In this episode, we’re joined by Laura Lewis-Barr. Laura is a woman of many talents, including being a playwright, freelance director, theater professor, and short-film maker. Her stop motion shorts have been screened across the country.
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Miniatures have always fascinated Laura, as she recognizes how they resonate with people. Laura has worked with live actors before, and unlike the actors, miniatures always do what you want them to. Laura is going to share with us the inspiration behind her films and what she hopes the audience will get out of them.
On this episode of the Live. Love. Engage. podcast:
- Why Laura loves stop motion animation.
- The purchase that got Laura into working with miniatures.
- Laura’s experience working with live actors.
- What happened after her play, Cloistered Honey, was made into a movie.
- The definition of stop motion.
- Laura’s filmmaking style and why she says it suits her just fine.
- Laura’s personal experience with the field of psychology.
- What she hopes the audience gets from watching her films.
- How Laura was able to discover and understand her own wounds.
- The gifts traditional fairytales can give us.
- Why Laura says this work is her final career and the goal she’d love to meet next.
- The biggest challenge she has faced in her work and why.
- Why sharing your work can be difficult as a creative.
- Why Laura decided to work with Barbie dolls.
- The fairytale that reminds her to open up to the greater wisdom of the unconscious.
- Where to watch Laura’s free films.
Connect with Laura
Laura’s website: https://lauralewisbarrfilms.com/
- Join the Live. Love. Engage. Community
- Intuitive Business Coaching
- The Live. Love. Engage. Book
- Support the Podcast with BuyMeACoffee.com
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You’re listening to the live love engage podcast on today’s show how to use fairy tales for your own personal development. Stay tuned. I am Gloria Grace Rand, founder of the love method and author of the number one, Amazon Best seller, Live. Love. Engage. – how to stop doubting yourself and start being yourself.
In this podcast, we share practical advice from a spiritual perspective on how to live fully love, deeply and engage authentically. So you can create a life and business with more. Act influence and income. Welcome to live love, engage.
Namaste and welcome, welcome to another addition of Live. Love. engage. And I am so glad that you are with us today because I am delighted to welcome a woman who is, someone who I, I have an affinity for. She’s a creator. Let’s, let’s put it that way. And, and I’ve, and I’ve always been fascinated with, with film. I mean my whole life, frankly, so, and I know she’s involved with that, but I’m gonna tell you a little bit more about her in a second, but first off, I wanna welcome Laura Lewis-Barr to live love, engage.
Thank you, Gloria. Very excited to meet you and be here. Yeah. Well, I am excited to have our conversation, cuz we’re gonna be talking. We’re gonna be talking about fairy tales and Laura’s journey. But first I wanna tell you who she is and, and. You know, what, what makes her an authority on this subject.
So she has worked as a playwright, a freelance director and theater professor for over 15 years. And after her play, Cloistered Honey was made into a low budget film. Laura began making independent short films, and she actually does Stop motion shorts, and they have been screened at festivals around the country.
And, you can view them there on her website and, and we’ll share more about that information probably at the end of the broadcast. So make you sure you’re listening for that and watching. but I wanted to start, I definitely wanna hear a little bit about your, your journey, but I really wanna talk. I thought we’d start off with, what is, what gets you excited about doing stop motion animation, I guess, I guess that’s what it’s called right.
and doing, creating these types of work, works. Wow. Such a great question. So imagine my basement and I have a stage, my husband built me and I have Barbies on magnets. So they are in position for the next scene. And I go down to do my laundry and they are waiting for me ready to film the next, right now I’m doing a short on the holy grail legend, the search for the holy grail.
And I, you know, I think something about miniatures has always just fascinated me. I think as somebody who’s very interested in Jungian psychology, I would say they’re archetypal. I would say that they resonate somehow deeply in us. And then one more thing, I. I originally started this because I bought a camera and I wanted to learn how to use it.
And these would be my patient actors and they are, and, I just fell in love with stop motion and the ability to tell a story that way, as I learned the camera. Well, I, I, I love that. And, and, and it is interesting that you, you know, you talk about the, the actors because yeah. At least they’re not gonna talk back to you.
They’re not so you can just give them all the direction you want and they’re gonna have to do it. So, which I think is kind of cool. Yeah, I, I have to confess, I must be kind of a control freak because I adore, you know, I worked with live actors for a long time and, you know, they don’t always do what you ask them to, but the Barbies do.
That’s cool. So talk to us a little bit about how you, you know, really what, what brought you here. So, you know, cuz I mentioned you, you were, or, well, still are, you’ve worked as a playwright. You’ve been a, you’ve been a director, you’ve been a professor and now you’re you’re doing this. So how, how did that, what was that journey like?
