of tears and blood

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The career of Meagan Adele Lopez spans film, television, and theatre. She directed a series of plays in Paris, produced the music video for the artist CLARA-NOVA, and led the New York Times global digital advertising team. Her directorial debut "Raging Cult" earned her six film festival awards, and she is in post-production for her first feature film, "Through the Eyes of Others." She recently completed her second novel and is celebrating the release of her recent TED talk.

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Disclaimer

Please be advised that this episode contains sensitive themes including discussions of self-injurious behavior and sexual assault. And, a quick note. The world has shifted so significantly in such a short time. This interview was recorded when things were quite different. For more context, please refer to the first episode of this podcast, the preface. Finally, just FYI, this episode contains a few curse words here and there, nothing too crazy, but I like to give the heads up nonetheless. Thanks, and here’s the show.


Intro

This is "Of Tears and Blood," where we explore the raw truths of the creative process. I'm Nicholas Ryan Howard.

We duck under a classic awning, swing open the front door, and are instantly transported into that Manhattan state of mind. Framed posters of Broadway and Tinseltown shows decorate decades-old brick walls. Checkered red tablecloths dot the dark but cozy dining room. A jukebox in the corner sits quietly, waiting patiently for a coin to be dropped in. Servers stand  at the ready to sling good old fashioned American staples such as meatloaf, cheeseburgers, and Coca-Cola… but do so with thick European accents.


For, you see, we’re not currently in New York. Far from it.


I won’t tell you exactly where we are, since Meagan handles that so well in the interview. But for now, let’s just say this surprising location for our talk is a perfect fit for someone who herself is endlessly surprising.

Interviewee Bio

The career of Meagan Adele Lopez spans film, television, and theatre. After directing a series of plays in Paris, she produced the music video for the electric pop artist CLARA-NOVA and led the New York Times global digital advertising team. Her directorial debut, Raging Cult, earned her six film festival awards, and she is now in post-production for her first feature film, Through the Eyes of Others. After completion of her second novel, Meagan is now in development on a female-driven dark comedy TV series, and is celebrating the release of her recent TED talk with the subject: “Is the Hero's Journey freeing us or keeping us captive?”


Meagan and I order a couple coffees and settle into our wooden chairs at a table in the corner. The decorative candle is not yet lit, but the flame for creativity is definitely flickering inside the both of us. We invite you to grab a seat at the table, and listen to our conversation. Here’s what we talked about.


Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Hi Meagan (sigh)

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Hello Nichola

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Tell me where we are right now

Meagan Adele Lopez:  We are in the oldest American restaurant in Paris.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Okay

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Called Joe Allen

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Nice. Why here?

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Well, um...

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  I mean..

Meagan Adele Lopez:  hahaha

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Besides the obvious reason.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  You know, it’s the whole American tradition, so

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  It’s funny that when I had this vision of coming to Paris and travelling the  world and interviewing amazing people, like yourself, um, I had this romantic idea of interviewing you in this Parisian cafe...and we’re in an American restaurant...which I kind of love..and

Meagan Adele Lopez:  It’s American but it definitely has a very French flavor

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah, this is definitely seen through the, through the Parisian lens

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Yes, I mean you have all the American stars on the walls, you have that who are all French, giving us attitude, about sitting inside…

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  hahaha

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Because we’re not eating. You have all of it, yeah.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Um, okay, so...we’re going to get right into it. Um, I wanna tell you why I respect you, and why I fear you.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  oh... god (hahaha) ok

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  hahaha...and it’s uh, maybe a little different than you think. Here’s why I fear you. I fear you because you challenge one of my fundamental constructs.

(restaurant noise)

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  And that is, see, this podcast is in many ways... it’s called Of Tears and Blood, and it;s about the tremendous emotion, blood, sweat, and tears we put into our, our creations. And you have this way of making it look easy. Now, I suspect, the truth is very different, that, this is NOT easy, this is in fact very challenging. I’m afraid that you’re going to tell me…

Meagan Adele Lopez:  haha

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  It’s easy, it’s effortless, all you have to do is be in the flow and the universe creates miracles

Meagan Adele Lopez:  hahaha

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  So... is it easy?

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Uh...I would say yes and no

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  haha okay keep going

Meagan Adele Lopez:  hahaha. I would say that I am opposed to the idea that...of the struggling artist in general

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Okay, tell me, tell me about that.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Because I feel like it’s outdated.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Because I feel like it is, um, something that we’ve created as this romantic notion of what an artist should be and um, and I feel that it just causes a lot of pain and suffering. And I have to believe that we don’t have to suffer to create great art.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Because I also have to believe that we don’t have to go and become alcoholics or drug addicts or you know...I feel like that is an image that has been created because maybe that was the only way that we could have been back then.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  and...and I think it's incredibly difficult because every single day you have to make the commitment to show up and do it.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  So that for me is the hardest thing, is showing up, no matter what.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm. Mmhmmmmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Um, you know I was working at the New York Times, as, in a really big position, as their Global Digital Business Director, which was basically meant that I was overseeing the digital advertising operations for everything outside of the US

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  ….for the New York Times. So I managed teams in Hong Kong, Paris, and London. But I became so dedicated to trying to find my inner artist while, while, doing this incredibly technical like operational driven job...

