Who are you?
Who I am is Paul Crik, but what I am is Killin It. What does it mean for a person to be a what and not simply a who? It means that you take hold of your life not as an identity but as a constantly evolving art work in which you are in control of the central theme. For me the theme is Killin It. The aspiration, the action, the choice at any and every moment to be Killin It rather than simply being Paul.
Describe your last experience using skates (ice or roller.)
Last experience on skates would be ice skates at Christmas - my good friend has a pond out back and families gather Christmas day for an all-out hockey game complete with home-made eggnog and growlers of micro-brew. All skating levels welcome.
What was the first Killin' It video and what inspired it?
The first Killin It video was on Fear. It was made with myself and my two great friends/artist collaborators Ben and Caroline, and its inspiration was literally the fulcrum point of going from Paul Ben and Caroline to Killin It with Paul Crik. Living in a cabin in Montana together we decided to adopt Killin It fully and film the proceedings, to make it a living work of art.
We thought Fear was the natural starting point since the beginning of any journey, particularly one of self-definition, is crossing the river fear. Since, despite years of being a swimmer and being around water, I have always had a fear of deep dark water, we thought what better way to start than pitching me into a lake and filming it. Me literally confronting a fear!
What is it about nature that makes things more interesting?
What makes nature interesting? Such a great question because it almost feels wrong to ask it. As in, how could nature ever even be something separate enough from ourselves to see it as 'exterior'. And yet that is the world we live in, where we often feel this nostalgic kinship with nature.
For me I think that interest has always been holiness, or wholiness, or maybe anti-holeness; as in when I'm in and around nature I feel the peace that comes from being part of a whole, I feel the hole within me that can dominate and drive when I'm in society's trance filled. Why? Societal structures simply evolved too fast, so we're forced to live within physical and social structures which are counter-intuitive to our own personal nature and instincts. When in nature we feel the 'rightness' of how things move and interact, it feels, well, natural.
I think this is an area humans could evolve with better. That the more that architecture, again both physical buildings as well as the structures of commerce and socializing, resemble organisms in nature the more in tune we will feel.
If you could reword 'follow your passion' into a new phrase what would it be?
Rewording "Follow Your Passion": Killin It. Or to continue to reword, Mount Your Mojo, or Let Your Guts Guide, or Make Headless Choices, or maybe the most sublime truth would simply be FOLLOW. Period. The danger you're probably alluding to with 'follow your passion' is not simply that's its as dried up as yesterday's puke, but it only leads to more internal debating. What IS my passion? Is it what you feel at the moment, is it what you want, is it an area of occupation, is it obsession? It can be all those things, but the best way to access it is to accept that at your best you are a vessel for some sort of energetic geyser that has taken place in the form of you. You're job as the vessel is to Listen and Honor what you Hear. Honor Your Impulses.
Trying to explain rollerblading to someone is difficult... Trying to explain Paul Crik to someone is difficult... Why do we need to explain?
We need to explain because we want to spread what we've experienced. We've found an access point to something and we can recognize other people are trapped and desperate to get out and if we could just get them to drop the blinders and notions they have they could feel it. But the more we try to explain the more they will perceive what we're saying as something else trying to guide them - which is what's trapped them! All these voices insisting upon them. True liberation can only be done by example, and only grasped by those who are ready. But the more you do it and the more heart you put into it, the more it will be seen.
Talk about the film 'Days of Heaven'
Haven't seen Days of Heaven, whiff. Obviously needs to go on my list.
How did you get into performing? You're very natural on camera...
My very first performance, true story, was an act of love. Me and this girl had this on-going passion that lasted over the course of many years, through relationships, through distance, not always physical active, but always spiritually alive. Once when we only had one night together I started reading this book to her. Then we parted, so I recorded the whole book onto a tape (real tapes back then!) and sent it to her. While doing it I thought, is this what it is to perform. And then I started exploring it more and more.
You're about to film a Killin' it video... How loose is the structure?
How loose is our structure? A great question because the answer, as I'm sure my cohorts will attest, is pure Killin It. It is both completely structured and completely free and improvised and where that line is is beyond definition or naming or even knowing between us. When we shoot we spend 24/7 together, eating, thinking, talking Killin It, pounding it out, sharing, taking notes, planning, scripting, plotting, then abandoning, remembering; then we head out to shoot when the moment strikes and we follow our instincts and we recite together and we discover together and film it. So at any given moment we all three believe anything could happen, yet we are fully grounded and immersed in what might happen from our preparation.
