STOPTIME: Live in the Moment.

Paul Tazewell: Fear Less. Trust More.

February 18, 2022 Lisa Hopkins, Wide Open Stages Season 5 Episode 20
STOPTIME: Live in the Moment.
Paul Tazewell: Fear Less. Trust More.
Show Notes Transcript

Paul Tazewell has been designing costumes for Broadway, Regional Theater, Film and Television, Dance, and Opera Productions for close to thirty years. He began his Broadway career with the groundbreaking musical, ‘Bring in Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk, directed by George C. Wolfe. Most recently, Paul is known for his work with both of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award winning, Original Broadway productions of Hamilton and In the Heights. He was recently nominated for an Oscar for his costumes for Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

Other feature film credits include; Harriet for Focus Features, Hamilton for Disney+ and the recently released West Side Story, directed by Steven Spielberg. TV credits include the HBO Original Film; The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks starring Oprah Winfrey, and both The Wiz! Live, and Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert for NBC.

  In 2016, he received an Emmy Award for NBC’s The Wiz! Live, as well as a Tony Award for Hamilton.  Other notable honors include two Lucille Lortel Awards, four Helen Hayes Awards, a Princess Grace Foundation Fellowship, and The Princess Grace Statue Award.
Learn more about Paul : 
paultazewelldesign.com


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Episode recorded January 26th, 2022

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Lisa Hopkins:

This is the stop time podcast. I'm your host, Lisa Hopkins, and I'm here to engage you in thought provoking motivational conversations around practicing the art of living in the moment. I'm a certified life coach, and I'm excited to dig deep and offer insights into embracing who we are and where we are at. So, my next guest has been designing costumes for Broadway, regional theater, film and television, dance and opera productions for close to 30 years. He began his Broadway career with a groundbreaking musical bringing to noise bringing the funk, directed by George Seawolf. Most recently, Paul is known for his work with both of Lin Manuel Miranda's Tony Award winning Original Broadway productions of Hamilton and in the heights. His feature film credits include Harriet for Focus Features Hamilton for Disney plus and the recently released West AI story directed by Steven Spielberg. TV credits include the HBO original film The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks starring Oprah Winfrey, and both the wiz live and Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert for NBC. In 2016, he received an Emmy Award for NBC's The Wiz live, and Tony Award for Hamilton. Other notable honors include two Lucille Lortel, awards for Helen Hayes awards, a Princess Grace Foundation Fellowship, and the Princess Grace statue award. It is with great pleasure that I'm going to be spending some time today with Paul Tazewell. Paul, welcome.

Paul Tazewell:

Lisa, thank you, thank you so much.

Lisa Hopkins:

It's wonderful to have you, thank you for taking the time to be in the moment with me today. Absolutely. So I spent my morning immersed in the immense beauty of your work. I mean, I could have been there for days, you know,and just wanted to take a moment and honor you, and thank you, for your contributions.

Paul Tazewell:

I really appreciate that. That's so wonderful.

Lisa Hopkins:

It's, I don't know if it's easy for you to recognize, and, you know, physically viscerally how you've impacted, and maybe you don't, because you know what I mean, you're always working, you're you're putting it out, you're putting it out. And I'm sure that you when you see this and you hear about the awards, and you hear me read about you, what comes up for you.

Paul Tazewell:

Um, you know, it's a layers of emotions and connection and I, you know, I didn't identifying with you know, I can intellectually be proud of myself. I mean, I can say, you know, wow, that's, that sounds like a lot of achievements. And I am very proud of that. Now, you know, the question of do I fully sit without an embrace that I do for a short period of time, and then I move on to the next thing, and that's just what I've learned to do. That's how, you know, how I've learned to cope, I think, you know, with, you know, being an artist and, and in a lifetime, you know, creating a lifetime of, of creations of, you know, of expression. You know, there's not a lot of time that I'd well in celebrating you realize that Well, I think early on, it was about making a living Fortunately, I've been able to marry what I'm passionate about with you know, my ability to make money from it. You know, and you know, you I think that much of my career you know, at least 20 years of that 30 years that you're talking about was was about how do I keep and maintain my lifestyle you know, and and keep engaging with new directors or you know, getting on to new projects and and the bonus was that I was able to explore delve into a field that I love you know, I love the world of clothing I love the world of research and creating new worlds and creating or recreating old worlds and and, and just the you know, that engagement with other creative people, other very talented people, you know, you you realize, you know, when when you're where I am, that life doesn't stop you. So, you know, there are all these great things that might be out happening, or at least great achievements that are that are happening that might be better are happening. And, you know, I've learned to hold that alongside of life, you know, in the challenges of life, you know, for most of us right now, you know, we're going through this pandemic, and do you so you figure out, you know, how, how am I able to manage both? And where is the celebration, you know, in some of the things happening for me, close to me, you know, that, that that idea of losing, losing family members losing losing people, you know, I experienced that with my, with my husband, first June 2018. And just before Christmas, my brother passed away, my younger brother passed away. And, you know, so you know, where there's, there are these explosive, very amazing things happening in my life, there's also great tragedy happening in the end, as for myself, I've been challenged with figuring out how to how to be present in both. That's been an interesting journey, you know,

Lisa Hopkins:

what works for you? I mean, it's so interesting, because in a way, and I get it, I mean, I'm hearing you say that, and you use the word explosive. I mean, it's true. I mean, right? If you look at all that's happening, at you know, to you, meaning in your career, it's a little bit kind of mind blowing, right, because you're probably so busy doing it, that it accumulates, because you just stay on the path. I mean, I heard you say that you don't sit for very long to quote unquote, embrace it, or celebrate. And I even heard a little bit of almost guilt behind celebrate or fear about, Oh, I better not stay here too long. You're nodding your head. Does that land? I'm so curious.

Paul Tazewell:

For sure. Sure. I mean, you know, it's because you there, there is always, you know, for so many artists, true for me as well, you know, that, you know, you've got that imposter syndrome, where it's like, well, you know, you're and, you know, I guess it runs parallel. You're as, you know, as good as your last thing, your your as, you know, the celebration only lasts for so long, until, you know, you're forgotten are your, you know, they're you know, the people overall are on to the next thing, you know, when when you are focused on yourself as an artist or as a creative person, you know, what do you what do you do with that, so, one of my coping mechanisms is to not lean into the celebration too much and too much is in quotation marks, because it is not going to last. So if I give it less importance, then it will matter less when people have moved on, you know, when the energy is moved on, when the energy has changed. And I focus on something that's new, you know, it's like, okay, great, that's done. I'm, you know, and I, I've also learned to do that in small ways where, you know, I go from show to show to show, there were times when I was designing, you know, I might have a year of 12 shows, let's say, so you for every show, you have the process of engaging with the director and the other collaborators, developing, producing, tacking, and then opening, you know, that's that, that is the birthing process of production. And it's very exciting, it's always exciting, it's always changing. But for for each of those, you use, you celebrate it, and and others, you know, that are really excited about it, audiences are really excited about it, it gets reviewed, it might get reviewed, really great. Somebody might say something, something really wonderful about the clothes, but then I, you know, I've already started to think about my next project, you know, so, you know, I am able to then set that aside. And also part of setting it aside is the, you know, the that brain space that, you know, that's been occupied by that production, you know, I, I dump or I, you know, I leave it so that I can allow something else to come in, I have to do that, you know, in order to be able to focus on the next thing I have to be able to set that other aside, so I'm not worried about what didn't happen, you know, all you know, my own personal shortcomings, you know, where I felt like, oh, this could have been better if that's time wasted worrying about that. It's done. It's open and I need to focus on the next thing.

Lisa Hopkins:

Yeah. No, absolutely. It's so interesting. I am I'm so so curious about what I call the places where there are spaces, right? And, you know, we think of it in art as negative space, right? If the juxtaposition of color light, I mean, right? So that's where we realize something new, right? That's where if we're able to reflect on it, we can then see things maybe differently, or bring out something different. I'm so curious to know, like, what, what comes up for you in those spaces, although they may be brief.

