“Polish”, With Scooter Pietsch and Parveen Panwar, Mr. Activated

Polish. The finishing touch. The glaze. And oh, this is a slow, painful process and I wish I could tell you it isn’t. And it’s really the most important part. This is the where great can fall to mediocre and all of us mediocres can rise to great. Don’t look to page output. You’re chipping […]

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Polish. The finishing touch. The glaze. And oh, this is a slow, painful process and I wish I could tell you it isn’t. And it’s really the most important part. This is the where great can fall to mediocre and all of us mediocres can rise to great. Don’t look to page output. You’re chipping away dust with your fine chisel. It’s mentally demanding and I find I can’t do 14 hours a day of it like with creating and editing. My solution? Have multiple projects going on at the same time. That way you can choose what to do based on your mood that day. Break up your polishing by doing some heavy editing on another project. Also by having multiple projects, any one project doesn’t feel so precious and you can swing away with your editing machete and not stress out.

As a part of our series about “How Anyone Can Build Habits For Optimal Wellness, Performance, & Focus”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Scooter Pietsch.

Scooter Pietsch is a playwright, Emmy-nominated composer/musical artist, novelist and TV producer. His play WINDFALL will be produced at Bay Street Theater, Sag Harbor, NY in June/July of 2021. It was previously produced in 2016 in a sold out run at The Arkansas Repertory Theater, directed by Jason Alexander. All of his plays have had numerous readings in both NYC and LA. Past readings and productions of his plays have included performances by Tony & Emmy-winner Bryan Cranston, Tony winners Stephanie J. Block, Cady Huffman, Faith Prince and Michelle Pawk, Tony-Nominees Chad Kimball, Marc Kudisch and Sebastian Arcelus, Jack Coleman, Nancy Travis, Justin Bartha, Emmy-nominee Constance Zimmer and many others. As a composer, Scooter’s underscore, themes and songs have appeared in hundreds of TV series and thousands of episodes. Some of these include Pretty Little Liars, Burn Notice, All Dogs Go To Heaven, Greek, American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance. He has also created and executive produced TV shows for ABC, FOX, Lifetime, VH1 and E!.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

I was raised in an Irish Catholic family with the added pressure of my parents wanting me to become a priest. Becoming a priest is a great honor and I was more than onboard with it until I looked up the definition of “celibate.” My parents had 5 kids, and quite frankly, we were an unruly gang of loud-mouthed, sarcastic delinquents. I don’t know how my parents survived us. I know we were as challenging as I say because throughout my childhood, my father recorded our dinner conversations. Listening to them now, I can say that any talent I might have for writing dialog comes directly being continuously verbally attacked by my siblings and me defending myself with instantaneous “counter dialog” that was smarter, sharper and drew more blood. But it was all done in love and none of us took what the other said seriously. Although I’d have to check with my sibling’s therapists to be sure. To us it was a game of one-upmanship that we pushed as far as we could until someone was spanked and sent to their room. Usually me.

My mother was a big influence on me through all of this because she was incredibly talented at coming up with creative ways to improve our family life. Which apparently at times, she found lacking. Here’s an example; during our teen years, obviously all of us were off twittering about with our respective getting-into-trouble interests and she felt no one was around for family dinners anymore. Family dinners seemingly being the one act that would ensure we wouldn’t grow up to be Satanic worshippers. So she laid down the law. Dinner would be at 6, every day, no excuses, no exceptions. Well, naturally we all countered with a million reasons why we absolutely could not be home every night at 6 and then she clarified herself. Dinner would be at 6AM. Every day of the week. And for the next year she got up at 4AM and prepared a full course meal, from steak to fried chicken to meatloaf — salad and dessert included — just so her whole family could be together for an hour every day. That kind of dedication, that kind of good discipline, taught me a lot: Work hard for what you care about. And you wouldn’t think it possible, but after a few months, you really can learn to like Italian salad dressing at 6 in the morning.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

It’s very odd, so let’s tell it! After my wise decision to not lead a celibate lifestyle, I followed a path that in retrospect might be considered a tad self-indulgent. And at 18, I found myself working at a top ski resort and generally pissing away what little potential I had shown so far in life. There were quite a few other folks there pursuing these same life goals, including some people 20 years older than myself. And they looked miserable. I guess I’m a slow learner because, right then, was the first time I realized that you had to have a job for 40 years. 40 years? I couldn’t do anything for longer than a week. How was I going to something for decades? Which made me brilliantly decide that the only solution was to choose one of the most exciting, least boring jobs in world. Preferably in a field I loved. And I made a list of what I thought were cooler than cool jobs; Professional Surfer, Professional Football player, Race Car driver, Rock Star. Seriously! That was the list. Your typical 10-year-old boy could have made a more pragmatic list. And has!