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  heh, yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  that I….the suffering became where I ...I didn’t go out at night. You know, I worked nights and weekends, um, I worked on the trains and the planes, and the automobiles...hahahaha

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  No, yeah, yeah, yeah..

Meagan Adele Lopez:  So I guess that’s where the difficult part comes

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah, yeah, yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Um...And, I’d find that the more I’d do it, the more in the flow I do become...I mean, I’ve read lots of books about Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert, you know…

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez: ... being in the flow, how to become Superman, like all these sort of, all these sort of things

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And I do believe that is a big part of it.  Um..Allowing the universe, listening to the universe, and opening yourself up to that

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Like absolutely.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  But I don’t think that we have to drown ourselves in a bottle of vodka. I’ve done that...

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  ha, yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  hahahaha

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah, me too. Whiskey is my

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Whiskey?

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Close enough..

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Yeah, vodka was like, early twenties, then I grad... then wine, and then like whiskey, and now I’m sober.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  hahaha. Yeah, vodka’s a gateway drug.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  yeah

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Um, see I...I go to your creative retreats, and I turn to you for guidance, and I solicit opinions from you, and I bounce things off of you because you challenge the part of me that thinks it has to be hard. It has to be a struggle. And so I go to learn from you...from somebody who says ‘you know what? I’m going to make a film, and I’m going to become a filmmaker...rightnow.’ And you, uh, get a team together, and you get a, you write a script, and you put all the production together, and you go shoot a film, and then it wins a million awards. Right? So…

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Well...six.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  hahaha

Meagan Adele Lopez:  hahaha

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  So that’s my compliment to you, is, I realize that I have places where I can learn some of what you got going on

Meagan Adele Lopez:  I always wondered why...hahahaha

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  hahaha

Meagan Adele Lopez:  I’m glad you said that, because…

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Can’t a person learn is what I’m getting at. Can I learn it? Can people go from it has to be hard, it has to be challenging, into a place of... you don’t have to struggle.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  It’s, it’s, it’s funny. It’s an interesting question because I mean I, yes, of course. Because I...I...I haven’t always come from that. I came from a place where I thought I had to be struggling, and I thought it had to be hard my whole life. I mean that’s..that’s kind of the only thing you’re taught as an artist, I feel like, and like, you’re kind of taught you need to suffer for your art, and…

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  I mean I remember acting in Los Angeles, and the reason I actually left acting in 2008..

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  ….was because the last play I ever did in Los Angeles was with this director who was a method actor.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  and he told me that if I didn’t quit my job, didn’t commit full time to this play - which I wasn’t getting paid for - where there were ten people coming to the show every night

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  uh, then I was not a real actress, and I would never make it in the industry, and that I wasn’t committed. And ...that’s abusive.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  That’s not...how can anybody live their life that way? And it took me a decade to figure out a way to be healthy in my arts..

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Because...and I did not act basically for ten years after that because I thought that I was a failure...because I fully...my character on stage was slowly going crazy, my director was going crazy, and I was going crazy

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  because of the pressure that we’re putting on ourselves for this stupid fucking play that like nobody was coming to see.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  You know, and so yeah...I would say that it is something that we learn. I think there’s a lot of work that...I’ll speak for myself.. that I had to continue to do on myself

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  to make me believe that I was worthy of receiving the information. But I guess I’m a big proponent of getting shit done and putting stuff out there and getting rejected a hundred times

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  because I’ve also been rejected from 107 film festivals

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  wow

Meagan Adele Lopez:  hahaha

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Wow. Yeah, yeah.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  You know what I mean? That’s why I’ve, i’ve been selected for fifteen

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  and I won six awards, and I’ve been rejected from 107

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  So you know that kind of puts it in perspective.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  It’s like...it’s effortless in terms of I, I push through and I believe in magic and I allow magic to happen andI, and I listen, and I pick the right people, and I go with my gut - I think the biggest thing is like, just trusting your gut, which I just don’t think people get so into their heads and they mindfuck themselves…

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah, yeah

that’s...and then they end up going back to the original idea

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  that they had in the first place, right?

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah. All the trouble I’ve ever gotten in is because I didn’t follow my gut. My head likes to think it’s in control but I wish it wasn’t. I wish I could relinquish that control to my gut a little bit.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  mmm...welll….haahaha

Nicholas Ryan Howard: ...hahaha

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Why can’t you?

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  I’m not gonna lie. It’s because my gut is too full of donuts and delicious coffee. It gets too full..

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Or croissant now

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  or croissant and pain au chocolat

Meagan Adele Lopez:  pain au chocolat

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  So, okay. How does a person handle a hundred and seven rejections with this philosophy? With this idea that you don't have to get ...get wrecked by it?
Meagan Adele Lopez:  mmhmm...ugh that’s hard.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  heheh...yeah, yeah, yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  um, I think that it’s like...well, first of all, I had a lot of support, too. I think that’s something that people are, like, so ashamed of asking for help, and I’m in a Facebook group called 100 Rejections, where last year our goal as a collective was basically to have a hundred rejections in the year. And I took that seriously, and I felt supported because I had a group where we were all celebrating our rejections