Paul Tazewell:

Um, where I've learned a lot, I mean, you know, that the, I've been using the word expand a lot. Lately, you know, I've had the fortune of working on so many different kinds of theater and, and, and film, but, you know, I've had so many opportunities to do what I do, at a very high level, with those achievements. You know, I, I feel really great about them, but it's on me to figure out what is that next challenge want to be, and, and by, you know, pushing myself outside of my comfort zone, so that I can expand creatively. But I also have to be willing to say yes to that next, you know, that next offer the next possibility, you know, to have done Hamilton to have designed the costumes for Hamilton, and go through everything that that has given back to me and to some of the other people, you know, it's really hard to top that. And therefore, I don't want to look to another production to provide that. It needs to be for me something different, so that, you know, I can express in a different way. So I can push myself to express in a in a bigger way.

Lisa Hopkins:

I don't know if it'll be easy or hard. I'm so curious, what would you consider to be your to be your biggest failure?

Paul Tazewell:

Failure? You know, there are there are productions where I was disappointed with, because it didn't didn't provide the opportunity that I thought it was going to provide. It might be because the writing of the of the piece didn't shift towards the direction that I was hoping that it would, or there wasn't enough money in the budget to be able to achieve what I was, in support what I was hoping that the design might be. So the my idea needed to be compromised in order to, to achieve that. And then you know, with with each of those, my engagement with that piece can shift, you know, it might, you know, might pull away, because I can see in front of me, you know, I because I you know, with enough experience, I can say okay, well, this is not going to provide the artistic expression at the level that I was hoping for. So I'm going to pull back on this, or, you know, when it's been good, when it's been a positive experience, I've been able to find some other engagement with the, with the peace. With each of those, though, I have to say, you know, they've been learning experiences. I mean, I think that if I can, you know, take away something, probably the most important stuff, you know, we're tells me something about myself, you know, where I can say, you know, what, you the next time this kind of project comes comes along that, you know, maybe you need to think hard about the questions that you asked before you say yes, I've, it's all of those, you know, those times where I've said yes to quickly. And some of that was because I needed the job short, like I needed the job. And the you know, the fear of not having work or not getting work in the future. fueled the Yes. That is not, you know, that that's probably not the best way of making making that decision. Yeah, I, you know, I maybe I have a distorted relationship with the word failure, but I you know, I think maybe I just tried to, you know, I, you know, it's,

Lisa Hopkins:

yeah, it sounds it sounds like if I'm hearing it correctly, that you said you, you, you, you pull back when your expectations aren't met so you go in kind of wholeheartedly, hoping that it's gonna, you know, you know, either A, I need the job or be this this could be good and then and then it sounds like if I heard you correctly that you said but Then when I realized that's not the case, I pull back when my expectations are not met, and then my engagement is less. Is that fair to say? Is that?

Paul Tazewell:

Yes. And that? Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that that's, that's what happens. Now what happens? Right after that, you know, after you pull back, then or for me, I think that that then becomes the question, you know, you know, with within myself, do I find a way to reengage? I think that's, you know, that that and that, and that, you know, could be huge. Because it because it's on different terms, then it is potentially with more clarity. Hmm. You know, that process of saying, yes, for creative people, for me, definitely. It's charged with, you know, it could be about guilt, you know, a lot of shoulds. Yeah. So, you know, in the process of re engaging, however long that takes and for whatever, for whatever reason, it's on my terms. Yeah. And so that makes it a positive. Yeah. As opposed to, because someone wants me to, and that feels good to be wanted. And so I'm going to say yes, because it shows that, you know, I'm just honoring the want. And not that, you know, I'm not honoring myself and how I feel about the work.