Now don’t think I didn’t take this seriously. I gave this list a lot of thought. A lot of deep introspection. I acknowledged my strengths, admitted my weaknesses. I was ruthless and cut out the jobs that seemed just too ridiculous, too impossible to achieve. And was left with… Rock Star! Now before you laugh so hard you hurt yourself, it wasn’t that bad an idea. I was a HUGE fan of all kinds of music. I could name every musician on every song, the writers, the producer, the engineers. I knew the sound of different kinds of guitars. And I LOVED music. Music I could do for 40 years, I was positive of that. And I proudly gave myself a well-deserved pat on the back for having solved one of the great mysteries of life.

But as I sat my parents down to fill them in on my decision, all I could see was nervousness on their faces. I knew they were thinking, “Where did we go wrong? He was supposed to be a priest!” “Mom, Dad, I’ve decided what I’m going to do the rest of my life.” All nervousness left their faces, replaced with genuine hope and joy! And with as much energy and enthusiasm as I could fake, I blurted out with increasing intensity, “I’m going to be a singer. A songwriter. A musician. A rock star!” Joy and hope drained from their faces and they turned gray. There aren’t a lot of things you can say to your parents that makes them feel like their lives have been wasted but I’m pretty sure saying you want to be a rock star is one of them.

My mother spoke first. “Uh, excuse me, but do you play a musical instrument we’re unaware of?” I knew the road to rock stardom was going to be paved with nonbelievers and I was prepared. “No, I don’t. But how hard can it be? I’ve already signed up for the Beginner’s Piano class at the local college!” And that, is my illustrious start to a successful music career in Hollywood.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

That’s very true. And I’ll add that often those necessary angels come from the most unlikely of places. And at unexpected times. But for me, there was no single person who anointed me the next thing. Big or small. Some careers get that and it’s got to be an amazing experience. But it didn’t happen for me. And that’s OK. Thinking you won’t achieve success because your career doesn’t mirror someone else’s is the wrong way to think about careers. Every career is different. In my case, I’ve had numerous people who always seemed to appear right when I needed them to. So in that, I consider myself extremely lucky.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

This is probably more interesting than funny since it cost me a lot of money. It also falls into the area of “too young and too eager.” I got a call that Paramount Studios was taking submissions for the theme to a new show based on the psychologist character from the hit TV show “Cheers.” It was to be called “Frasier,” and everyone assumed it was going to be a big, big hit. Guess what? It was. These kinds of musical cattle calls, where the creatives reach out to lots of songwriters, happens often in the music world in Hollywood. It’s not fun, because the odds of being chosen are the same odds as winning the lottery. But it’s part of the biz and we all do it. The only direction they gave was that it should be a song with lyrics and have something to do with a therapist/psychologist and his patient(s). They also referenced a song with a female singer so I quickly wrote a song, booked the studio, the musicians and a terrific female singer and recorded our version in probably an hour. I don’t know how many submissions they received but I imagine it was well past 25 and could have been as high as 100. After a few weeks, I was told it was down to my song and one other. A week after that, I was told they chose the other song but I should be extremely happy that I was #2. “Happy” I definitely was not! First place would pay millions of dollars over the years. Second place pays ZERO. In the depression of my defeat, I attempted to analyze why I’d lost. I listened to the winning selection and the first really obvious thing was Kelsey Grammar, the actor who plays “Frasier,” was singing it. I have to assume that in the final week of judging, Kelsey or one of the creatives pitched the idea that Kelsey sing the theme song. And if you listen to “Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs,” the winning song, I think you’ll find it’s an easier sing than mine. So where did I go wrong? I was too eager to get my career in Hollywood started and I just dove right in and wrote — when I should have given the whole project more thought. I didn’t ask enough questions! I didn’t do enough research! A male lead in a sitcom? Historically, the song would be sung by a male. Mistake #1, I used a female voice. The difficulty of my song? Both songs are generally in the “jazz” vibe but the complexity of mine made it a challenge for a nonprofessional to sing. Not a challenge at all for a brilliant professional singer like I used, but I should have taken “singability” in to consideration when I wrote the song. Was I showing off? Trying to prove I could write complicated music? I don’t know. Maybe. So what I learned is, before putting pen to paper or fingers on the piano, really think about the project. Figure out what the job is. Make the deadline but don’t rush the writing. Be smarter about what you submit and your odds will increase tremendously. I learned that and from then on was far more successful in winning these musical cattle calls. BTW if you want to listen to the Frasier 2nd Place No Money for You! TV theme song, go to my SoundCloud page and you’ll find it there!