How did that evolve into what you’re doing now? Yeah. So one of my plays that you read. Cloister Honey was made into a film and I was like, film, film lasts forever. Plays end at closing night. Mm-hmm and I just became enamored. So I bought this camera, started making stop motion films, and then the pandemic hit and wow.
I was in such a sweet space because I could do this whole filmmaking in my house by myself. And so for two years during lockdown and I had been teaching public speaking. That’s where my career had gone. I couldn’t do that anymore. And so I really experienced the joy of being a creator without any limits, I could make whatever I wanted and take my characters wherever I wanted.
So that’s generally how I got here and now I’m on my 13th or 14th film. And since I love fairy tales, there’s no end to the tales I can tell. Yeah, absolutely. And, you, you mentioned earlier, you said something about, Jungian philosophy or theory or, and, I want. Actually, no, you know, before I go there, I wanna actually ask you one other question before I dive into that, because I just realized that there may be people listening or watching this recording, and they’re like, what the heck is, what does she mean
Stop motion. So can you maybe just briefly explain, or maybe even. You know, give an example. Maybe someone might have seen it. Not really realize that that’s what that is. Sure. Well, I guess the Grommit movies are stop motion if you’ve seen those. And it’s essentially taking a photograph One after another, after another and putting them together in a sequence.
So I, I move a Barbie, just a tiny bit, take a photo, tiny bit, take a photo. And eventually there’s a movement that is like a live action. Oh, very cool. And I imagine it seems like that might be. Some people, or at least might think, boy, that sounds like it’s gonna be really tedious work to be able to put that together, or at least let’s say maybe, maybe not tedious, but, labor intensive, maybe might be a better way to put it.
I’m not sure. For sure. And I guess it is what you love. I get to play with dolls and I’m really loving that. If I were doing it on the computer, some people do animation just via computer. That for me would be much harder than Fest this physical manipulation. And my style is kind of scrappy. It’s not perfect, you know, and that suits me and my subjects fine, but yeah, it’s labor intensive.
I can’t get, ’em done that fast. Yeah at I, like I said, I’ve well, actually I think I was mentioning before, even before we got on the interview today that I’ve always been, I’ve always been fascinated with movies and, and I used to way back when there used to be a magazine called premier magazine and I loved reading it.
And just everything about, about the entertainment industry has always interested me, but, you know, I studied acting in college, but didn’t do anything with it. So I just, the closest I got was being able to work in television. So at least I have had that experience, but I, I, I love creativity and I think it’s really cool.
So now I wanna get back to where I was starting to head and. You know, you talk about that, you’re dealing with fairy tales and you mentioned also something about Jungian theory, Carl Jung, the psychologist. So what is it about that? a little bit, maybe expand on that theory and then why you’re, you’re focusing in on fairy tales.
Yes. So I’ve had two passions in my life. Theater/drama and psychology. And I was studying to be a counselor. So I have a lot of research and a lot of personal experience with the field of psychology and Jung is the one that I love the best. For those people, Jungians, fairy tales are sort of like dreams of a culture and they have a lot of
Embedded wisdom in them, supposedly. And so, I mean, fairy tales are just fun on a surface level. Right. But then we can start analyzing the characters as maybe being parts of ourselves, like parts of dreams. And I just thought if I’m gonna spend my time creating something that takes a long time, let me make sure that my basic material that I’m starting from has some goodness to it, some depth to it.
And. Fairy tales are canonical. They, they have the goodness of thousands of years, sometimes, at least hundreds of years, the grail story, right? Centuries of people telling and exploring what does it mean to search for the holy grail? I mean, I’m, I’m really living with that question right now. And so for me, it’s a meditation and hopefully for the people watching these films for 10 minutes or 15 or four, whatever they are in that range, it becomes a meditation for them to like a Tarot card, right.
It’s images that maybe work on us consciously and unconsciously. That’s my goal. Yeah. And I can appreciate that. And, and I know I’m reading a book and I’m trying to remember the name of it. Oh, oh, I know. It’s something about, women who run with the wolves. Oh, classic. Yeah. It’s and, and it deals with like all of these stories and, and, and how women fit into of them.
And there’s a lot of deep meaning to it. And it’s a, it’s a deep book to get through. I, I picked it up once, put it down. And, and took me a couple years and I’m like, okay, let me see if I can do it again. so I’m endeavoring to go through it again. you know, picking up where I left off. I, I guess the, the thing is, is that fairy tales do have these, I guess, really deal with a lot of archetypes and, and, and talking about, and as you say, there’s symbolism and, and things in there.