Lisa Hopkins:

Hmm. Yeah, that's a that's a really brilliant distinction, right? Because when it comes to engagement, especially discretional engagement, which is what you're talking about there, right? When everything's not perfect. And you know, you're still going to do the gig. Whatever it is, you know, you signed up for it, chances are, you're not going to quit, right? That's not who you are. So So you have these choices, right, you have the of the choice of disengaging, which is actually in the end, it's more difficult energetically, to participate in the same thing that you were going to do anyways, with any kind of negative energy taking away from what could be used in what is necessary, when things aren't ideal to move forward through it and then learn the lesson from right. Yeah, because I really believe that the way we do anything, one thing is why we do everything. I could ask you. Where else in your life, aside from your career, do you pull back when your expectations aren't what you hoped they would be? Hmm, Mm hmm. You know,

Paul Tazewell:

yeah. Where are in other places in my life? Yeah. I mean, that's, I'm sure there's a lot there.

Lisa Hopkins:

Which I listened. I listened this morning, over coffee to your 2018 commencement speech.

Paul Tazewell:

Oh, wow.

Lisa Hopkins:

Yep. So it was your, your alma mater, right? North Carolina School of the Arts?

Paul Tazewell:

That's right. That's right.

Lisa Hopkins:

What was that experience, like for you?

Paul Tazewell:

My school experience or..

Lisa Hopkins:

no - you're giving this speech.

Paul Tazewell:

Um, it was a, you know, amazing, it was, you know, my, my, my husband, Michael was, you know, he was my in house editor, and cheerleader and coach, and, you know, so he, you know, he helped me to format it, what I was getting ready to say, or what I did say, so, when I think about that, is they're very dear for me, having the opportunity being asked to give back in that way. Was was beautiful, because that institute institution you know, talking about providing space, it provided space for me to and support for me to mature, you know, to grow up to transition from being a teenager to being you know, in my 20s and, and going from, you know, wanting to be a performer, to really embracing being a designer, and, therefore setting me on to the path, you know, of everything that I've done for the last almost 30 years. So, um, you know, I, I spiritually, feel I owe the institute the energy of the institution, now that that is made up of many different people, you know, many different players and, and all of those people that were in school at that time at all, you know, it all led the different years, you know, you know, and what that institution was about that. It's, you know, I think that it is about, you know, much that is similar, but much that is different now, but with, you know, what I spoke of in a very heartfelt way was, you know, everything that I was taught and everything that I learned up to that point, and how I relate to what I do. And also how important it is to nurture those that come after me, you know, that are younger than me and that are trying to figure out and are going through the same struggles that I did. Yeah. And give them some direction.

Lisa Hopkins:

Yeah, no, for sure. No, absolutely. Did you ever in your wildest dreams imagined that you'd be a doctor? Get an honorary doctorate?

Paul Tazewell:

Not at all. Not at all. No, that's special.

Lisa Hopkins:

Do you make everyone call you doctor?

Paul Tazewell:

There, we're back at so celebrating oneself, you know, celebrating, you know, that, you know, it's it's an honor, I still am who I am. I'm, I'm still Paul, you know, and I will forever be that, you know, four year old Paul. Oh, yeah. You know, so he's right, right by my side, and I bring him along. And and, and, you know, which is it that is important for me, because that is where my vulnerability is. And that is where my power is, as well. And so, yeah, that's where, you know, that's where the joy is and the inquisitiveness and you know, I think that it's important for me.

Lisa Hopkins:

Yeah, no, absolutely. It's so interesting, because I was going to ask you, and this seems like a good segue, I was gonna ask you, you know, if you if you could tell younger, self younger Paul, you know, something that you think you would want to hear that, you know, now that you would have liked to have heard, then what would you be telling him

Paul Tazewell:

Strap yourself in. You know, it's gonna be, you know, it won't be a wild, joyful, emotional for Life for life. And, you know, it'll all and just fine, you know, I'll be a beautiful life. If he's stay present. Yeah, yeah. You know, I, you know, you when you were talking about failure, you know, I think that fear is probably you know, that that place of fear that might have kept me from saying yes to experience might be somehow connected to failure to that word, word failure. And, and so therefore, when I look at my younger self, it's like, you know, don't fear less and embrace more trust, trust more in the energy of, of living?

