🎧 16. Unleash Your Creative Genius with David Paul Kirkpatrick


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I’m joined by David Paul Kirkpatrick, an American film producer, studio executive and writer, to discuss creativity and depth psychology. David’s experience certainly makes him an expert of the subject, both through his personal journey, and his work with leading creatives. 

He was production chief at Walt Disney Pictures and President of Paramount Pictures, where he oversaw over two hundred films including Top Gun and franchises including Indiana Jones, Star Trek, Friday the 13th, and Beverly Hills Cop.

He is a Golden Globe award-winning independent film-maker with pictures including Big Night, and the HBO Television Miniseries, Rasputin.

David founded the MIT Center for the Future of Storytelling in 2008 and the Story Summit in 2019. He has authored several books, including The Address of Happiness, The Dog (written with Steven James Taylor) and The Adventures of Merlin, to be published in 2023.

Key talking points:

  • 02:00: Background on David’s creative upbringing, including playfulness, archetypes, and reading Man and His Symbols aged 15.
  • 09:00: How enchantment led to David’s work at Disney, inspired by creating a video as a child that was watched by Walt himself.
  • 17:00: The nature of the daimon and creative genius, the importance of artists breaking through “the system,” and the trouble with making art for money.
  • 20:00: What Jim Henson’s funeral taught about imagination, playfulness, and challenging rigidity.
  • 28:00: The shadow of creativity, in particular the often unbearable “tension” of the creative process
  • 33:00: Managing yourself as an artist, which includes respecting the daimon, showing up, and allowing for the extraordinary experience of flow.
  • 41:00: The hardest part for artists is the waiting time, which is often interpreted as “something being wrong.” This calls for more discipline and rituals to set the context for creative work.
  • 51:00: How to share your message, and your creative work, whilst ignoring the self-critic.
  • 1:00:00: Lila, the divine play, and the transcendent nature of acting.
  • 1:02:00: An alternative view of magic and transformation. Plus, moving beyond duality with meditation.
  • 1:05:00: The need to raise consciousness, and the importance of existential gratitude.


Title music: Monday Morning Wake Up Call by David Birch

Published by Ricky

Spirituality Coach and Meditation Teacher devoted to understanding the human psyche and nature of consciousness. Undergoing a life-long process of minding my ego.

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