So how. How can we apply that, you know, in our day-to-day life today, because I’m, you know, there’s, there’s fairy tales, there’s like Disney fairy tales and how they do it. But, but as someone who wants to be able to maybe appreciate the deeper meaning behind some of these, what, what would you say to that?
Great question. So I think it’s a process. I think that sometimes, maybe we have a, a dream, a nighttime dream, or we see a work of art or a play or a novel, and we don’t really get how it applies to our life for a really long time. I hope you and your listeners have had the experience I’ve had, which is a sudden kind of aha, where you go, whoa, I see how that relates to me.
So I don’t know that I can promise any fast thing, but I think if we stay with these stories that have depth to them, I guess I know from my journey of maybe the last 20 years, I get those ah-ha’s more and more often. But I think when we work, Jungians would say, when we work with the unconscious, we have to sort of be patient because it speaks a symbolic language that we don’t generally speak.
And so. But I think if we start to pay attention, then we start to get those ah-ha’s. I mean, I think there’s a bit, oh, sorry. No, go ahead. Go ahead. Well, I wanted to give you an example. Oh, unfortunately I think my examples are sort of downers, but, in women who run with the wolves, she talks about somewhere in there, a Wolf that
Chews its own leg off to escape a trap. And I remember a period in my life and I was in a bad relationship. And that image suddenly made sense of why I did what I did. I metaphorically was chewing off my foot to escape that situation. And that insight helped me. I also have a very sad fairy tale that isn’t on, on my website yet, but it’s, it’s about woundedness and I remember one day making dinner for my husband and going, oh my gosh, I have that wound.
And that’s why I did A-B-C. So, you know, I don’t have any happier ones that come to my mind, but, but those do. Well, you know what though, but I think that’s okay because sometimes as they say that awareness is what you need to be able to then make some changes in your life and, and, and it is good to acknowledge that.
Oh yeah, I see that this wound is how that affected me and the beauty of. Well, maybe even the beauty of especially getting older and hopefully we get wiser, is that we can then say, okay, well, yeah, that happened. And what do I wanna do about it now? You know, do I wanna stay just, you know, wallowing in the woundedness?
Or can I see if there’s any lesson I can take from that and move forward? Yeah. Yeah. And the beauty of fairy tales, and they’ve done research, actual scientific research on people imbibing, taking in fairy tales. You know, we say it’s a happily ever after story. There is something about going through the trials of the hero and realizing that there is resilience.
There is overcoming. And a lot of times these traditional fairy tales give us warnings about what to do or what not to do on our journeys. Yeah, absolutely. And, and some of them, can be quite dark, you know, cause you you’ve said, cause I, I do remember, I actually have like a book of Grimm’s fairy tales and I think I actually went through it maybe when I was in high school or, or college or something and going.
Wow. you know, some of these, they really are grim. Even though that was the author’s name, but it’s like, I think he was, I dunno if he was projecting into there. Yeah. Have, has there been, this is probably unfair asking you because I know when you’re created creator that just like, if you’re a parent, you know, you don’t have any favorite children, you know, but, you know, has there been maybe, you know, one or two of these films that you’ve worked on that you’ve, you felt really good about like, oh, that turned out really good.
And you, or you liked the story or even just the process of putting it together. Yeah, that is a hard one. Cuz I tend to love the ones I’m working on, but there is a wonderful one that’s available. So my earlier films are now available to the public for free. And then my more recent ones are still in the film festival circuit and they don’t like you to release them publicly.
but there is one for free that people can watch. It’s called the linguist and it’s based on a grimm tale called the three languages. So that was my, the linguist, the three languages. And, It’s pretty fun. I made a woman, the woman, the lead instead of a man and she learns the languages of the dogs, the birds, and the frogs and how that helps her.
And, yeah, I am happy with the way that one turned out. Yeah. Where, where do you see yourself in, in, you know, in this creative process? Like, you know, a couple years from now, what, what do you think, are you gonna, do you envision yourself continuing to do this, or do you think you’ll you’ll evolve after?
Cause this certainly sounds like it was something that, especially the pandemic even, heightened or, or really gave you the opportunity, shall we say, to be able to pursue this. What do you think? Yeah, I think if I am in my own fairy tale and that’s always kind of cool, like where are you at in this fairy tale?