The road to success is hard and requires tremendous dedication. This question is obviously a big one, but what advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success?

I’d say, don’t just shoot high, shoot crazy high. And saying that demands a callback to me making a list of jobs I could do for 40 years. I wrote Rock Star. Guess what? I didn’t make it. But! I ended up with a career in music doing all the things a rock star does except tons of chicks and too many drugs. So shoot for the stars. Maybe you’ll get 60%, 70%, 99% of what you want. The important thing is to find the area of the world you want to spend your life — for me that was music. And looking back, I think if I had ended up with any career in music I would have been happy. Because making music makes me happy. But as an added bonus, my career has crossed over into several areas of the arts and entertainment world. Areas I wasn’t even aware of when I was 18. And that keeps creativity and work exciting. As for dedication, yeah, you have to be obsessive. You have to work massive amounts of hours. At least that’s how I do it. There might be another way but I don’t know what it is. And I’m more than OK with long hours. I love what I do. In fact, my family has to continually drag me out of the studio!

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

I read lots of books and no one book stands out. But neither does one piece of music or one painting. They all did something to me and there are writers to whom I’m particularly drawn to, or was at a certain time in my life, but I think the goal of reading books or listening to music or experiencing art is to read, listen and experience all of those… a lot. They are the source of great inspiration. I travel a lot and when I am not working, I am in a museum or experiencing a new city, or reading a new writer. Absorbing life and all of the tremendously creative things people do in it is vital for creativity.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

Whew! Finally an easy question. That I will make more difficult by mentioning a few quotes! I have 2 quotes taped onto my script/book writing computer and I read them several times a day. I really can’t avoid it. They’re right there in front of my face. The first is by Steve Jobs and he said this to his employees about the “soul” of Apple, “Make something wonderful, and put it out there.” I love it because it’s exactly what I do. As creators, the only thing we can control is the creating. After it’s out in the world, we can’t make people like it, buy it or make it a part of their lives. So after you are done creating, let fate take it from there. Let it go and move onto the next thing. The second quote is from Winston Churchill, a person I admire quite a bit. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” I need this one on an almost weekly basis. Most of our projects as creators, unfortunately, will not achieve the things we had in mind when we made them. This quote reminds me that either in success or what at the time might be perceived as failure, it is imperative that I still get up tomorrow, make coffee and create something new. Again. And again. And again. Our salvation is in creating something new. Starting something new refills the bowl that contains all of the possibilities in the world. And finally, since I’m a writer for ½ my job, I’ve written several Life Lesson Quips. Here’s one, “God gave me just enough talent to realize He didn’t give me enough talent.” It hurts because it’s true.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

So much going on and I’m grateful for that. Pandemic-pending, my play WINDFALL will be going up in New York in May of 2021. I’m releasing new songs with a retro jazz vibe over the next several months. The first of which, SUNSETS IN ROME, will hopefully satisfy our inability to exercise our wanderlust muscles by singing about what an amazing city Rome is. Then, my son and I have written a beginner’s cocktail book called DRINK WELL WITH OTHERS which will be out after the first of the year. And I’ve just finished a murder mystery book set in Hollywood.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. This will be intuitive to you but it will be helpful to spell this out directly. Can you help explain a few reasons why it is so important to create good habits? Can you share a story or give some examples?