Lisa Hopkins:

Mm hmm. I love that in the things that you can't control. Yeah. What's your what's your definition of living in the moment?

Paul Tazewell:

Be being quiet and open. Seeing feeling and loving, loving, loving the moment we are about I think that if I can, if I can turn on all of those at the same time then I think that it moves towards you know, being in the moment

Lisa Hopkins:

how often do you experience it in your life?

Paul Tazewell:

I'm definitely not a master at it. i It's more important to me now than it was you know, probably before I experienced the death of Michael not enough. I'm not you know, I'm not in the moment now. But I you know, I work to be in the moment.

Lisa Hopkins:

Why is it important to you?

Paul Tazewell:

I think that it connects me to what I really where I really am, what I really value, but I really want to be how I really want to be seen how to positively engage with you Life and all that life has to offer. That's why it's important.

Lisa Hopkins:

Yeah. I mean, you're you're such a giver as an artist, right? I mean, you know, there's so many different ways of looking at it, right? Someone could look at you and you saying, you know, I did 10 shows, blah, blah, blah, and they could totally interpret that in their own way, you know, looking in the mirror at themselves, right. But, you know, the way I see it, especially the way it's expressed through you, is that, you know, you're giving, giving, giving, giving, yes, you're working, but you're giving of yourself, I mean, it happens to be your job. You know, so it sustains you. So, so it's the intersection of those two things. On the one hand is absolutely a gift. Right? I mean, isn't it? Isn't it the dream? But on the other hand, you know, I'm hearing and I've heard it from, from many successful folks, that it's also their Achilles heel.

Paul Tazewell:

Yeah. I mean, you know, that you have, you know, really put your finger on it. I mean, that is where so much of my joy comes is, is in that engagement and in working with or other very talented people, and creating things together and performers and directors, and you know, and we're all in there, in the sandbox, you know, literally and figuratively, making this thing happen. This this moment happened. That's where I thrive. That's where I you know, I figured it out early on, that that was the most joyful way for me to create. And I've stuck with it. Yeah.

Lisa Hopkins:

Yeah. No, absolutely. In the speech, actually, when you really moved me. It was so clear when you spoke about your collaboration with Lin Manuel Miranda, on Hamilton, that, that you were profoundly moved by as what you said being invited. Right? To go on the ride. Yeah.

Paul Tazewell:

Yeah. Yeah. And still, you know, to this day, it was life changing. Yeah, process of creating a birthing that version of Hamilton. And then also, you know, since then how it has, you know, it's the ripples of, you know, the water, you know, when the pebble hits, and, you know, your, you know, how it's touched other people's lives and made a difference?

Lisa Hopkins:

how did it touch your life, I completely understand and agree with you, that Hamilton is, you know, it has just transcended all of us and all its creators, and all of that become its own, you know, beautiful force, but how did it? How did it touch you, personally, the experience of working on it, um,

Paul Tazewell:

you know, it's, it is the production, I can say You know, it keeps coming up for me, as you talked about, you it, you know, it defines how I design and my experience of design up to that point, you know, all of the other productions that I had been asked to do, and all, you know, all of the, you know, the periods that I have engaged with, you know, whether it's contemporary, or, you know, 18th century, and all the periods in between those productions allowed for me to understand what was necessary in how we were going to interpret Hamilton, the costume scrambled, you know, so, all of that experience, it gave me the confidence to make choices in the way that I made choices for Hamilton, as well as and this is, you know, just as important, the camaraderie, the the trust that was created on in the heights with that group of creators with with Lin Manuel Miranda with Thomas Kail, the director with Andy Blankenbuehler. Howell Binkley was a lighting designer on in the heights as well. You know, like all of us, sitting at the table, you're talking about brothers coming to create a brothers coming together theater, brothers and sisters coming together to investigate how best to tell this story. You know, and that's, that's theater making at its best. know, getting the sandbox as an analogy for which which, you know, which totally, I get that. And, you know, each show we do no matter what, right, those are the people those, those are the people in the art and we're jumping in. And then I'm reminded in my research of you somewhere where you said that you talked about your childhood, and how you were not included, how you were sort of ostracized? So it's really interesting. What's the interplay there between, like what you just described, sounded like you You met you met this gang, you know, the creative team, you know, when you did in the heights, and you were like, you know, with the cool kids, and then they're they're your posse basically. Right? So what comes up for you, when you're reminded of your painful childhood? It was painful in that I, you know, I, I was a very overweight child, I mean, I grew up and, you know, I was asthmatic that was developmental and probably, you know, that's also, you know, you know, I was saying, you know, it's all the work that I did previous to Hamilton, you and it's also the experience of growing as false as well,

Lisa Hopkins:

I'm really curious about the connection between you finally arriving with the kids in the, in the popular kids in the playground, versus where you came from,

Paul Tazewell:

it's a special kind of relationship, when you are asked to join a group, you know, popular or not, because of what you do, you know, and that bat is, I hold that very near and dear being entrusted with my department, and how I will visually bring to life, my element of the story, I cherish that, you know, that that is is very, very special, you know, especially with that group with that group of creatives, you know, and that's the informed by how I feel about those people, you know, those creative people, and also buy the work and the integrity of the work that comes out of that collaboration. You know, that's, that's huge.

Lisa Hopkins:

Yeah, no, 100%. And, you know, you had talked about putting the name there, pioneers, you were with the pioneers. I mean, it was really, you know, and in many ways in art, we are pioneers, and that we're creating something that wasn't there, we're finding something that new, but in that case, obviously, in so many ways, it was it was truly a new a new world. That was crazy. Yeah, yeah, I'm, I'm reminded of a story of your mother, who taught you how to sew, and I had this image of the golden thread. So so this thread that got woven, until it makes sense, when you refer to Hamilton as like the perfect, you know, culmination of all of that, I can just see this beautiful golden thread, you know, as as the metaphor that created, you know, that through, obviously, all your turbines and all your experience that brought you to there, and it seems like that was a real singular moment, where it was a finished part of you. And, and I, you know,

Paul Tazewell:

I want to acknowledge as well, you know, the, you know, because you use the my mother, and you know, that part of that brilliance is developing how I listen to how I engage with other people is so much the way that Barbara Caswell engages with other people. You know, and I think that that is why I get asked to do you know, as well as you know, I deliver on an idea, but by hope, you know, and this is, you know, also ties to, you know, what you were asking about the commencement speech, and I hope that people understand, you know, the, the importance of yourself, and how you present yourself and how you relate to other human beings. That that is, you can even say that, that's 80% of how we get to an end result, you know, it's, it's how you listen, it's how you see other people, you know, it informs how I dress people, because I saw some other character that I can apply to this character, and, you know, in that, hopefully, staying present in the moment as you are doing that, so that you understand what the backstory is, of all those decisions that you make and how it might resonate for other people. It's this huge web of how I you know, I hope to create, and then yeah, and that's the idea, and then it's about, okay, so how do we create this? How do we make this so you're engaging with other creative people? Yep. And and working with personalities and figuring out how to pull out the best of who this Draper, Tailor is crafts, craftsperson, in making this so that I can get the best result. And we can all be happy and then the person that we're putting it on is happy and yeah, yeah. And it feeds back to the audience.