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Susan Sarandon has this amazing quote where she basically talks about every time that she gets rejected, she celebrates it because celebrating it means that the universe has something better in store for her.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah. Yeah, yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Next. So that really helped me because I really believe that. Because every time I’m rejected, like, it, that’s not meant for me because there’s something bigger in the wings.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah, yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And I mean this week was a perfect example. I had my 105th rejection from a man….hahaha

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  hahaha

Meagan Adele Lopez:  and I was heartbroken. I was on my bed sobbing, like literally thinking about slitting my wrists, like I don’t say this casually, I mean I was just in despair, because I’d been single for eight years,

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  pretty much, you know..and I was like, nobody is gonna ever love me ...hahaha...you know I’m laughing about it now, but in the, in the moment it was very real. It’s like it was that gutteral, like heart-wrenching, like, sobbing.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah, yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And I woke up in the morning and it, and something came over me where I said just go to sleep

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  you don’t have to have the answers now

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  just go to sleep and let’s see what happens in the morning

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  well, in the next 36 hours, I basically got accepted to a TED talk, I got signed with my dream literary agent, where I’ve been working on a novel for 5 years - I mean that’s hasn’t been easy

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  But then again, like, I also met her at this cocktail party. You know, it’s like, it’s like yes and no. You work with the universe and you keep applying and then you also just keep showing up, and you also just have conversations with people

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And that’s usually how it’s worked for me

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Honestly as, as many times as I apply to something, it’s usually just through a conversation I’ve had with somebody. And then the third thing was that my photographer got accepted into an art exhibit in Paris

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  So it’s like literally within 36 hours I went from screaming in my bed and sobbing to screaming in my living room and jumping up and down

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Oh my god...

Meagan Adele Lopez:  I mean all the hard work paying off

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Thank you for illustrating the title of my show Of Tears and Blood. It’s like the tears of sadness and the tears of joy.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  yeah

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  One and then the other

Meagan Adele Lopez:  mmhmmm

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  That’s a hell of a week.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  yeah. Yeah. So anything can happen. And I guess (sigh, yeah it’s like I don’t want to give people this false hope, but it’s all, it should be all about the work at the end of the day. It has to be about the process.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  So, I think it’s important to point out - you had this week, this killer week. You’re a novelist, you’ve worked at the New York Times, you’ve done countless plays, you are constantly writing and creating, and doing workshops and retreats, and, like, you are a hard, hard worker. (heh)

Meagan Adele Lopez:  yeah

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  You worked your ass off for this stuff.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Yeah.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Day in and day out.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Yeah

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  And you, you’ve suffered the grind, and you’ve pulled away from the grind. You’ve gone to the light places, and you’ve done to the dark places. You’ve done a lot to manifest this stuff…

Meagan Adele Lopez:  I’ve always, I mean, since I was five years old I’ve been working.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And I mean legitimately actually getting paid to work since I was 12

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Um, you know, I don’t, but I, but I also don’t, I don’t believe in the word ‘the hustle’...

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Okay, okay

Meagan Adele Lopez:  ...it kind of...I think in a lot of people it brings up this feeling of not being worthy until you are working so hard that you’re, like, grinding yourself into the ground.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And, I live in France for a reason. Because I believe in taking breaks and I believe in vacations, and

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And I believe in walking around...and, and falling in love...and hahaha

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah. Yeah, yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  and I believe in breaks and I think that that’s a lot of times when the magic does happen.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And so I’m very grateful to have grown up in America with the work ethic that I have..

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Because I do think that that drives me to no end..

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  But also I have to watch it because sometimes it does come from this place of ‘I’m not gonna be good enough until I achieve X’  and the reason again, though I love the French, when I worked at the New York Times, I had 49 days vacation

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Every year

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  You know? And that’s really important to say as well. I’ve also always worked in tech, where I mean historically I’ve...I’ve  basically had either unlimited vacation or like six weeks or seven weeks...I guess I’m just saying that like I have manifested this, and I have worked really hard..

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And I also work with a Shaman

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  hahaha….and I also do self help and like, and I also believe we’re not broken. I also believe, you know, all the complexities of that.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  We need to take breaks and rests and sometimes I sleep, most days, until noon. Hahahaha

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  hahaha

Meagan Adele Lopez:  because I mean I’m not working sometimes until 2am you know, so it’s like  all that...it’s complex and it’s, yeah.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah. See, see, I love this conversation and you’re bringing up something that I’m very passionate about, which is - I’m allergic to people who run workshops for things like manifestation. And the reason is because nine times out of ten, people running the workshops about manifestation...the only thing that they’ve manifested is how to run a workshop on manifestation and collect a couple hundred bucks from the people around them.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  right. mmhmm

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  I like what you’re saying because you’re like, ‘yes, I believe in the powers of the universe, I believe in working with my shaman, I believe in manifesting, I believe in conjuring...we danced by the full moon, by the fire at the...at a house in Normandy recently to manifest...but then you go and do the work.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  mmhmm

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  You’re not like, ‘I danced by the full moon, I don’t understand why I’m not getting the literary agent.’ You’re still writing the novel and submitting it and putting yourself out there and that’s why I learn from you and why I respect you.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  mm

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  It’s because I think you do have both worlds covered.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Right, because I think people are always looking for that magic wand and…

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  You know...and it’s so interesting because I, I talk to a lot of people who feel like, they’ve stopped going to all the self-help people because they’re sick of feeling like they’re broken and feeling like they need to fix something

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  But they stop going right when they should be going because that’s when they need the support…

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  of people who...you know the top people in the world have coaches and I’m just a firm believer of again, of like showing up no matter what. It’s like they say at the gym, ‘Like, you know, you don’t have to put in your best workout every time…’

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  ‘But if you just show up to the gym, you’re going to eventually gain some muscle...hahaha

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  you know what I mean?