For me, there are two things in my life that have enabled me to do what I do, day in and day out, all alone, writing and rewriting. The first thing was being a competitive swimmer. Talk about a lonely sport! Hours every day, you go back and forth in a pool deprived of your senses. Of course, you can see, but all you see is the blurry shape of other people and water. And the bottom of a pool. You can hear, but all you hear is water splashing. You can feel but only water and the pain of working out. All you smell is chlorine. It’s isolating and it requires mental strength as well as physical. But, while you are going back and forth, you dream. You think. You got to places in your brain that maybe most people don’t take the time to go to. I used to sing songs, tell myself stories, fantasize about the world and my place in it. It was great training for being alone in a room creating. Second, there is only one way to learn a musical instrument and that is to lock yourself in a room and practice. It’s a loneliness that never ends because practicing never ends. Why some of us thoroughly enjoy that type of torture is beyond me. But we do. What I learned from these two journeys is that there are no shortcuts. The only way to get to where you want to be is repetition. Because creating requires doing things over and over and over, to the point you seriously don’t think you can do it again, and yet you do. And once you grasp this concept, once you accept that there is no alternative, no way to cheat, no other road to take you where you want to go, it becomes tolerable. And a lot of the time, thoroughly enjoyable. For those of you who are new to creating, this ability to stay the course, revise your book, art, music, etc, a thousand times, is a learned skill. Normal, sane people don’t do this! It’s a habit or a discipline you have to teach yourself. It seems daunting when you first start but you can learn it! Will it be tough? Yes. Painful. Yes. But the pride you’ll feel when you have trained yourself to handle limitless repetition, is fantastic. You will discover that you have a superpower that very, very few people in the world have.

How have habits played a role in your success? Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey?

Well, I just talked about training yourself to love the repetition needed to make anything great, now let’s talk about trust. You have to trust in your process and your ideas. No one lays a golden egg. BTW there are far less PC versions of that phrase that are more accurate but I don’t know how much cussing I can do here. No idea is birthed fully formed, ready to be loved by the world. All you need to start is a germ of something good. Repetition nurtures it and polishes it until it is ready. So teach yourself to not freak out that a day into writing your new play you don’t think it’s the greatest play ever written. First off, you’ll probably never know if it’s good or not. The only thing you’ll ever know is that it’s as good as you were capable of making at the time you wrote it. Also, it’s not your damn job to judge it. Your job is to write it. Make it as great as you can and let people in the world decide for themselves what it is. So be patient with these new things. They need A LOT of caressing and shaping to become something wonderful. And don’t stress that it’s taking too long. Every project is different. Some take a lifetime, others develop quickly. You won’t know until you’re done.

Speaking in general, what is the best way to develop good habits? Conversely, how can one stop bad habits?

I’ll start this one off by saying I don’t like absolutes. Right, wrong, good, bad. These things change with the situation, the person, the project. I also don’t care for the word habit. And not because I was punished by nuns frequently in my youth — but because “Habit” sounds negative to me and my goal is to feel positive. So I will say this, any activity, routine or ritual that impairs or complicates your creativity and/or the project, should be consciously kept in check and minimized to the point of not being so. Complete elimination of negatives in your life, however, and I say this from personal experience, is impossible. So don’t waste time trying to 100% break yourself of a negative tendency. Our goal is to tuck them away in the background while we work. And conversely, any activity, routine or ritual that strengthens your positive mental state, which in turn makes you want to be creative, should be increased. Sounds easy, right? Ha! It’s a lifelong challenge. But what might help in succeeding with this is to make a list of things that you feel impedes your creativity and next to those items list things that motivate you to work. When you find yourself overdoing something in column 1, do the thing in column 2. For example, if you feel you watch too much TV, then watch a movie that inspires you to write your own great movie. Don’t try to stop watching TV forever. You’ll fail. Maybe watch more things that you could learn from. Or that inspire you, that can be beneficial to you making something great. And I might add here, I learn just as much from a great movie as a shitty one. Analyzing other people’s mistakes is a great teacher!

Let’s talk about creating good habits in three areas, Wellness, Performance, and Focus. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum wellness. Please share a story or example for each.

