My MasterClass-es: Learning from the Greats


I just finished a story telling class with Neil Gaiman. And an adventure photography course with Jimmy Chin. I studied comedy with Steve Martin. I learned everything I know about screenwriting from Judd Apatow. Oh, and I brushed up my writing skills with Judy Blume and Malcolm Gladwell.

This is all true.

That’s because I gave myself an All Access Pass to MasterClass last year. It started as one course with Alan Sorkin but then I saw the treasure trove of other instructors and I was hooked. This is going to sound like an ad — but the way the classes were done was so intimate and artfully directed that it felt like each one of the instructors was giving me one-on-one tutoring.

These are powerhouses — so accomplished in their fields. I admired them all for so many years before I studied with them online. For example, I had played Neil Gaiman’s calming and reassuring Make Good Art commencement speech for years any time I need to get myself off the creative ground.

But they are all people. They all worked hard to be where they are. It made me realize that if we do the same, we can do the same.

I learned how Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers book wasn’t a bestseller until a few years after its release. Judy Blume is so beautifully sensitive, which is one of the reasons her stories and characters truly come alive. Jimmy Chin has the same gumption as I do — visiting his idol’s gallery for a week before getting a meeting and a challenge to take on a peak of his own and capture the images along the way.

I believe very strongly that I was open to learn because I started to see and feel my goals were worth going for. Each one of these instructors unlocked a new idea or put a plan in place for my project beyond Gorge and the Weight of Being.

Because it doesn’t matter what our accomplishments are, it’s important to build on them. It’s important for us to all think about the pie in the sky things we want to do and go for them. No matter what that is, there are lessons and a path somewhat carved to them.

By the way, if you’re interested in MasterClass, here’s a link to check it out:

Kara WhitelyComment