Our Friday column asks our members about their favorite tool, software, article of clothing, shoes on set, favorite scriptwriting software, etc.
Leah Curney – Actor, Writer and Director
By January Green
What’s a four letter synonym for success? L-E-A-H…of course! So how does someone with a talent for writing, acting & directing find inspiration? Luckily for me, I had the opportunity to find out when I interviewed Leah Curney after her recent guest starring role on CBS’ God Friended Me and during the production of her short film 6:18 to Omaha. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or an aspiring artist, Leah’s words of wisdom are a must-read.
What are three things you can’t live without when writing a script, acting in a production & working as a director?
Writing: A Moleskine notebook (or several) with a colorful cover. Almost all my first drafts are born in one.
Acting: Music. I often play music on my phone and dance around in my trailer or apartment before shooting a scene or going to a rehearsal. Something that gets me into my body and having fun. David Bowie is often at the top of my playlist.
Directing: Water. It’s so easy to get dehydrated on set. I can often be found with water or herbal tea in hand, and I try to use my Kleen Kanteen travel mug as often as possible to cut down on waste.
What strategies do you use to transition between your writing, acting & directing responsibilities?
You know, I don’t really have any strategies. I’ve come to think of my different talents as different branches of the same tree. The skills I use in one feed the others and vice versa. It’s all stemming from the same creative source.
What’s one piece of advice/criticism you’ve received that continues to inspire/drive you?
“Fruit ripens at its own rate.” The great acting teacher Ken Washington told me that when I was probably 20 years old. Initially it frustrated me, as I often felt my career wasn’t moving fast enough, that I wasn’t finding success as quickly as some of my peers, etc. Now, particularly as my passions and talents have diversified, I really see the truth of Ken’s words. That everyone has their own unique journey, everyone ripens in their own way, in their own time.
Which item in your toolkit would you pass along to an aspiring screenwriter to inspire/motivate them?
I highly recommend my two favorite podcasts to screenwriters of all experience levels:
ScriptNotes with John August and Craig Mazin – two accomplished screenwriters who generously and freely share their screenwriting insights and industry expertise every week.
Being Here with Ariel & Shya Kane – this couple’s practical, light-hearted approach to living in the moment keeps me centered, creative and productive and allows me to enjoy my life right now rather than constantly being lost in the past or worried about the future.
Learn more about Leah at www.leahcurney.com.
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