I love college because I knew exactly what I wanted to do and some of
you know - but some of you don't or maybe you thought you knew but are now
questioning that choice, maybe you're sitting there trying to figure out how to tell your parents that
you want to be a doctor and not a comedy writer.
Well what you choose to do next is what we call in the movies "The character
Now these are moments universal, like in the last Star Wars the force awakens when Ray realizes the force
is with her or Indiana Jones, choosing mission over fear by jumping into a pile of snakes.
now in a movie you get a handful of character defining moments but in real
life you face them everyday. life is one strong long string of character
finding moments and I was lucky that at 18 I knew what i exactly wanted to do but I
didn't know who I was. how could I? How could any of us? Because for the first 25 years of our
lives we are trained to listen to voices that are not our own parents and
professors fill our heads with wisdom and information and then employers and
mentors take their place and explain how this world really works and usually
these voices of authority makes sense but sometimes doubt start to creep into
our heads and into our hearts and even when we think that's not quite how I see
It's kind of easier just to nod in agreement and go along.<span style="color: #ff0000;">(Haven't most of us done that)</span> And for a while I
let that going along to find my character because I was repressing my
own point of view because like that Nilsson song "Everybody was talking at me"
so I "Couldn't hear the echoes of my mind" and at first the internal voice I need
to listen to was hardly audible <span style="color: #ff0000;">(mind too noisy) </span> and it was hardly noticeable.
Kind of like me in high school, but then I started paying more attention and my
intuition kicked in and I want to be clear that your intuition is different from your conscience.
They work in tandem but here's the distinction, your conscience
yells,"Here's what you should do", while your intuition whispers<span style="color: #ff0000;"> (Whispers quiet your mind so that you can hear God whisper).</span> "Here's what you
could do". Listen to that voice that tells you what you could do. Nothing will define your
character more than that. Because once I turned to my intuition and I tuned into
it, certain projects began to pull me into them and others I turned away from and up until the nineteen eighties my movies were mostly
I guess what we could call escapist, and I don't dismiss any of these movies not even
1941 not even that one, and many of these early films reflected the
values that I care deeply about and I still do. But I was in a celluloid bubble
because I cut my education short. My worldview is limited to what I could
dream up in my head not what the world could teach me. Then I directed the
Color Purple and this one film opened my eyes to experiences that I never could have
imagined, This story was filled with deep pain and deeper
truth, like when Sugar Avery says "everything wants to be loved", my gut which was my
intuition told me that more people needed to meet these characters and experience these truths.