The other night at the gym I happened to catch “Inside The Actor’s Studio,” with James Lipton. He was interviewing Jennifer Aniston, who I have to admit I’ve never been the biggest fan of. I’m more in the ‘Jennifer’s OK’ group. What I found interesting, though, was her admission that she had been a dreamy child who didn’t pay attention in class. As she began to go into detail about her parents’ divorce, she had already identified one of her attributes: dreamy.
Aniston went on to describe the trauma of coming home one day at the age of 9 to find that her father had gone. Lipton pointed out that every successful actor he has interviewed has come from either a divorced or broken home. In other words, your creativity can be directly related to trauma in either your nuclear family or extended family of origin. I’ve seen this as a pattern in my own clients, and I am attentively listening for some kind of family trauma to come up during our initial discovery and brand attribute sessions.
It’s important to understand that a complicated background is frequently the fuel for creativity, not simply something to be “overcome.” To embrace and use trauma consciously can lead to fulfillment and actualization, and it’s good to know that the throughline of trauma and creativity is the hallmark of many highly expressive and successful people.