In my fairy tale, what’s cool. Is that my passion for theater and my passion for psychology have come together. And so I think that this is my final career now. Unfortunately, it’s a gift to the universe and there isn’t really a lot of financial coming in yet, yet. Yeah. You know, I have a fantasy of having a Netflix channel.
That’s devoted to animation or, or short films that are. You know, there’s a, there’s a channel called the Gaia film channel. Yes, yeah, it’s a spiritual film channel. Right. But it’s mostly just documentaries. I don’t think they do fiction really. So that’s what I want. I want a fictional channel.
That’s really focused on the spiritual journey and tools for that journey. And laughter is a tool for that journey. I try to make comedies as much as I can. Well, you have spoken it out into the universe now, so. Thank you. You know, that’s, that’s the first step in having it come into fruition, so, yeah.
Right. You’re I, I firmly believe in that. So you, yeah, you’ve got it out there now, so, and you’re, you’re the impetus then, so thank you. Well, I, I hope if it happens, definitely call me. Lemme know yes, that would be good. I know, have you encountered any specific challenges along the way of doing this, you know, especially launching this type, you know, and, and.. What a good question.
Yeah. and what, what has been one and, and, and how did you wind up overcoming it? I love that question. So for my day work these days, I’m coaching storytelling, and that’s always the key. What is the challenge? Self-doubt and I think, you know, as creatives we’re constantly. I’ll speak for myself, putting my work out there to festivals and I have gotten into a lot, but I get a lot of, no thank you’s and man, oh man, it really can mess with my head.
but recently I’ve been thinking about how a version of what you just said, which is really, we have to kind of keep putting it out there so that the world starts to understand what we’re doing. I think nobody’s really doing what I’m doing. And so people don’t always understand. And so, but I that’s self doubt and the… I’m a Capricorn and kind of giving stuff away.
Constantly without kind of the financial, that can get a little in my head too. But my dreams and my prayers, they all tell me to keep going. So. Well good. I’m glad. And you do know about, services like Patreon and things like that. Maybe you can, you know, see if you can get some financial support that way. If you’re into it.
Yeah. If you’re, if you’re not doing that already. So I’m, I write grants, which is really hard. Patreon is a little harder for me, since my stuff might come our Two three times a year, maybe four, if I’m lucky. Oh, okay. Not like a podcast where I can return over. So that’s one of my challenges too, to keep the faith in that way.
But, yeah, I, I feel like I’ve been given this task, so. Well, like a fairy tale hero. Yeah. You know, you’re, you’re in the unknown for a long time and the fairy tale hero always comes to that moment of doubt. Joseph Campbell talks about that a lot. That’s right. Yeah, absolutely. So you just have to push through and, and, and as you said, trust that I, I like that you are sending it out there because I do believe that.
The right people will see it. And, and you are doing this for a reason and it is to touch people’s hearts and minds and, and that eventually it will, somehow it will turn into something that will also benefit. Well, right now you are getting benefit cuz you, at least you are getting the, the creative, creative benefit and, and we just have to trust that the universe will also help the financial benefit as well.
Right, right. Is there anything that you are curious about right now? Wow. Another great question. Wow. Yeah. Yeah. I, I continue to be curious about how people taken this work. I was Blessed to be able to speak to a bunch of Jungian aficionados and you know, does my work, work the way I think it works and I’m getting the feedback that it does, but I continue to remain curious.
Could it work for teachers? I’ve written curriculum for teachers because the cool thing about updating fairy tales is that students can go, oh, look at the original and look at the new, and then I can say, make your own now. Mine are pretty scrappy. You can make one. So I’m curious, the, like you say, the practical applications of a creative work.
Yeah, that’s that I, and I like that idea because I could certainly see that it could be utilized in college. It could even be utilized in high schools as well. And just as a, as a fun and, and exploratory way in a way of being able to help kids understand themselves better. And then also perhaps get them interested in you know,
The creative arts as well. So there could be lots of applications for that. So, yeah, that sounds good. I like that. Let’s see. I’m trying to think what else I wanna ask you? Cause I, I do find, oh, I know what I wanted to ask you. So, how did you land on Barbies? I mean, did you have Barbies around in the house still from when you were kid?
Cause I know I sold all mine off and, and I had some really old ones that were my sister’s and I’m and I kicked myself. Now I had Barbie with black hair. That’s how old that Barbie was for one thing. Wow. No, I didn’t have Barbies. I, I started purchasing and I, I did that because I’m a writer. I’m a director.
Now I’m a filmmaker, but I’m not an artist to make like my own clay figures. That’s not really, that would take forever. So, what’s cool about the Barbies is I can buy ones that articulate all of their limbs. I learned that the hard way, my first Barbies, you know, their legs didn’t bend, their arms didn’t bend and you can buy a Barbie.
