let’s talk about your problem” and the audience would find it funny and it would really discombobulate the heckler too, because I wouldn’t go against them, I would take their side.
On staying motivated:
I am burned out. And you may have noticed that I tend to quit things soon after doing them, like TV series, animated movies, book writing, broadway plays. I do feel very strongly in stopping the second I feel like I’m not excited anymore, whatever I’m doing.