I think of wellness in 2 parts; mental and physical. To stay well mentally, so that I am capable of doing what I do, I do my best to stay somewhat uninvolved with other parts of life. If I read too much bad news, get stressed out over politics, become emotionally drained by the terrible things that happen in the world on a daily basis, I lose the energy needed to write stories or music. A turbulent personal life or too much drama in any part of my life, takes the punch out of me. I’m not as prolific when that’s going on. OK, I’ll admit, it’s impossible to get rid of all the craziness, so, again, the goal is to minimize it. On the physical side, and this I feel is very important for those of us who do time in “the chair” — News Alert! — Sitting for thousands of hours in even the world’s best office chair is terrible for you! Over the years I have had leg, foot and back issues because of it. Deep in the groove or zone, I have surprised myself that hours have gone by and my ankle has been twisted in some freakish way and when I go to stand up, I can’t. So please, get an Apple Watch or similar and get up and walk around when it tells you to. Exercise when you can. Find a yoga teacher on YouTube that you like and do 15 minutes yoga between cocktails. In fact, shake your cocktails, don’t stir! Shaking gets your creative juices flowing. Being great at this job demands spending much of your life in “the chair,” but you still want to be able to walk the cobblestones in Florence.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits? See above

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal performance at work or sport? Please share a story or example for each.

Create. Edit. Polish. And never shall the 3 mix. When I am in “create” mode, anything goes. The weirder, more bizarre, more outrageous the better. It takes some time to train yourself to open the flood gates and let your freak flag fly but when you master it, it is an amazing feeling. At this stage, don’t worry about being too controversial. Toning things down is easy. Kicking thing ups several notches when you’re done is REALLY HARD. So take the easy road. If you’re a page counter (or measure counter for composers) creating should make lots of pages/measures. Because you’re gonna throw half of it out! It matters not one grain of sand what you type or play. Even if you know in your mind it will never stay. Type it anyway, it keeps the creative juices flowing. And that’s what we’re trying to do here — get in and stay in the flow.

Editing — editing is for another day because editing is gonna piss you off. And you don’t want to be pissed off when you’re creating. When you’re editing, you’re cutting really good stuff that just doesn’t belong. Oh, you want it to belong, but you know in your heart it doesn’t and it has to go. Which makes you mad and makes you pour another martini. So create on some days and edit on others. Follow this rule and you will live a happier life. Editing, in terms of how much you should be getting done, is less than creating. It moves fast because you should “know” what works and what doesn’t. Don’t hesitate, it’s crap and you know it so cut it out. Don’t mull. Overthinking not allowed.

Polish. The finishing touch. The glaze. And oh, this is a slow, painful process and I wish I could tell you it isn’t. And it’s really the most important part. This is the where great can fall to mediocre and all of us mediocres can rise to great. Don’t look to page output. You’re chipping away dust with your fine chisel. It’s mentally demanding and I find I can’t do 14 hours a day of it like with creating and editing. My solution? Have multiple projects going on at the same time. That way you can choose what to do based on your mood that day. Break up your polishing by doing some heavy editing on another project. Also by having multiple projects, any one project doesn’t feel so precious and you can swing away with your editing machete and not stress out.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

Not really. Sorry! Just do it that way. And I’m not saying things don’t overlap. For instance, you are polishing your novel and you come across a section that used to be great and reading it now you realize it’s dumpster material, so you switch back to Edit mode and cut it out. To master these habits takes time. Time in “the chair.”

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal focus? Please share a story or example for each.

Without a doubt, Lucid Dreaming, is the most valuable tool I have in my creative arsenal. Being able to train yourself to consciously work on your ideas while you sleep, is a massive timesaver. I came across it accidentally when I had to deliver 10 minutes of finished music every day, 7 days a week. Aside from writing that much music taking up a 16-hour day, coming up with ideas was time consuming and slowing me down. I started obsessively dreaming about music pieces and taught myself to write the first 2 pieces of the next day while I was sleeping the night before. I then transferred that ability to running storylines in my head for plays or script or novels. When your protagonist comes to a fork in the road, there aren’t 2 choices for her, but infinite choices. How do you decide what ramifications are involved in any single choice unless you can run the scenario all the way down? I’m terrible at sitting at my desk in silence, not doing anything and running scenarios through my head. There’s just too much going on with life. So I do it while I sleep. No one interrupts me. And I solve most of my issues this way.

