字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 Hey, it’s Marie Forleo and you are watching MarieTV – the place to be to create a business and life you love. And I have to say, today you are in for such a treat because my guest is truly a creative genius. Sarah Jones is a Tony and Obie award winning playwright and performer, best known for her multi character, one-woman shows. Called a “master of the genre” by the New York Times, Sarah’s work is celebrated for its humanitarian approach to character and story through the lens of multiculturalism. The daughter of two physicians and the product of a multiracial, multi-ethnic family and community, she was interested from an early age in both the welfare and cultural backgrounds of her diverse relatives, neighbors, and friends. She’s a regular guest on public radio and has appeared on Charlie Rose, the Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning, and Sesame Street, as well as in her own special, the Sarah Jones Show on Bravo. Her three multi-character TED talks have received millions of views and she’s currently developing new multimedia projects based on her characters. Sarah, I’m so excited to have you here! Yay! I can’t take it. I know we were just talking off camera, this is like the most exciting thing. I’ve admired you for so long. I told everyone like you are about to witness a creative genius and I am just thrilled that you took the time to be here with us today. I’m so happy to be here, and the feeling is mutual. The admiration is mutually long. It’s good. I’m so happy to be here. So let’s take it back to the cornerstone of your work, which is really – a piece of it is about being culturally inquisitive. And through your wide array of characters you morph across gender and age and ethnic barriers. Can you share how this all began? Well, it’s funny. I sort of had no choice in the matter. I was born to a multicultural family. And, you know, on my father’s side they’re African American, a mix of people from the south, there’s some Caribbean roots back there. And then on my mom’s side, my grandmother is Irish American and German American. And we have both Christians and Jews on that side of the family. Yes, we like to say it’s a long story filled with intrigue and interfaith guilt. And then we had more relatives from the Caribbean from my grandfather. So it’s just this sort of – my Thanksgiving table growing up looked like, you know, the delegates dining room at the United Nations. It was just – in fact, I brought one of the inspiration for my characters is, you know, they’re loosely based on people I really know. But I do change the names to protect the innocent and especially the guilty. But so, you know, picture little me. And here I would be. Hi, sweetheart. Marie, wonderful to meet you and your friends. Hi, there. And Sarah puts me in her shows, what she calls her one-woman shows. And you know what that means. That means she takes the credit and makes us come out and do all the work. I know you wouldn’t approve of that. Anyway, so I know you know these relatives of mine, I was sort of marinating in this stew pot of different cultures. And for me it was very normal to identify with somebody who didn't look anything like me. You know, it could be my aunts, my uncles, my cousins, West Indian relatives who talk like this and they're all literally sitting around the same table. So one is saying, “Can you pass the Gefilte? You know, what’s wrong with Thanksgiving Gefilte fish? People are looking at me.” And the other one, “I don't have a problem with white people in principle, but your food, it is so bland. You’re killing me right now. You’re actually attacking my mouth with this food.” So, you know, it was like this … I don't know. I just was born into like a dialect, you know, palooza. And, again, because for me the family members getting along sort of ran counter to the story I was seeing outside my home. On the news it was race riots and, you know, these people don't get along with these people and they're others and we’re different. And my experience was the opposite. I mean, we were literally all, you know, had the same blood. So I think I wanted to bridge that gap for myself. Did you always know that you – like, did you perform as a kid? You know, I really didn't in a formal way. And I was actually a shy kid. I had a pretty – I’ll call my childhood colorful. It’s a little double meaning there. Bad joke. You know, we had the multi-culti colorful thing on the one side but it was also … both my parents were doctors. They were very young when they met. And so it was sort of like being raised by two kids, like kids in lab coats. And we had babysitters, but I had this experience of feeling like I had to be an adult too. Like they weren't home a lot and so I think the characters became sort of like my babysitters. They were a way for me to entertain my sisters at the time. And I was actually just talking about this with Lily Tomlin, who we both love. She’s a hero of mine and she’s on my new podcast, which we’ll get to talk about later. But we both came by our character performance very similarly, as little kids watching the people around us and wanting to have a place to entertain ourselves. And the characters kind of made me feel safe. Did you always have such an ability and a skill around the voices? I mean, when I watch you it is miraculous what you’re able to do. Thank you for that question. I feel like with anyone, you know, you’ve practiced your craft, the ways that you’re able to think about, you know, kind of life and business and, you know, connect dots. For me I guess my brain was firing on the sound of my relatives all my life, so my ear was being trained. I’ve heard that it’s akin to music. So it’s sort of like if you grew up in a musical family and you’re always hearing a tune and you know how to carry one in perfect pitch. But for me it was always being able to hear the melodies of these different voices, always having the awareness that no matter what the outside world said, we did belong together. Because I got a lot of, you know, this was before Obama. This was a time of, you know, people seeing me and my mom and they would assume who is this weird white lady