Thorn's launching an intimate convention/vacation/education/entertainment extravaganza this summer called MaxFunCon. Most of the conversation was about that event -- where the idea came from, what the focus is, why it won't feature half-naked pictures of Dane Cook.
At the end, he shared a bit about how he gets stuff done that I thought would make a nice addition to the About Creativity interviews on this site:
MaxFunCon bills itself as, among other things, "a convocation of awesome people who seek to become more awesome." In your own life, is there anything you've found that helps you achieve more awesomeness?
When I was just out of college, I couldn't get a job. I was really depressed about it, and I had been trying to get a radio job. But I couldn't even get any job. It was really horrible. I was applying for retail jobs and not getting them.
I was really down, and I was thinking, "Why am I driving back and forth to Santa Cruz, an hour-and-a-half from San Francisco?" At the time, I didn't have a car, so I was driving back and forth in my mom's car. I thought to myself, "I should just quit doing this. There's no reason I'm doing this."
And I talked to my now wife/then girlfriend, Theresa. And she said, "Well, you don't do anything else," and I thought, "Yeah, that's true, I don't do anything else. Maybe I should keep doing this." [laughter] And it has been the regular demands of making sure that I'm doing something that has backed me into a corner in order to be creative and think of new things. The fact that I have to make a radio show every week. For many years I did it when I had a real, regular day-to-day job, and now it is my job. The fact that I have to think of new stuff to connect me with people. It's sort of boring, but it's that backed-into-a-wall state where I'm able to be creative.
I'm a very harshly self-critical person. To be honest, I'm a very harshly critical person in general. [laughter] Which I think is one of the reasons why I find improv so beneficial. I'm only able to really create when I have to. So I've set up my life so that I do have to.
And the things that I have to do are things that I love to do, so it works out.