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  hahaha yea

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Like, I mean you still have to actually do something once you get there…

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  But like, um, showing up is half the the battle.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  I feel like some people are so invested in ‘how do I get there?’ ‘How do I become a creator?’ They become very obsessed with the process of becoming creators and you as you so eloquently phrased when we were sitting outside a few minutes ago...you’re a cart before the horse person. You go for it.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  I’ve seen, um, men do this all my life, and especially as a woman I feel like we’re...we’re so often told that you have to wait until you’re at that level in order to apply to something...or

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Or you know you have to take the next class...or you have to...and I...I miss. I mean I;m sure that there is, that there are lots of men who feel this way too, but I was just so sick of that narrative for women

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  and I was so sick of that, like, I applied for this job at the New York Times, not thinking that I was gonna get it at all. I was actually on my way…. This is actually also the beauty of how I feel like life just happens, because I believe in declaring what you want out of life, and then forgetting about it.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Okay

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And then keep going and doing the work like you said

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And so, when I was a student, I studied abroad in Paris in 2004-2005

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And I was more depressed than I’ve ever been when I got back to the United States

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  at the end of that year. I thought that I belonged in Paris, but I was like that dream’s never gonna happen..hahaha...how am I ever going to be able to get back to Paris? I wrote down in my journal probably a million times that ‘I just want to live in Paris. I just want to live in Paris.’ And then I forgot about it. And then, fast forward a decade, I took so many twists and turns, you know I started my own business. I fell in love with an English guy. And then I moved to Bristol, England. Then I fell in love with a guy in LA, and I was living in London at the time, and then I was applying for all these jobs in LA, and nobody was getting back to me. I was, like, I have people at the top of Google, Facebook, and Twitter giving me references, to get into the doors in these people’s, and then I had, was so qualified for these positions, nobody was calling me back.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  it was I was being blocked

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  and I didn’t know what the fuck was happening. So, I end up seeing this job posting on LinkedIn for the New York Times. It was like weirdly describing by entire bizarre career that I’d had

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  heh

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Like in social media, and advertising, and marketing

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  But my career was not straightforward at all.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And, and so I literally just clicked apply..you know on LinkedIn, it was that, you know, quick apply button.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  I just clicked apply

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  uh huh

Meagan Adele Lopez:  There were like 350 applicants, and I’m like, I’m never gonna get this job. I end up forgetting that I applied. Because, you know I didn’t even realize it was based in Paris. Then I get I call, where, they picked five people to interview.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And I’m one of them.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And I’m on my way...I had already given up my job in London, and I my apartment...I’m on my way to move in with this guy in LA

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Who I was so in love with. And, I go through with the interview, you know, basically, I don’t know if I got the the job or not, but I basically...at the end of going into Paris and meeting with them, I sent them an email that said thank you so much for the opportunity, but actually, like, after thinking about this job, I’m not gonna take it

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  hmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  I know you haven’t offered it to me, yet

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  uh huh

Meagan Adele Lopez:  but, i’m passing. And the, basically, the, who was gonna be my future boss called me and said ‘look we haven’t made our decision, but you are our top candidate. If you change your mind, let us know.’

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmm mmhmmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  So then I couldn’t sleep for the next couple days and you know at the same time I was lying to my boyfriend that I’d even applied to this job

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  ok

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Because  - I mean that says something in and of itself, right?

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Couldn’t sleep. Long story short, called the boss the next week and said ‘I know you haven’t offered me the job, but I would like for you to offer me this job.’ Hahaha

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  hahaha

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Can you send me the offer

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  hahaha

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And he’s like, ‘oh I have to ask, you know what’s changed.’ And I said, ‘don’t worry you’ll never have to hear about it. You know, I was, I am in love, but you won’t hear about this again.”

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  So it ended up they offered me the job, and then I moved to Paris. And I am in Paris. Ends up my boyfriend, he had been cheating me the whole time, you know, cheating on me with four different people, that is an example of ‘had a dream, forgot about it, in a fucking weird ass way’

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  ‘it came back. I don’t even know if it was about the New York Times, or whatever, but it was about me being in Paris.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And I feel like I need to be here for my creativity

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm, yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And thats, that’s why I’m here. Sometimes, you take opportunities. You don’t know where or why they’re gonna end up, but, just trusting, and having faith I guess.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And working.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Is the  whole thing

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yes. So at this point, you are an American of cuban descent...Woman coming to Paris to start a new career, there’s a blanket adversity that comes from gender and background

Meagan Adele Lopez:  right

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Right, cultural background, your heritage. How did that affect you, and what’s your philosophies on that, especially as somebody, as an American coming to live in Paris to create a life and a career.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Yeah, I mean I should definitely caveat the whole experience with the fact that it can be incredible lonely and isolating to move to a new country

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Where you don’t know anybody, and