with this little black kid? Is she adopted? What’s going on? So my mom jokes that we should write a book called “We’re Together.” Like, because people would always say, “Are you together? Are you together? Are you together?” Like they couldn’t put us together. And so I think growing up with that desire to connect, that’s what really fueled the training – the unwitting training. It was like I was unwittingly sitting in, you know, hours and hours of repetition of hearing other people’s accents, hearing their stories, and the cultural specificity. And for me, I was just soaking in it and, you know, kind of on record all the time without realizing it. Yeah. And so what was the first time for you that you did like a public performance with – and how many characters happened to…? There were just a few. We may not have space on the couches between you and me. We’re gonna be like a 50 person panel with two chairs. I love it. It’s gonna be fine. But I would say the very first one I did in public, like I was doing the thing where I would tell my sisters stories at night and I would be English, I’d play the witch and, “What do you think my pretty? I’ll tell you.” And they were like, “Wow. This is really intense. We’re just trying to go to bed.” You know. But then later on in terms of actual public performance, the first time I kind of branched out I was doing something that felt safe. I was doing like a spoken word hip-hop. You know, you talk like this at the mic so that your words have a certain rhythm. You know, like that type of thing. And that was popular in the 90’s. And then I realized I had these other voices that really wanted to come forth. And I was I afraid. I thought I would look crazy. Again, you know, race stuff is tricky and people would be like, “Why are you talking like a white girl or what’s wrong with you? You’re not Latina. Are you Latina?” And I was like, “Well I’m everything.” And so I decided to let it be okay to take the risk and experiment with these characters. And the first one I did was a woman who was homeless. Actually, I had seen her, I was going back and forth on the subway, I saw this woman, and I thought, “what would I hear if she could actually share something about herself instead of being this, you know, ignored … this ‘thing’ on the side that nobody was paying attention to?” And so I remember kind of watching her and studying her. And I was doing a performance one night and this, I said, “I’m gonna do this. I’m just gonna see what happens.” She didn't have no teeth on the top and her face all messed up. And the vain part of me, I said, “what if you wanna date somebody who is in this audience? You never gonna get a date again looking like this.” But that’s when I realized if I want to embody these people I have to forget myself and try to give them some space. And that means I might not look pretty for a minute, but I wanted to just imagine what would it look like if she had some time to share who she is? So that’s what I did. And I imagined she would probably yell at people and say, you know, “you ignore me and I belong here too.” And that’s – I started building this character who gets the ear of a well heeled theater audience who would normally walk past her, you know, as though she’s just a piece of debris on the sidewalk. What would she say to them if she could? And so that character, and then did you start to just like – was it this creative process of almost seeing someone either out in real life or almost hearing them from within? Or a combination. Both. You know, Marie, and I think when I talk to people about the process, I love being able to feel that they get it. Even if you don't do this yourself, like we’re all creative. Right? Everybody watching, you, me, we’re all born with this innate creativity. And in my case it does happen to come out in the form of feeling into people’s energy. I remember my sister was dating a guy – we’re from Queens. So, you know. And when I do – sometimes I’m English. You know, like there’s a character in my – I have a show called “Sell By Date” and this character is the lead. I’m the star. Even though as an English person you’re not really meant to admit that you’re the center of attention. You’re supposed to shrink. But I am the star. But the thought about that is that, you know, English people, wherever we’re from, whatever our background, I joke that, you know, I do speak the Queen’s English because I’m from Queens, New York. But we had – I had relatives who talk like this. You know, and like you had to have your nails done, you had your hair – big hair meant something not this, but like something else. And, anyway. And so, you know, Sa. They would call me Sa. “Sa, what are you doing? What’s happening?” And my sister was dating this guy who was an electrician who is, you know, kind of a Queens guy, gotta spread my legs out like this. And eventually I start, you know, I would just cobble together like these different guys, these different people. Sounds like somebody I dated, actually. You know what? I wasn’t there. So but these guys, you know, it’s easy to stereotype them or to think you know who they are, but I thought these are really multidimensional people and they’re not always the ones who are the stars of our films or who we focus on in the culture. And so I liked the idea of bringing the marginalized voices more to the center and not just as caricatures. We all know “hey, hey, that guy. Yeah, my cousin Vinny.” Nothing wrong with that movie, but the point is, you know, this guy my sister was dating, he was a fully fleshed out human being with thoughts and dreams. And I just thought, especially for me as an obviously “black from a distance” appearing woman, what could be more of an interesting exploration than to take his life and see if I could step into his shoes and, you know, maybe paint a more complex portrait of him? Did you ever in your own experience thinking like, “what am I going to be when I grow up?” Let’s say in that period in our early 20’s when we're all trying to figure out who we are and like how we’re going to take care of ourselves and where are we going to live? Did you ever struggle inside going like, “Oh, my goodness. I have these incredible gifts.