Anything Barbie treadmill, Barbie Barbie vet office, you know, so, you know, it can get expensive, but I try to buy used. And, yeah, now I have a whole wall of them and a whole bunch of characters and it’s like a repertory theater troop because I can remember this GI Joe was in three films and he played all these different characters.
my husband does the same thing. So I remember him. like they really do start to feel very real. So cool. I love that. I, I just love it. it tickles me no end that, that you’re doing this and what a, what a great way to be able to utilize something that is, you know, so ubiquitous and, and, and to be able to give it a new, a new lease on life, shall we say?
And, and, and giving them all sorts of new, new ways to play so like, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. is there, is there anything else that you think our listeners and, and the viewers on YouTube should know about, you know, about fairy tales and, and maybe their, their usefulness or anything like that?
Yeah. I mean, I do want to repeat this idea that when we watch a fairy tale or read a fairy tale to ask ourselves, where am I at? Where is my life at in this fairy tale? Can be a really provocative.Yummy question because then watching what happens next could give me some feedback on what I can do or maybe shouldn’t do in terms of wisdom.
And, so there’s a fairy tale called the Shoemaker and the elves, the elves and the Shoemaker. Yes. Yes. I know that story. Famous one. Yeah. Yeah. So the Shoemaker doesn’t have very much left and he goes to sleep and the elves make the shoes for him. And for me, this fairy tale is a really great reminder of not expecting my waking ego mindset to solve all the problems and to open up to the greater wisdom of the unconscious that often happens during sleep.
And this is a, a reminder I need. Because I’m a pretty willful person. Artists have to be, cuz we have to plow through the inertia to create, right. So the, the artist as willful needs to, I need to remember that kind of surrendering, I, I guess. I think like any kind of art, the more we play with it, the more we’ll see in it.
So that’s what I would say. I love that. And, and it’s, it’s true. And I think especially even, you know, in my audience, there’s a lot of women entrepreneurs, and I know that a lot of times you’ll get an idea and you, you wanna be able to implement it. But you, you’re not sure how to do it. And, and that’s really what you’re talking about is being able to let go of the how, and just trust that as long as you’re starting to take steps towards that goal or, or towards that, whatever it is that you’re wanting to achieve that.
The universe will provide the resources for you or provide you with some additional insight that you can start saying, oh, that’s how I could do this. And I’ve had that happen to me. And I love it when that happens, because it’s a lot less stressful when you can let go and just say, okay, I don’t know how this is gonna work out, but I’m gonna trust and then it does.
And then it does. So it’s really. Nice feeling to know that you don’t have to always be in control even though like you, I do like to do that too. yeah. I’m used to doing that, but so many fairy tales, the hero achieves, not because of their strength or skill, but because some helper came and so yeah. Being more open to that.
Yeah, definitely. Cool. Well, I have really enjoyed our talk and I know I’m sure that people listening and, and watching or be like, okay, well, I’m really curious. Now I wanna be able to see some of these films. So where can people go to see the, the, the free ones that you have available? Of course. Yes. So the easiest for your listeners is just my name, Laura L-a-u-r-a Lewis, L-e-w-i-s, bar B-a-r-r.
Laura Lewis barr films.com and middle of the page. You should see a link to the free films. And there’s a lot of other things on that there, but yeah, I would love. Love thoughts if people have thoughts. Yep. I’m I’m very active on Twitter and LinkedIn Facebook, so, yeah. Excellent. And, well, actually, I’m gonna ask you one more follow up question.
So do you take requests of ideas for, you know, oh, you do this fairy tale. No one’s ever done that. I’d love that. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Okay. Awesome. Well, you, you heard it here first. So if you have an idea, contact Laura, you, you can reach out to her on social media and do that. So that’d be great. So thank you again for being here and I, I love the work you’re doing and I just think it’s really neat and creative.
And so keep, keep doing the good work and, and you’re gonna get, you’re gonna get noticed. I know. Gloria. thank you. Thank you for your support, your time. I love your show. Thank you so much. You’re welcome. And I thank all of you who are out there watching and listening. And, if you got some value out of today’s episode, or you liked it a lot.
I hope that you, if you’re not a subscriber already, that you are, and, it would be wonderful if you would share this episode with a friend as well. So yes, let other people know about it and find out about Laura and her awesome, awesome films. So until next time as always, I encourage you to go out today and every day And live fully love, deeply and engage authentically.
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