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  and as a woman, yes, on top of that. I mean, we do have to take different precautions than men. You know my first week actually living in Paris, I was attacked on the Metro.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  I was grabbed. Groped twice by this guy that who I, then followed me. Um, and Paris, you know, yes, it’s a city of love, but it’s also the city of groping...haha...and like, the patriarchy is strong here.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  let’s...let’s put it that way

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Okay

Meagan Adele Lopez:  I mean I was also approached by a guy who wanted to sex traffic me.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Um, on the streets of Paris

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mhmm.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  and it’s...there have been moments where I felt like...I have nobody...and it’s scary as shit. I don’t know other than maybe there’s something with being a first generation American. You know, they talk about first generation immigrants, how they tend to have this tenacity, or wanting to prove themselves

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  ok

Meagan Adele Lopez:  in a way that, um, others don’t.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  I think that...I moved around a lot when I was little

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Um, so I was halved and morphed..

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  and become different people. So I moved around twelve times

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  by the time I was twelve years old.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  To different states. And so I was constantly...I changed my hair every six months

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  You know I was that actress

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  You know I think I’m constantly testing identity and

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And trying to understand what that is. Um, you know, I don’t know that this life is for everybody.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Absolutely.  And, I’m really happy that I made the decision not to drink this year, because I think that ex-pats can go down the slippery slope of drinking themselves…

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  into oblivion. Because it’s very easy to disappear.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mm. mmmm.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  As an expat. You’re neither in this world or that world.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  It's like, you know, you’re always different. And then, then, once you move, then you have the unfortunate problem that when you go back home, you’re also a foreigner.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Right, right.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  so, you know, you’re going to experience this at the end of this year. You’re going to probably have a bigger culture shock going back home

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  than you are having now

(restaurant sounds)

Meagan Adele Lopez:  I mean it’s...it’s tough because you seem like the same person but like everything has changed inside of you.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Right. Right, right.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  You know?

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  You know my sister made the comment to me last month when I was just...I was confused by a situation in Baltimore.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  I didn’t quite... She was like. She’s like stop playing like you don’t understand. You grew up here. And it’s like the truth of the matter is, I’ve lived abroad for more than half my adult life. So my identity is very confused.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  That statement: ‘my identity is very confused’ is, it’s funny because you to me are the person with the strongest identity. You, you’re always unapologetically you. Everything from, like, your persona, your energy, the way you present yourself...it’s you. And I admire the fact that  - like you said in a  place and a culture...it can swallow you up or make you feel like fading away, you’ve found a way to stand into yourself.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  mmm

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  and be an individual in a sea of conformity.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  (Sigh) Thank you. Um, that’s like probably the biggest compliment you could give me. Like, uh…

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  You’re welcome

Meagan Adele Lopez:  You're challenged to either really know who are and really let, get that core solidified..

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Or fade away. And I guess I... I’m uncompromising on my decision to keep pushing past what my upper limit is

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  to and I have to say better myself, but just to push through what I think this feeling is for me.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmm mmhmmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And...and that means staying truer to my values, having more integrity, getting stronger in my body, becoming more creative, producing more, loving harder...I don’t think the goal in life is to be happy. Like, for me

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Happy is a fleeting moment in time

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  You know, am I happy right now? Yes!

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  hahaha

Meagan Adele Lopez:  I’m happy right this second talking to you Nichola...hahahaha

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yes!! Haha!! Me too. Me too.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And...that can’t be a goal. Like the goal has to be, for me, again, is always to just continue finding the magic in life

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  I love that. Magic isn’t always happy. Magic is rich. Magic is powerful. But not all magic makes you happy. I read Harry Potter.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  hahaha

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  I know this for a fact.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And isn’t the goal in life to feel all the feelings?

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And when we try to hide...as dark as I was at the beginning of this week, and as hard as that was, I don’t wish that on anybody…

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And it’s also the raw beauty of life. It’s what...where great art comes from.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  I believe in the exact same thing. I...I get very nervous when people say I just want to be happy. You know?

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Yes!

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  I think that, to me, that’s as foreign as saying I just want to be sad all the time. It’s an emotion. You’re essentially chasing an emotion…

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Right…

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Instead of looking for a foundational, fundamental, fulfillment in life. It’s something that came up for me in the conversation we just had was, and this was interesting, the way you said this...you said, you sort of make it a mission to push through the ceiling that you set for yourself. Is it also a mission to push through the ceiling of societal constructs?

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Oh, yes. Absolutely.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Okay.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Whenever somebody tells me that something can’t be done, I see that as a challenge to figure out how it can be done.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  But absolutely, I think, when somebody, like, I, I definitely thrive on when people say I can’t do something, and, um, proving them wrong.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Um, that just becomes like another motivating factor. Not always. I think in the past, I believed way too many old men..

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  hmmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  ...who took me under their wing, and thought I was this cute girl who, you know, needed help. And I thought that they had all the answers..and..

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  ...that was a trap I fell into a lot when I got older. So, I’ve become aware of that...I once had a guy say to me, ‘I just don’t understand you, because I can’t sell you, I can’t market you, because you’re like...like you’re interested in too many things

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  heh...mmmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  you know you need to figure out the one thing that you are

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  and I really struggled with that for years after he said that. Because I was like, ‘there’s something wrong with me. I like all these things. And like, blah blah blah blah.’ And once I had the realisation that no, you can be a jack of all trades, and nobody can put Baby in the corner...hahaha

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  hahaha

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Then it was like the sky was the limit

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah, we’ve had discussions in the past about masculine energy, feminine energy...so, how much of that is a factor, and what is, what does that even mean to you?