Lisa Hopkins:

Oh, 100%. And it's so interesting, because everybody, everybody, I think it would be fair to say, I think it's true. Yeah, as I said, it's not Well, everybody makes one decision every day and that's what they're gonna put on. Yeah. And it's mixed. You know, with, with how you're feeling, you know, today I'm going to borrow my sweats today I'm going to wear my jacket, you know, there's all these, these, my mind comes in and makes these decisions about how you're feeling. So that's just everybody on every level, we can all relate to clothes, some clothes, you know, you know, as a dancer myself, you know, for some reason, in certain pants, I can just turn better not because the pants are just, I feel better, you know, my old ripped pants or whatever. So, it's so interesting to me that you as a designer, you know, you've got so many elements that you're balancing, because you've got, obviously the palette and the the bigger, larger story, but at the end of the day, you know, your designs, and, and the the buy in of the person wearing your thing, if you don't give if you're not a giver, if you're not a an into it, and, you know, as you said, if you're not listening, it'll just be an uncomfortable, you know, sweater that someone's wearing to a Christmas party. You know, what I'm saying though, like, I just think about these things, I think about like, how important it is, on so many levels, what you do.

Paul Tazewell:

Um, you know, without feeling self important that, you know, I think that what I bring to the event is, is an important element, definitely important. You know, it is that first thought like a, you know, as you said, you know, all of us choose to put on some garment or some, you know, layer layers of garments, garments that will have helped them get through the day know how to do whatever task it is that they need to do that day. Or it will be a reflection of where they are emotionally. Or both. Yeah, no. And, you know, I think, you know, that's the medium that I use to silently tell those, those parts of the story. Yeah. And that's a powerful thing. You know, that's a powerful position to be in as a as a, because, you know, you're the director, you know, is, is a is an editor and also is telling, you know, that that person were to move in space, and the choreographer is doing the same thing. But, you know, as a costume designer, I'm directly connected to the performer, actor, dancer, and, you know, reflective of like, you were saying, you know, it's the energy of turning, and what that is for you, and what the all of your history is around turning. It becomes somehow informed by the clothing that you're wearing, you know, and more, but you know, it, there's a huge element of that is, you know, the confidence or the sexiness, or the, you know, whatever, you know, that that might be you know, it's it's because of the decision that I make.

Lisa Hopkins:

Yeah. And it sounds to me, I've never worked with you. But it sounds to me, like you're not the one that's my way or the highway, because that won't express. You know, that's not good for the greater good. I can't imagine you getting with an actor and saying, This is what you're wearing. This is right, for the thing, right? I mean, I don't know, maybe you are. Maybe you are a diva?

Paul Tazewell:

Ah, yeah, that doesn't work for me. I mean, it just, you know, I, I've never, you know, and it's also, you know, it's, it is a difficult place for my personality to go there. But, you know, I, I have learned to stay flexible. And within that, you know, within the flexibility to be specific, you know, and, you know, to have good arguments for why I believe it should be something, you know, whatever I've chosen. And also be confident about the fact that I've got many ideas, I have many, many ideas for this one problem. And if, if we can agree on one of the solutions, or two of the solutions, and we're ahead of the game, you know, we can we can we can start to work and start to play.

Lisa Hopkins:

Yeah, absolutely. In my work, I, you know, that's the Win Win perspective, right? When you're when you're at that frequency. It's like, everything is a gift and an opportunity. So when something doesn't work, you go cool. That's okay. That game doesn't work. Let's play another game. Let's go. Yeah, no, that's brilliant. I love that. I love that. What would you do? What would you do if you could if for whatever reason, you couldn't do what you do? Like what? What would you do?

Paul Tazewell:

Um, you know, I would pursue being a performer. Probably. But, you know, I, and I don't know what that would have become, you know, I don't know if I would be acting right now. If I had chosen a different path, you know, I, I studied for a year in fashion design, and I found that I didn't particularly like the community and fashion design, you know, it was just you know, where I was at that time. I was 18 I might have grown to really embrace it, you know, and find my place in that. Yeah, I'm one way or another, you know, I, you know, I've always been interested in painting, you know, and being that, you know, a solo artist expressing in that way. And that's something that I feel like I can always lean into as a way of expressing. Yeah. You know, and also, you know, space, you know, designing space and designing interiors of space. That's, that's been another way.

Lisa Hopkins:

Yeah, that's very cool. What do you know, will be true about you, no matter what happens.

