Controlling Overwhelming Inspiration

Following the same interview questions given to Kent Williams, I interviewed Kathy Lingo, a professor at The University of Texas at Dallas, on this same subject for a comparative view between a teacher and an actor.


How long have you been working in your respective fields?

Yes, in film, television, stage, and communications.since 1973.

Could you recap briefly the work you’ve done?

I was an acting and directing student prior to working in television and film, and I’ve been teaching theatre since ‘77.

Out of that work, what would you say “got you in” to this field(s)?

Honestly, the idea to make some one else’s life better through my craft. I believe the quote, “there is no good or evil in the world, only thinking.” I may not  produce award winning students, but I don’t want to be famous, I want to help my students in how ever I can even if it’s just helping them unwind through performing; to heal their stress for a moment.

What has been the most difficult obstacle you’ve had to overcome to be successful creatively?

Sometimes the greatest obstacle is myself because it’s part of the human condition that if we take in all of the narcissistic demands that others try to put on us, we sometime loose focus on what’s the right thing to do; what is ethically and morally right, and not sell out to others but to be true to yourself. The power of ego can become more intoxicating than alcohol.

What is your primary inspiration for doing the things you do? 

The human condition itself is my inspiration for what I do.

What is your process for developing your inspirations/ideas into a workable project? 

One of the greatest things to me is just talking to people. Really sitting down with humans I trust or find interesting and spend time just asking them questions. It’s amazing the idea that other people will give you.

Do you have any advice for those trying to getting into a creative field but don’t know where to start or how to handle having too many inspirations? 

The first thing to do, and the hardest thing to do, is to look at yourself objectively. People don’t like rejection, so instead of focusing on how your work may not be good enough or that you may not be able to handle it, work on yourself and objectively and truthfully find out what you can do and what you have to do to achieve that.

You need to learn how to honestly know what you can do and what you can’t do. Sometimes learning how to get over your pride and realizing that there are some ideas you can’t do is harder than hitting a brick wall. Know thy self.

Have you ever received any advice in the past that has helped you become successful? 

I’m still getting advice today. I need it to keep going. We get this advice from those who keep us centered. Who we around our self with is more important than advice because negativity is more contagious and dangerous than any disease. It’s not the situation that gives you heart ache it’s the way you perceive it.

And is there anything thing else you’d like our readers to know about how to deal with all of their inspirations?

Sometimes when we get overwhelmed with all this information, try to think about what you can do in the next 15 minutes and do it. Then think of what you need to do in the next 15 minutes and do that. Then feel accomplished with what you’ve done, then use that prespective to move on with the rest of your time and focus on what needs to be done. Realize what you want to do and what you need to do. You can’t do what you want until you deal with what you want until you do what you need.

Sometimes you need to get reflective appraisal from people you can rely on, and sometimes you need to examine who you are getting your reflected appraisal from.  It’s how you see yourself from others eyes.  Humans want the people who we love to love us, but get the appraisal of yourself from someone who is objective and you truly trust.  Some people will make you feel bad because they they feel bad themselves.  Yet, people who really love us will tell us the truth even when it hurts at times.  Now it’s how you tell it that has it’s effects.  Be careful of this, others have their own agenda.  You must follow yours.  It’s easier to critique than to create.


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