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Yeah, uh, I, it’s something that I’m definitely exploring right now because, we have to be very careful with saying ‘we just need more female representation’ or ‘we just need more females in lead roles,’ or ‘we need females as presidents,’ you know?

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  As much as I want to see a female president, what I’m almost more interested in, and what I’m almost more interested in stories is, not just seeing a female president, because we’ve seen female leaders, right? Margaret Thatcher, um, if Hillary Clinton would have become a president, to me, they, they so represent the masculine energy. You know, they still come from the patriarchy for me, and, and, and, females historically in power is not the answer because they end up upholding the patriarchy, sometimes even more than their male counterparts. They’re not always helping women...or female identified persons.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  So, for me what’s more interesting. And I’m, so, and I’m taking that and I’m putting that into storytelling, because for me, again, it’s a similar thing, where it’s not just about the strong female lead

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  It’s not just about having the female protagonist there. Although that is important, because like we talked about earlier, representation, seeing it does matter.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  But it’s more about telling the feminine stories.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm. Thank you for answering that. And it sounds to me like there’s this really nice informing of the boundary pushing on your personal levels, and then on the cultural levels. They sort of inform and intertwine in your work, and I’ve really seen that. I’ve really seen that, like, the, your creations, how that, they sort of talk to each other. Um, and I’m always impressed by that. I always like that.


Midpoint

Welcome back to the show.


Meagan is someone who is so gifted—so proficient—in taking her losses in stride. In fact, she celebrates them. It’s one thing to understand conceptually that a rejection, or a pass, or a creative misfire, is actually a step closer to where one needs to end up. But it’s another thing to actually live with that philosophy.


Now, before we go any further, there’s something you should know about the place we’re in. Something most people who’ve stepped inside a Joe Allen restaurant—whether it be in Paris, or New York, or London—may never realize. Remember those posters on the walls that I mentioned? From Broadway plays? From film history? Many of them… they’re from flops. Failures. For some reason, the original owner of this place was obsessed with showcasing both the highs and the lows of creative endeavors, and he selected the decor of his restaurants accordingly. Celebrate the wins, the artwork tells us. Celebrate the losses, the artwork also tells us.


In other words, just celebrate, either way.


Let’s hear more from Meagan.


Inverview

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  The show is titled “Of Tears and Blood” and it’s about hte full, like we talked about, the full gamut of human experience, especially when you’re creating. So, I give the same prompt to all of my guests: Can you tell me about the tears of sadness?

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Tears of sadness was when I gave up acting and left, uh, Hollywood, and thought that, that part of my identity was dead.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And not realizing that a decade later that I would come back and find the joy in it again.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  That’s a good answer, and it’s inspirational, because you’re, you’re like the second person I’ve talked to in the course of a couple of days that has actually left acting, but then reengaged on your terms.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  mm. Mmhmm

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  You, you perform in your own material. You make, you know, careful choices about where you want to do your acting work.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  I think as, especially, again, as a female-identified person, um, I think we sat in the background for so long waiting for the industry to change, waiting for roles to be created for us

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And, when I found writing, and I realized that I had a voice, that was - as Tina Fey said - you know you think you have power as an actress, and then you start writing, and...hahaha...like...completely, that’s where the, that’s where the power lies.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah. So, tell me about the tears of joy.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Spending five years on a novel, which you’ve had various moments of thinking that it was the worst thing you’ve ever done in your life, to rewriting it from start to finish three times, and then, getting the email that you’re going to be signed with a literary agent and finally having somebody who has your back.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Like that’s like the biggest thing, is, there was a point where I just thought that I was just going to be creating, and I was going to be the only one who believed in my, in me…

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah, yeah, yeah.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  You know? For the rest of my life, and, just having somebody who’s...feel like has my back..

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  I can’t even describe it.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Tell me about the blood of pain.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Well the first thing that came to mind was, so I was auditioning for one of the most famous theater companies in Los Angeles, and (sigh) I poured my heart and soul into this audition piece, and the woman who was auditioning me, screamed at the back ‘I don’t believe you!’

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  ‘Do it again!’ So, like the good actress that I was, I went back offstage, came back, and I did it again. And she screamed again - as I was doing the monologue - ‘I don’t believe you! I don’t believe you! I don’t believe you! Do it again!’ I probably did it five or six times and this was a Bertholt Brecht piece where I was pleading to God, so it was already quite emotional, to the point where I was sobbing so uncontrollably on the floor, I couldn’t even thank her ..haha...as I was leaving, and I think like I sobbed for, like, eight hours after that, because it was such a power play on her part

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mm..yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And  you know, whether or not she saw something in me, and was trying to get me, to push me to my level, like, like that is...not good.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  To push somebody that far

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And again, that was of, towards the end of my, you know, acting career in Hollywood, and the irresponsibility of people in that position, when you have somebody who’s pouring their heart and soul already, and it’s like, ok, fine, you don’t believe me? Say you don’t believe me. Like, I, I guess what I didn’t understand was, was she truly just trying to see if I was the right one?