Paul Tazewell:

No matter what happens, I will love and I will be okay. Huh?

Lisa Hopkins:

Un young Paul. That's beautiful. I love I have such a beautiful image of the two of you, like everything will be alright. And guess what? You're gonna be by my side. So, yeah, that's beautiful. That's so beautiful. So beautiful. How do you want to be remembered,

Paul Tazewell:

um, will be remembered as someone who was generous with my time and with my creativity with what I you know, was put here to do that I was, you know, an embracing of many, many people as many people as I could hold could manage. Hmm. And you know, I hope that that I'm remembered for living in a large way on a large scale.

Lisa Hopkins:

Can you can you finish this phrase? Most people think Paul Tazewell is but the truth is,

Paul Tazewell:

most people think Paul Tazwell is reserved and pensive. And Paul Tazewell is really giggly and joyous.

Lisa Hopkins:

I love that. Why do you think people don't see that?

Paul Tazewell:

I don't let them see.

Lisa Hopkins:

There it is.

Paul Tazewell:

it is soon into meeting me or you know, meeting or becoming your friend. That's when you see it.

Lisa Hopkins:

Yeah, fair enough. Yeah. 100% So just just as we're wrapping up here, I do a little thing where I call it "what makes you" so I say what makes you and then I say a word and you say what comes to mind?

Paul Tazewell:

Okay,

Lisa Hopkins:

okay, cool. So what makes you hungry?

Paul Tazewell:

Is about food or is about about work?

Lisa Hopkins:

whatever you want it to be

Paul Tazewell:

Seeing somebody else's achievements - so imagining the possibility hmm And and also seeing beautiful food

Lisa Hopkins:

Yeah, what makes you sad?

Paul Tazewell:

Losing people I love

Lisa Hopkins:

Yeah. What inspires you?

Paul Tazewell:

so many things everything everything beautiful a new project

Lisa Hopkins:

what frustrates you?

Paul Tazewell:

No.

Lisa Hopkins:

love that

Paul Tazewell:

Boundaries

Lisa Hopkins:

Why is why does that frustrate you?

Paul Tazewell:

Um Well a boundary that is non negotiable....

Lisa Hopkins:

got it. Boundaries without understanding.

Paul Tazewell:

Yeah.

Lisa Hopkins:

Totally. So you'd be okay with the boundary but not just the No

Paul Tazewell:

Yeah, boundaries. Those are you know, that they're they're very healthy. Yeah, definitely. Yeah,

Lisa Hopkins:

no. Yeah, no, I understand. That makes perfect sense. What makes you laugh?

Paul Tazewell:

So many things. Children dogs, puppies. Being with with family people I love

Lisa Hopkins:

Yeah. What makes you angry?

Paul Tazewell:

injustice. things that are not fair.

Lisa Hopkins:

What what are you grateful for?

Paul Tazewell:

I'm so grateful for life. I'm grateful for my talent and abilities. grateful for the people in my life. Experience.

Lisa Hopkins:

Yeah. And what are the what would you say are the top three things that have happened so far today?

Paul Tazewell:

I've had an opportunity to express a part of myself that I don't usually get, and I really appreciate them. I have the opportunity to meet you. And I really appreciate that. I'm grateful for that. And I'm just grateful for the time be present with with, really with myself. And take that time

Lisa Hopkins:

of that. And what are you most looking forward to either today or in the bigger picture, whichever one resonates with you more?

Paul Tazewell:

Continuing on the journey? Hmm.

Lisa Hopkins:

Hell yeah. Paul, it's been such a pleasure speaking with you today really. I really, really appreciate you taking the time to be with me today. I've been speaking with Paul Tazwell. Thanks for listening. Stay safe and healthy everyone and remember to live in the moment. In music stop time is that beautiful moment where the band is suspended in rhythmic unison, supporting the soloist to express their individuality. In the moment, I encourage you to take that time and create your own rhythm. Until next time, I'm Lisa Hopkins. Thanks for listening