Talk about "digital suicide."
Digital Suicide. I was talking to this guy today who was telling me "I've started turning my phone off over weekends; leaving a message saying I'm out of touch all weekend and turning it off - and my weekends have started to feel an entire day longer." Digital Suicide is the extreme version of that. It is essentially going off the digital grid. And its amazing because you see how much you can feel defined and confined by the digital world. Without it, not simply with the phone off, but with Digital Suicide the erasing and eliminating of as many traces of yourself as you can do before powering down, you find that you're much more than you realized. That life, the days, is much broader.
You combine sound, visuals, movement, expression, comedy, creativity, words, reflection and inspiration in ways that resonate deeper than traditional storytelling... What is it about the human psyche that connects so deeply with ambiguity?
The ambiguity Question. This is one of the coolest things I've ever heard: what is it about the human psyche that connects so deeply with ambiguity? I think the answer lies in an opposite of sorts, which is why is the human ego so deeply connected to explicit clarity (actually its interesting, ambiguity has no true antonym). The ego is incapable of expression with righteousness. So most of what is delivered to us in storytelling (or pretty much anything) is a battle or lesson or ideal of clarity. Which our own audience ego can then grapple with, choosing to incorporate this clarity (agreement) or reject it (disagreement). This feels good for both ego's. But does little for the person, the soul, the part of us which has to actually live in the world where the nature of things is ambiguity.
When something is willing to present itself with nakedness of ambiguity, to suggest in its own statement of self, "I don't know even know exactly what I'm trying to say, I'm simply experiencing it and saying it", we recognize the kindred spirit that is the feeling called humanity. We simply and deeply relate to the non-knowing that is the essence of the human experience.
How is your relationship with your inner child?
My relationship to my inner child? Pure.
Some people are quick to associate being weird with doing drugs... Why don't more people believe in pure, unrestrained creativity?
Why can't people handle weird, especially the idea of unrestrained creativity? This is a real sad one to me. Because I have a hard time finding that place in myself that those people are experience, which is itself weird. I usually find I can relate to even hateful awful views when I see where they come from. But this one, it seems like the natural course is the opposite. That one should be honing and deepening one's weirdness in the path to adulthood, not eliminating it.
What's scary is it seems its a homogenous impulse that people embrace so readily. Then anything which threatens that outlook is a true personal assault; once you've subconsciously bought into a homogenous ethos, you're really screwed because the only people and ideas which can pull you out and save you are precisely the ones you will cut and fight and dominate to preserve your myth. I really think this is the big battle we face as people who give a shit about people being able to find their potential to be alive and joyous. And all we can do in that battle is not hunch our shoulders.
Why is rollerblading so polarizing?
Why is rollerblading polarizing? Great follow up after weird because I think rollerblading is polarizing because while at one moment in time it was a new invention, it fell between existing devises in a way that made it a homeless hybrid. So people who adopted it, or rejected it, felt compelled to start grouping themselves. Some rollerbladers don't want to be associated with skaters, some don't want to be associated with roller skates, some want it to be seen as an extension of tradition sports like hockey, while others want it to be a liberation from all those associations. Then, because it is such an amazing invention, I mean wheels on your fucking feet, come on, other than wings under your armpits it doesn't get anymore fundamentally dreamy than that, people take it very personally. Its not like a briefcase, just some accessory. It is literally an extension of yourself and how you move, so everyone is going to feel very prideful and attached to their idea of what they are. Hence polarizing. As far as people against them? Douchebags make up a percentage of every population, basic math, can't be avoided.
What's the hardest part of Killin' It?
The hardest part of Killin It? The temptation to not Kill It. Once you start Killin It, it becomes like any muscle, you start to become more aware of those instincts and impulses. But to follow them you've got to drop loads of other fun shit, like doubt, fear, regret, smallness, self-pity, blame. I've become very aware of those voices, how sometimes they're crying out "Come on, just for a bit, crack a beer, thing about how unlucky you are, just for a sec breathe a sigh of pity." And the thing is, it's not unKillin It to go there. You go where you gotta go. But it is unKillin It to make a habit of it or get stuck in it. And I've found that the easiest way to not make a habit of it is not make a practice of going there. But its hard, it can feel lonely, like "no one's watching, what if I just drop it for a while." That's the hard part. Though what I find is that more you can maintain the principles you choose, the more you see their effect on the vessel, so the easier it becomes.http://paulcrik.com Killin' It Vimeo Page Killin' It YouTube Page