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Or was it a complete power play...

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Where she was just trying to break me?

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Right. Break you open…

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Because she definitely succeeded in that.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  So, in my travels, with educating myself about the human consciousness, and the creative consciousness, I’ve come across programs that are designed to crack you open. It’s not about bringing somebody to a place of awareness and elevation, and perspective. It’s like, like let’s just take that sledgehammer and crack you open to bleed out all over the floor.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And then not having the tools to bring you back.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yes.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  If you’re in a safe space, and you have the tools to crack somebody open like that, and then, letting them know that then you’re going to bring them back together...

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Right

Meagan Adele Lopez:  and you know...Otherwise, it’s just trauma, trauma, trauma.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah. Yes, yes.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  (Sigh)

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yes, totally. It’s not like she said, you know, asked for consent and said, ‘hey, can I walk you through a process that’s…’

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Exactly

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  ‘...designed to really push you.”

Meagan Adele Lopez:  yep

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  And..’we’re here for you, and you’ve got a safe space, and we’ll make sure you’re taken care of by the end of it.’ Right. That’s responsible.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Exactly.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Yeah. And I hope and pray that Hollywood is becoming more and more responsible because of everything that’s happened and gone down, but…

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah...I think a lot of teachers and mentors especially in performance. There is that sort of God-trip or ego-trip, you know, casting people especially as well...when you’ve got real life people in your hands, you’re really playing with fire to be that cavalier with their emotional state. There are ways of leading people through these awarenesses, without, you know, smashing right into them like a truck.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  mmmhmmm. Yeah, exactly.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Tell me about the blood of passion. What that means is, anything from where does your passion come from, to what gets you up in the morning, to day after day, year after year, still creating...where does that come from?

Meagan Adele Lopez:  I don’t know...hahahaha

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  hahaha

Meagan Adele Lopez:  No I mean, uh, I wanna, I,  I’m obsessed with trying to figure out how to tell stories outside of the patriarchy, and in this way that gets people thinking and feeling, and it’s not just about, like, the diversity problem, and getting more women, on, on screen, and, um, that is very, very important. Representation is..I, I actually was on this date with this guy a couple of weeks ago, and um, we quickly realized that he had learned very early on that he had wanted to become a filmmaker at the age of 5, and I, as I was watching the same movies, I made the conclusion that I wanted to be an actress..

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  ...and I really wonder if that was because I wasn’t seeing female filmmakers.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  You know, he was able to see people like him doing it…

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And, I wasn’t. So does that mean that then therefore I concluded that the only thing that I was good enough for was that...not to say that...you know, I have great respect for actors, I still am one.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Let’s make that very clear. Um, however, was there a reason that I didn’t think I could tell my own stories at that point. So I guess the passion comes from this place of making up for lost time..

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  in some ways. Not, uh, having believed I was, my voice was important...

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  for so many years. And then also believing that there’s just so many stories that aren’t being told that I want to tell.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And, sometimes I get overwhelmed by the amount of stories that I want to tell, and they bleed into each other..

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And that gets confusing, and, um, and keeps me up at night for sure...hahaha

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Haha. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  You know. Like, I’m working on a TV series right now, and a feature film, uh, my novel, now I have this TED talk that I have to do, and kind of like...fuck. Haha.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Hahaha. Yeah.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  But it’s exciting too. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah, it sounds like the material is what fuels your passion.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Yeah, definitely. The process. And I...yeah...I’m...I think that’s why I’m, I get so excited about making films now, because there’s so much to learn. Like, there’s so many different aspects of filmmaking. It’s technical, it’s creative, you’re working with people, you’re managing a team, you’re thinking outside the box.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  hahaha

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And like, you’re ...it’s, not to use corporate speak or whatever...hahahaha...and you are creating magic.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  You know, before people’s eyes, and you’re, you’re fucking with time, I already don’t believe that time is a constraint in general, like I do believe that we can move between these layers of…

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Nice

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Of, of the universe

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And when people say I don’t have enough time, I call, like, it’s fucking bullshit for me.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Um, because I do believe we can contract and expand time as we please

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  hmm.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Like right now, even, talking to you…

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  this is going by so quickly because it’s so interesting

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmmhmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  The questions that you’re asking…. And I’m hearing, you know the sounds around me, and I’m imagining how this is gonna be presented, like, when they listen to this, and where they’re going to be, and, like, all this stuff is happening at the same time, so the time has gone by, like so, so we probably have been talking for like an hour and a half or something?

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah, yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And...and yet, there are moments when I’m sitting there, wondering when my love is gonna show up,

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  hahaha

Meagan Adele Lopez:  ...and you know I’m looking at the clock…and literally, hearing the ticking, and it’s like 45 minutes have passed. And I feel, I love, the idea of, like, playing with that.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  mmm. Mmm..mmhmmm

Meagan Adele Lopez:  You know? So, that was kind of a tangent, but…

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Nice. I love it.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  haha

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  I’m in

Meagan Adele Lopez:  hahaha.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  We are time lords. That’s it.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  We are time lords!

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  That’s a…

Meagan Adele Lopez:  As you as you understand that you control your time…

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  ...then your world opens up.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  I believe something similar, I just say it in a different way, which is, like when people say to me, like, how do I find the time...for this...and I say, you don’t find the time...you take a machete, and you hack your way through the jungle you carve out

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Right..

