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Sharing Mighty Ugly Creatures Stories

Lesson 6 from: Embrace the Ugly: How to Break Through What’s Holding You Back in Business

Kim Werker

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Lesson Info

6. Sharing Mighty Ugly Creatures Stories

Lesson Info

Sharing Mighty Ugly Creatures Stories

When you were writing did anyone uh, here or at home did anyone right about the creature as if it is that ugly voice you personify that or is it completely different you did he did okay on then that anyone did not did anyone not right about was a separate ok good that's that's great! I was hoping that that's the way things would go, I purposely didn't want to lead one way or the other because I think could be it'll be interesting, I'd love to talk about it, so if you if you sort of so the reason I'm asking I had this great conversation ones several years ago with a pair of acting students really young doe eyed like beautiful acting students who told me that in one of their classes in acting school there professor had them they called them fear gremlins, which I learned later was not this professor's idiosyncratic thing but it's a thing people talk about her fear gremlins like your fear gremlin is like your ugly voice that your inner critic, that thing that constantly tells you you're n...

ot doing it right for an actor whose craft is done alive in front of an audience it's really important to get that under control to be able to do your work and what they did in class, they told me about which I found both horrifying and like the idea of it invigorating was they had to create some kind of an object representative of their fear gremlin and then in class she made me really glad I never went to acting school in class they had tio like address it and then like beat it up they had to like personify it and then take it down on guy I think that would be a really, really terrifying thing to do in front of people we're not going to do that that's one terrifying thing we're not doing today but that's where the idea of telling the story kind of was planted in my brain the seat of that was planted for me and so what I like to do is to tell the story and I'd love to start with somebody who did think of their this story when I asked you to write a story about your creature that you were thinking about this creature as that voice in your mind so I can't remember who said that, so I can't call on somebody I need a volunteer charlie yeah tell may well reading or tell me the however you'd like to do it well it was it was definitely for me it was definitely a personification of the ugly voice or the self deprecating you know for me, for me and my work I have to be really familiar with it like I noticed that like in the in working with other people that working with some of the stuff that gets in their way it I have to be really familiar with the stuff that gets in my way and I was really surprised the fluidity with which I was able to write this fictional story out of nowhere about this is by the way, this is johnny is johnny johnny lives in a decrepit boxcar uh and sleeps on wooden shavings uh in the summer it's hot and in the winter it's cold and it is always damp and, you know, and what I what I noticed wass how the way the language I used to express johnny's, the way johnny interacts with the rest of the world was such a reflection of the voices that that are so familiar to me about what gets in the way for may in what way? Well, part of it is like the story of, like, you know, the you asked about the piece of clothing and so johnny the only thing he's wearing that I put on and was the color of a t shirt, right? Well, I well, that was that sort of celtics point, but on and that it's a memory of its actually memory of ah better time and that it was, you know, it was is the choices that johnny made that have him there and it's sort of the regret and uh and the grad sadness and the regret and the and yeah and like I can't think of the word right now but uh so it's like there's a lot of regret in it yeah in the story and so it was just it was interesting it sort of gave me this new access point to that to a really old conversation yeah did it do you understand it better I always found when I when I wrote about my creature sort fictionally for the first time what I found was that, like I suddenly had so much sympathy for it I hated that guy but like I totally sorry was coming from a little bit more and it sounds like maybe the same thing like you're suddenly seeing like he lives in this horrid place and he wakes up every morning dampened, you know, like and he's just wears his regret literally on his shirt right? Is that something that it did? It humanized it it actually uh it actually what it did was it provided a and access to, like a new layer of compassion for the story, right? Because when it's in the way you just want to beat it down with a stick yeah, right, which just makes it bigger and so it's like it's so it allowed this like oh I got it so what you really probably need is a big fat hug right? You're a jerk because you're dampened miserable yeah yeah no no no totally totally on them what about somebody who uh who didn't directly personify that voice you were completely creating a new world I don't remember who you are brand new fictional story about this ugly creature r e o my creature is steve and he's actually like he's not an ugly voice but he hasn't ugly voice here the story is about steve's ugly roy which tells her friend asking for friends this yes yeah so it's about his ugly voice that tells him that he doesn't fit in and he wants other people to think that he's normal even though he like dresses kind of crazy and and then it was interesting that you talked about like an object because he has this bag which he carries all his possessions in oh he sleeps under freeway overpasses with a friend who is a raccoon ok again toting raccoon or just like a more district really rapid normal record uh I just thinking about what would be outside around here so like be iraq but anyway he has his bag that he got from his uncle which is like all patched and like ragged but he keeps all this stuff in it so it's very precious to him so is his fear what's what is he afraid of not fitting in so he's afraid that like people will look at him and then like not like him because he looks weird yeah interesting and does it relate if you could if he were to like if you're if you're ugly voice were too like sidle up next to him under the overpass would they fit in with each other I think so yeah yeah yeah they cut from the same well because like mike lee voices like, you know, like well, you're not very fashionable and like people aren't gonna like the things you bake because they might not be stylish, you know? So I think that's why I gave him like a weird outfit it's like you're channeling that yeah came into interesting, very interesting. I want to hear more stories I love this part. This is like story time yeah, I love it, teo and want to share some that are coming in from folks at home s o r secret tree house says my creature is ellie she lives in a corner of the closet her best friend is horace who's, her last it's ugly creature so maybe somebody who's on this before she's afraid of the deep silence when she looks up she sees fireflies, wishes for love and wishes she had danced more just both beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. So many sad stories yeah really see kind of a picture come together fireflies is unexpected there's so much hope in a firefly you know? Yeah can I share my yeah. Okay, huh? I haven't shown this yet, but this was my ugly creature and its name is actually x which I put on here. Um it lives in ex lives in a trash filled, smelly beach and sleeps in a hole that's dark underground ex's best friend is anger on the quiet of the night x is frightened by creepy crawly spiders and worms and dose and dreams of being hurt or killed the animal long day x looks up to see dark cloudy starless sky its greatest hope is in all the world is to feel loved, connected and valued when ex thinks back to long, long ago which is it could not fear trying and failing and the ex is like the scarlet a x's negative means no crosses things out ex used to have a name and through self doubt negative self talk she became ex raised herself was ex representative of that voice in your head or is absolutely a cz you asked that questions, it was what do I I was answering them like what I find scary in my dark side yeah, uh and so and then I was curious as to why I put an x on here because I was trying to think of things that were ugly like drawing ugly things on it yeah so then I was wondering why did I put x yeah to just get the whole thing yeah wow so that's that to anyone I'm curious kennedy did you did you think back to the hero quality zero down as you because they don't dark these things that we fear that were, you know, projecting onto these creatures at any point where you inclined to like reach back for that like know anyone? I don't find that either, okay, I'm just curious maybe oh no, I don't I know I was just curious about like, how this all fits and it's a really scary thing what anyone else like tio? Well, yeah, it was very intuitive to do that and it just seems that it's well, he he has his own personality that I don't even know but the thing is that he thinks he's my best friend no, he thinks I'm his best friend, but I don't know that you're like I don't really like you, but you really means is love like he needs to be like he wants to be loved his attention and you're the only attention you're giving it is enough already, so maybe look human I love him he will just become something else oh public I love that idea exactly oppressions of where we're going to go yeah, I didn't mind kind of different than everybody else because I designed my whole thing after myself right own insecurities yeah so this is me this is trainer you okay? So I said she losing a called a sack with her family of six her home is too close to the neighbors her friends are mostly on facebook because she's always busy working, she spends feud, she spends time with few people other than her husband, her children and her clients she is afraid of the dark and of noises in the night while her husband is gone she is afraid that people want to hurt her and her children. She looks up at the night and sees in her mind a list of all things that she didn't finish doing that day but she's too exhausted to get up her greatest goal in life is to seek justice and peace for the hurting and to give her children a good life the best life possible that she could go back and change anything she wouldn't have gotten into debt or gotten credit card so she could better care for her children now and the thing on her is the elastic and what caused elastic is pregnancies multiple pregnancies which she doesn't regret but she's too busy too go to the gym like she wants to she doesn't eat very healthy because she's always busy and stressed so there's that there's a balance there that's a bit off there's that yeah that's resonates with me the very first time I taught this particular class about mighty ugly isn't relates to business I had never done it before I didn't know how it was going to go and it was a shorter format class there wasn't time for making there was like time to like get into a full room dane trust talk about really painful things and leave and I was like e know how this is going to work and my son at the time was nine months old and so I felt that the best way and I it was a lesson that has stayed with me forever right don't ask anyone to do anything that you want to yourself and I talked about what my biggest fear was at the time, which remains a concern every day of my life, which is that I won't walk my talk as a parent that, you know, he was only nine months old at the time so he wasn't doing much of anything nine months, you know he was sitting around crawling it wasn't quite walking yet, but my concern was that as he grew up and would start to make things and make an impact on the world that rather than say how fascinating tell me more about it I would say don't you think maybe you could try a little harder to do it in the lines right and that I would not do what I spend my livelihood doing for other people which is celebrated drawing outside of the lines that's wonderful why did you do that? Isn't that great but instead to the one person that I you know who can't just go away the end of the day and be like she was full of it and that and that was terrifying to me that suddenly everything that I was doing was more important on dh because there was someone who was hanging on my every word all the time and that he would continue to do this and as it turns out he's for now and he is a perfectionist and I am not and I will talk to perfectionists all day long and I get I get perfectionist is adult I know what to say generally speaking to newedge the perfectionist to draw outside the lines and see how that goes to my four year old he's like totally not going do it he's like I'm not on board with that mom you draw me a car I don't know how I'm like but you'll learn draw wonky car drive upside down and he's like he's like my foil but I love it but it's hard like suddenly when you're looking at your business yourself and especially somebody right, was self employed and a parent. There are a lot of blurred lines there that we don't have when we leave the house in the morning and go to our office and come home at the end of the day. Those air harder lines that we can eat here, tio, that are different, and I I hear your challenge for balance and I every time I'm like, we just have to make a birthday card for your grandmother. Can't you just help me make the birthday card? You're gonna, like, pissed anything is actually going to be okay here. We're all going to be okay and let's have vegetables for dinner and everything is going really hard. I feel you struck a chord hayes had, um yeah, thank you for sharing. Like to share online from karina is hungry. Katrina is hungry, says I found it very easy to write my character's story, and I did feel great sympathy for him after the story was written. Some curious ahs we as cares about thie mighty in the mighty ugly and sort of a feeling sympathy for this ugly and where where we going when we come back, tio, in terms of the business side of mighty and ugly, we're going to do the embracing part we're going to do the I think that so much of the focus that we tend to put, whether we're told you we're not I think it's just this way are inclined, tio push through, we are told to soldier on and that there is an obstacle in our way, we will scale it right there's a lot of triumphing and and pushing through, but I don't think we do a lot of examining in doing that, I think that we will, you know, maybe we'll identify what the problem is in our business. Maybe we're not super strong at numbers, but we all run a business, and that means that we have to do numbers no matter you know, in what capacity and if we're feeling really insecure about our ability to do things with numbers you but that's identifiable, this is an identifiable thing we could say, huh? I really don't feel strong, I'm going to have to hire a bookkeeper, right? There's this sort of that's, a really straightforward kind of thing, but what we're doing today and I think, right, we're already going there, I don't know if you've noticed or not, but we're going to get going there, we're looking at the things that we try so hard not to look at, we might not even notice that they're in our way. And often times they are not things that are as concrete as I've really gotta taken excel, spreadsheet class so I can ace my bookkeeping there things like I'm really not sure my kids will be proud of me if I get this wrong, do it that's a very you can't call someone up and be like he needs help, so my kids will be proud of me that doesn't it doesn't work that way. And so there are all sorts of things, and for each of us it will be very, very different that ugliness just like the bully, you know, in your in your elementary school, you probably like eventually you went to university, your mom called you up by bumped the seven seals, mom, did you know that when that kid with seven some horrible catastrophe happened in his family, nobody knew about it and you're like, oh, my god, that's why he was such a jerk when he was seven and he didn't have the emotional skittles to now the gate that in any way other than beating up people on the playground you're like, oh, and you get that perspective, we're gaining that perspective. The ugly voice inside our minds is a part of us sometimes it's a horrible liar. And what it's saying really isn't true at all there's no basis for it, but that doesn't mean that what it's shouting at us isn't something that we hear and we need to learn how to tell it to be why it and we can do that by just putting blinders on when we can understand where it's coming from when we can see if maybe part of it is feeding off of something that we actually have inside, we're going to shift gears into that we're going to start looking at our inner monologue that deliberate monologue, that conversation you have with your own self, which is different from the ugly voice, the inner monologue that we have is the truth because it's the story we tell ourselves that the words that we choose not the words just that are shouted at us, but so what we're going to do is is try to understand we're going to look at it instead of just soldering on and plowing through and getting to the other side. We're going toe like sit down in the muck for a while and like the damp wood chips him a broken down car we're just going to sit there for a while we're going to know that eventually we're going to be able to get out and dry off and warm up or cool down or however it is that we need to readjust ourselves but instead of just plowing through, mowing it down, scaling it and doing whatever, we're just going to sit there for a while and see what's up, where is this coming from? Why why's it saying this so that we can then say, oh, I can do something about that? That is the whole plan. We do some time for one or two more stories, I'd love to hear the not if you guys are game to keep talking and I haven't exhausted you entirely like enough. He was on the bandanna and a bandanna my dad used to call me that. So she's me, um, she lives in a dark cave and I couldn't see what she slept on, so I don't think she sleeps on anything. She doesn't have a lot of family or friends she's terrified of looking stupid and being alone when she looks up, she sees stars um she wants to be liked and respected. If she could change something, she probably would have have more education. And she's wearing a shirt made of something somebody threw away she's taking other people's scraps yeah, feeling not good enough, but she see stars and he she does it's pretty awesome. Yeah, it's pretty awesome until yeah, okay, what shake your head, we're gonna get you next I will do some do one from home this is on a bridge to chaos is their user name and my ugly doll is named miriam and she lives in a penthouse on the effort east side with her best friend