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Whitney Cummings and Paul Scheer on Creativity

Comedians Whitney Cummings and Paul Scheer discuss social media, creativity, and why now is the best time to be a creator.


We gathered some of the biggest names in film, podcasting, art, activism, music, and media for Patreon Assembly, an afternoon of storytelling and performances. Through personal stories from their own creative journey, our guests shared how they leveraged entrepreneurial spirit, artistic control and their relationship with their audience to build successful, durable creative careers.

Whitney Cummings, stand-up comedian, actress, producer, writer, and director, and Paul Scheer, actor, comedian, writer, producer, and podcaster, took the stage for a conversation about social media, podcasting, and how Scheer’s mustache is for his character in “Black Monday” is not something his wife is necessarily thrilled about. Here are some of the key takeaways from their chat.

On the delight of social media app Tik Tok: Cummings explains TikTok to Scheer and expresses her amazement for how much #creativity she’s seen from young people on the lip-syncing app, which leads to a discussion about social media and what kind of content people want. Scheer says at the 2:06 mark that social media has a lot of benefits. “We’ve gone from a world where you make one thing and that defines you and it’s for a lot of people to now you make a lot of small things for very small groups of people, and I kind of like working in that world and doing things that don’t have to appeal to a large group of people.”

Why now is the best (and worst) time to be a creator: Cummings acknowledges at the 7:10 mark that “Right now is the greatest time in the world to be creative because you can make something, put it out on YouTube, and find your audience. But, for creatives like us who like to write things, and cast them properly, and make them properly, and put them out when they’re actually ready… I’m more distracted than ever, more confused than ever about what people want to see, and it’s harder for me to focus on and have the patience to wait a year for something to come out.”

On the power of podcasting: Cummings just launched a podcast, “Good for You” and Scheer has two, “How Did This Get Made” and “Unspooled.” At the 22:41 mark, Scheer offers the advice he gives when people ask him about podcasting, saying, “Don’t worry about what’s out there because at the end of the day people are going to tune in for you and the voice or the dynamic or the people that you’re with and they don’t care what you’re talking about. I really do believe that.”

On the upside of being “PC”: Cummings says she just wants to do the right thing and then elaborates at the 36:04 mark about how it’s helping her create material sharing, “This is a cool moment to challenge ourselves to be creative because a lot of times these words we’re complaining we can’t say are kind of cheating anyway, so I’m taking it as a challenge for how I can be more creative and original.” Scheer agrees, sharing at the 37:13 mark that the whole thing is to be the best person you can be. “I’m always learning and I think if I come from a place of being like ‘I am naive and I don’t know everything and I want to learn,’ I feel like then hopefully that seeps into what I do.”

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