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Your time.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Like it’s not that hard, just, like don’t go out for drinks with your friends that night

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  hahaha.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  I know that’s sad, and like, but how many times have you done that...haha

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah

Meagan Adele Lopez:  And like, hahaha, five hours have gone.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah, in, when you come from a position of power over time, and you say like, I will carve out my time, I will not find the time.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Time is my bitch

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  I will..yeah, yeah.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Yeah. Rather than, uh, you being time’s bitch.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yes

Meagan Adele Lopez:  I hear so many people being like, ‘yeah I don’t have time...blah blah blah blah.’ Like, I ain’t got time for you to tell me about how much time you don’t have. I fucking…

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah. I love it. Hahaha

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Like, you’re wasting my time right now with this conversation. hahaha.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  I...I just...that’s so..I just see an instagram post that’s like: ‘Time is my bitch’ - Meagan Lopez

Meagan Adele Lopez:  haha...oh my god

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  It’s just...I see it. It’s there...it’s there in the ether ready for me to claim it and put it out there.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  You know what, if I die tomorrow, and that is what I’m known for,

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  hahaha

Meagan Adele Lopez:  like, I bow down to, like, hahaha...if that’s my quote

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  I love it.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Yes

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  I love it. So, in conclusion, we should always understand that art is suffering..

Meagan Adele Lopez:  hahahaha...no!

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Did I hear this wrong?

Meagan Adele Lopez:  hahaha

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Um, no, thank you for doing this, thank you for having this conversation with me, and on a personal note, thank you for being an inspiration to me, and a companion, and an ally, and a friend, and, uh, all that good stuff. You’re one of my favorite people, and this has been an honor and a blessing to have this conversation with you.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  You’re really good at this, by the way…

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Ha. Thanks!

Meagan Adele Lopez:  You should, like, do this, for a thing.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  Yeah?

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Yeah. Put it on a podcast.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:   Maybe I’ll make this a thing. Hahaha

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Hahaha. It just got super romantic in here…

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  The lights just went off

Meagan Adele Lopez:  hahaha..Candlelight

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  And..the candles came out.

Meagan Adele Lopez:  (French accent) We are truly in Paris, Monsieur.

Nicholas Ryan Howard:  hahaha

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Excuse-moi?

Waitress: Yes

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Oui, en ____ pour l’addition, s’il vous plaît?

Waitress: Par carte?

Meagan Adele Lopez:  Ah, par carte, merci…

(Dining Room Sounds grow louder)


Outro

Having a coffee with Meagan? Cherished. Walking the streets of Paris with Meagan? An adventure. Spending days with her in a house - with other powerful creators - with the sole intention of harnessing the powers of creativity? Revelatory.


My first introduction to France was on one of her artist retreats. I was selected to be one of the Creative 13—her assembly of thirteen creators, visionaries, and storytellers—who would support each other in the development in their craft… while packed in a gorgeous home with all of the wine you could ever want (this was France, after all).


From that adventure, I can tell you firsthand that Meagan is someone who sets out to create magical experiences. And, I can tell you personally that Meagan is also someone who succeeds in creating those magical experiences. The first time I said the words, “I’m thinking about making a podcast” was at one of her retreats. It was Meagan who set up the opportunity for magic. It was up to me to believe in it. Which, I eventually did. With her help, and the help of a very supportive community. I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful for her.


I can’t wait to, someday, have another cup of coffee with her. I hope it’s soon.


Credits

Thank you to my guest, Meagan Adele Lopez. You can find her on Twitter, @meagan (that’s m-e-A-g-a-n), and at meaganlopez.com (again, don’t forget that extra “a” in there). Also, a special thanks to Christina McSween and Phillippe Pignal. Always, my thanks to the Creative 13, and finally a thank you to Joe Allen Paris.


Before you go, I have a question for you. Are you feeling stuck creatively? Do you feel trapped and can’t seem to break through into the realms that you dream of? If so… I get it. I really do. We’ve all been there.


But… maybe I can help. Here’s what I suggest. Drop me a line by going to oftearsandblood.com/sharing. Feel free to vent, express yourself, or ask questions directly to me, and I’ll do my best to get back to you with some guidance, or words of support. It is always my pleasure to be of service to those in need.


Again, that link is oftearsandblood.com/sharing. I hope to hear from you soon.


And now, some acknowledgements:


Music is by Glitbiter. You can hear more, including the full theme song to this show, at Glitbiter.com


Cover art portrait by Madena Koybaeva. To see more of her work, follow @madena.art on Instagram.


The producer for this episode has been Rosa Nadine Xochimilco Gevaux.


Special thanks to Infected Logic, and also to SabineTek. The interview you heard was recorded using their SmartMike+ wireless microphones.


Sound engineering by Karen Yee.


For more about the show, please visit OfTearsAndBLood.com, or follow @OfTearsAndBlood on social media.


You can learn more about me by following @NicholasRyanH on social media, or by going to NicholasRyanH.com.

Thank you again for listening, and thank you if you’re spreading the word about the show. Every time you tell a friend about it, it means so much to me, you have no idea.


This has been "Of Tears and Blood." Created by Nicholas Ryan Howard.