in a winter in the quiet of the night she worries that anna secretly think she is boring and untalented and at the end of the day she looks up at the night sky and tries to remind herself that the world in universe are generous and forgiving but I think it's interesting the boring and untalented and these words that keep coming out for so many of us creatives yeah well that's right creative is anything but boring right? I believed for a very long time I refused to think that I was created at all because I didn't to do crazy awesome things I remember when I went to graduate school there's very homogeneous sort of student population at my graduate school but you could always tell the art students they were the only ones you could pick out they were wearing black obviously and they had crazy hair and portfolio than they were just so interesting and I you know I mean I was a graduate at the time I wasn't hardly mired down and judging myself against what I was sure they how amazing they were but but it was also very telling to me there is a freedom when you identify as creative, because then you're give yourself license to do all sorts of crazy things. I didn't do that until I was thirty, people were like, why is your hair color? And I was like, I didn't do it when I was seventeen, and I'm just doing it now, but but there is that there is a freedom, I think that comes from that, but there is a there's at the same time, I think, a stifling this that can happen when we deny that, and I think most of us here identify in some ways creative, but that does not mean that we always think we're doing it right, or that other people were thing we're doing it right, and there's this to identify his creative means, that there's just something innate lee about yourself, right? But I also think that there's just choices involved with that. This is not I'm not a huge fan of talking about talent because I think talent doesn't give us any leeway. It's either something you have or something, you don't have insurance, some people find great facility and doing particular things, but that doesn't mean that those things are off limits to anybody else, and I think that we do ourselves a disservice when we assume that were either, you know, born with it, or it is. You know, sort of conveyed upon us from on high rather than something that we can do for ourselves, something that we can work at hard through it and have it become a part of us let's do one more story this's blurt blurt ambler is a sore creature and uh it works welcome there has two faces, so it doesn't have to turn around in the pipes and um it's best friend is a sewer grating because the surveying let's see out into the world and see birds and blur is we really jealous of the birds and want to be a blur a bird? So it collected all these feathers till I try to look like the birds, but then I realized that the birds get stuck in the sewer and can't navigate it like it can. And so he realized that even though it's not a bird, it does have this wonderful sewer world that it's very well adapted for ha so through his struggle it came tio appreciate yes, what that's what it still worth its feathers as a reminder as a reminder as a reminder to the struggle or is a reminder to the birds about like the learning moment, so I overcame this that's awesome! I love that and was it does this relate to your own personal? I'm a little bit about comparing too much with like other people who are in completely different situations, and I am yeah, and you can't really compare those things like, I might be better at one thing, so I shouldn't be looking at people who are doing something completely different like, why am I not like that? Because I'm never going to be like, right best just to let go of the whole comparison, it's good. I like that and appreciate where you are and what you've got. Okay, yeah. This one is from lorie who's. Ugly creatures called charlie a k a three forty seven lives in a in a prison of self doubt it sleeps all the time on a car on the floor sitting on a toilet because sleeping is easier than being awake that really struck yeah, uh, it's best friend is the prison guards who encourages it to dio to just do its time and not make a fuss. It is frightened by loneliness and when it looks up, its seeds, the fluorescent light fixture that sounds pretty miserable sounds but that feeling of I should I would rather just be asleep, huh? That's pretty tough. Yeah, that is really tough and ugly on doug lee. We're part of teaching this class that's like time thank you. I want to thank you all that's what we did just now does not it is not for the weak, and it is not for the ungenerous. And I want to thank you for sharing. And I think everybody at home for sharing, too, because this was you're not shouting into an abyss. We've all heard. I think what we will be each had to say. We're not going to talk so much about our creatures anymore. So, uh, if you don't, if you're sick of staring at that thing, if it makes you feel icky, put it under the table. You do not need to see it anymore for a while, at least on dh, thank you.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Year of Making - E Book
Workshop Supply List
Embrace the Ugly Syllabus
Mighty Ugly Course Workbook

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

I listened to the entire course. I think that Kim is very inspiring and that she uses stories effectively. I do think that she needs to have the audience wear name tags and use their names when she is talking to them. It helps me the viewer feel a connection with the studio audience. I made my ugly creature. I am a graphic/interior designer. I know that ugly items are needed at times to make things beautiful, so my creature actually looks cute to me. I wished that less time was used on the ugly creature discussions and more time getting to the core of what is holding us back. Designers are visual producers so our work is always under scrutiny, and it is good to see what other designers are fearing, but solutions is what I wanted to get to rather than trying to identify what is holding me back. I hope that future videos by Kim will address the solutions and use less of the ugly theme so as to work on gaining insight as to how to overcome negativity about growing our businesses.


Amazing course, so good that I had to purchase it for further referral. With thanks to Kim Werker and also to the facilitator.

Student Work