Another habit, or technique, is that I have to know what’s happening in my life for every day that I work. There’s a clock running in my head all day long and being aware of the time constraints you have to get something done, helps me to stay on target. One thing that seems to work for me is when I’ve got a busy day, I find a free spot where I can write for only 15 minutes. I tell myself (and fool myself) into thinking it doesn’t matter if I don’t come up with anything — it’s 15 minutes! Who cares? But I sit down and write any stupid thing that poops into my head. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come up with great ideas because I only gave myself 15 minutes and convinced myself it didn’t matter if I came up with anything or not.

The third thing, and by the way, there must be 20 things I do to keep the focus, but this one is key to a long career. People always ask me, “How do you come up with so many ideas?” My answer is, “Because I have a list!” Although I often have to come up with a brand new, fresh idea in a few hours for a specific project, most of the time for literary projects, I grab something off my list of ideas. In my computer, I have a document that I throw every idea into, every web link, every interesting tidbit I come across. So when I wake up in the morning and realize today is the day I start a brand new something, I go over the list. I find it fascinating how at one point in my life I passed over an idea on my list one day, and then today, years later, I think it’s “the one.”

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

For lucid dreaming, I’d suggest obsessing over something. Maybe it’s a story point in your novel. Force yourself to think about it every 15 minutes. Start a few hours before you go to bed. Then when you’re in bed, remind yourself that your job tonight is to think about that story point. After you fall asleep, if you ever just slightly wake up when you’re turning over, think about it again. And again. Slowly you will do this without waking up — although waking up still helps me so I don’t mind. The second tip, take 2 mins in the morning and look at your schedule. I use a color coding system in my calendar on what I can and can’t skip. Now if I land in the groove, I can blow something off and keep working. And lastly, just start writing little stuff down. Something your spouse said or paste a link of an interesting factoid. The goal is to do it often so it becomes second nature.

As a leader, you likely experience times when you are in a state of Flow. Flow has been described as a pleasurable mental state that occurs when you do something that you are skilled at, that is challenging, and that is meaningful. Can you share some ideas from your experience about how we can achieve a state of Flow more often in our lives?

Flow in music is probably best described as “being in the groove.” Or in writing as “living in the story.” Remember, you’re talking to someone who has been doing this for a long time and only in recent years have I even dared to analyze how I do what I do. Quite frankly, I’m scare to death to analyze it too closely for fear I will screw it up. But, I will say, that when music is flowing, and I’m in the groove, there is no hesitation on what note is next. There is no “what comes next?” No writer’s block. The same is true with writing. If one character says this, the other must say this. Were they the right notes or the right answer, I have no idea. But on that day, that is what literally popped into my head. At this point in my life, I don’t question it. First reactions, I have found, are more authentic for me. More interesting. So when you are in the flow, my suggestion is go with what the hell ever you come up with. Like what I said about the creative part of being creative. It doesn’t matter what goes on the page as long as something goes on the page. I’m not sure we should understand the why of what happens. It came out of you. It’s real. It’s honest. Give it a life and see what happens.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I’ve been very fortunate in life that I get to create whatever I’m in the mood to create every day. It’s my job, if you want to call it that, because it supports me. And I’m well aware there are a lot of people out there who would like this to be their story as well. And I think it can be. If not 100%, then some proportion that works with the rest of what you have going on. So if I could inspire any kind of movement, it would be to encourage and promote how fulfilling and necessary it is to have a creative outlet in life. And it’s important to note that this creative outlet DOES NOT have to make money. Because I would still write every day even if I made no money from it. And quite frankly, many projects don’t! Our purpose, as creators, is not to make something that you think will make money. As Steve Jobs said earlier, “make something wonderful.” That in and of itself should be the joy. The satisfaction. The value of living this life. And we’re living longer and longer, right? So what are you going to do with your extra time science has given you here on Earth?

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂

Not even a moment of hesitation to answer this, Paolo Sorrentino. In my opinion, the best director/writer/storyteller working today. He won the Academy Award for his film La Grande Bellezza. And his HBO series The Young Pope/The New Pope is absolutely, stunningly great. I’ve got lots of questions about how he weaves his magical blend of sex, religion, career and life into his stories. And of course, I insist we meet in Rome. At Fellini’s favorite café — Canova in Piazza del Popolo.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

I’m flailing about on all the usual social media apps. And there’s my website www.scootermusic.com. My YouTube page www.youtube.com/user/scooterpietschmusic and a bunch of music on SoundCloud www.soundcloud.com/scooter-pietsch

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.

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