This week, my Kernel of Inspiration comes from Larry David. Do you ever find yourself saying, “That was such a ‘Curb’ moment?” Whether I get into a line that always seems to be the longest, despite continually moving to what appears to be a shorter one or mistakenly assume that someone works at Target just because they happen to be wearing a red vest or attempt to introduce two people because I think they have a lot in common, only to discover they’re totally offended by each other, I can’t help but think of Larry David. In fact, I actually refer to these as Larry David moments — I’m pretty sure that he has a lot more in common with his ‘Curb’ character than just his name.
In those all too familiarly self-aware, usually awkward and uncomfortable situations that Larry David exploits, more than anything, I feel a sense of connection with him. I’m not the only one, phew, what a relief. And then almost always, he goes well beyond what I did or would ever do and we experience what it might be like to have the nerve — or the narcissism — to unleash the truth, be heard and/or seek justice on occasion. I love going on that ride with him.
We all have these messy, relatable moments in life, we just haven’t necessarily had the opportunity to see this level of honesty on TV before Larry David – if we did, I sure wasn’t consciously aware of it like I am now. Thanks to Larry, the writer in me can feel a bit liberated by my own blunders (I’m only human) and if it’s still too horrifying a situation, remind myself to at least harness the moment while it’s fresh and jot it down – perhaps store it away as foder for one of my flawed characters? If you think about it, it’s sort of a relief to stop trying to forget a faux pas and to just embrace it.
As TV appears to be attempting to highlight authenticity and truth more than ever these days, Larry David is a great inspiration and reminder to write what you know by way of exploring the little moments in life. The messy details may be more relatable than you think and if nothing else, someone might remember you the next time it happens to them.
If you’re in the New York area, you can see Larry in his Broadway play, Fish In The Dark. But wherever you are, enjoy this terrific Times Talks interview from January 13, 2015 with Charles (Chip) McGrath and Larry David that gave me the creative nudge I needed this week: