Sheldon Shaw, Playwright Tips to Amplify Your Creativity – InnovaBuzz 387

Sheldon Shaw

Sheldon Shaw, Actor and Playwright

In this episode, I’m really excited to have as my guest, Sheldon Shaw, a playwright, screenwriter, and actor. Sheldon has performed on stage and screen for over 20 years. For the last nine years, his primary passion has been writing.

Sheldon’s plays include “CNTL+ALT(RIGHT)DEL”, “Jailbird”, “Baby Starbucks”, “Billy. Shelly. Ally.”, and “Glen.” He is a multiple award winner for his plays and was recently listed in Time Out magazine as a Black playwright you need to know. He has studied theater, acting, and playwriting, and also has a BA from Temple University, majoring In Human Resource Administration and Risk Management and Insurance.

In our discussion, Sheldon talked to me about:

  • How observation and an interest in people is key to his creative process
  • Understanding and accepting your conditioning and realising that your ideas are important
  • Being confident in your ideas and knowledge, while at the same time open to feedback

Dr. Richard Orbe-Austin in episode 337 introduced us to Sheldon.

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

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Fear of failure usually comes from not trusting yourself. @SheldonEShaw on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

Show Notes from this episode with Sheldon Shaw, Actor and Playwright

Key points and takeaways from this episode include:

  • Acting mimics real life.
  • Fear of failure usually comes from not trusting yourself.
  • Everyone can be creative. You just have to really want to do it.
  • It is not a failure but a learning experience.
  • You cannot please everyone so don’t try.
  • You learn a lot about yourself with the arts. You learn a lot when you are creating.
  • Start by meditating on the characters – who they are, what they like, and what kind of people they are. Once you have a deep understanding of who these people are, then, think about what story do you want to tell and how would these characters react to every situation.
  • Creativity and innovation are all around you. You just have to be open to it.
  • Pay attention to the world. Be open to the conversations that are happening around you. 
  • Trust yourself and your conviction.
  • Online presentations are a completely new medium. Treat it a like TV show where you have no live audience and there will be no responses.
  • Listen to how people speak and talk to each other, as well as how they treat other people as compared to how they treat a friend or a family member.
  • All of life is real work. Every moment is real work. 
  • Creativity is around people. It’s all about really listening to other people and showing them that you care.
  • You don’t need anyone to teach you how to meditate. You have to find it out for yourself.
Creativity is all around people. It's all about really listening to other people and showing them that you care. @SheldoneShaw on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round

Here are Sheldon answers to the questions of our innovation round. Listen to the conversation to get the full scoop.

  1. #1 thing to be more innovative – Have more confidence in yourself. Be confident in what you know, what you believe, and that your ideas have worth.
  2. Best thing for new ideas – Meditation. Let the universe flow through you. Be open to things and to the world. Don’t cut off things based on your conditioning in life.
  3. Favourite tool for innovation – The Most Dangerous Writing App. Your ideas are worth something. Just keep writing them down because you’ll never know where it will go.
  4. Keep project/client on track – Setting aside time so that it is consistent.
  5. Differentiate – Tell your story. You are who you are. Your story is different from anybody else.

To Be a Leader

Try to find time to be with yourself and understand your conditioning. It will help you become more comfortable with yourself. Trust that your ideas are important but don’t hold on to them so strongly. If it doesn’t work, just let them go. It doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea, it just might not be the right time. 

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Sheldon through his website

Suggested Guest

Sheldon suggested we have a conversation with Kelsey Warren, a musician who has transformed his work through innovation. So Kelsey, keep an eye on your inbox for an invitation from us to the InnovaBuzz podcast, courtesy of Sheldon Shaw.


Cool Things About Sheldon

  • His play, “Baby Starbucks” was the winner of The Playwrights on Parade yearly competition in North Carolina, and was also chosen for the Rooted Theater Company’s annual Symposium in Brooklyn,  New York.
  • His play “Glen” was a winner of the Black  Screenplay Matter screenplay competition and finalists in the New York Screenplay  Contest.
  • He starred in the film called “Homecoming.”
Your ideas are worth something. Just keep writing them down because you'll never know where it will go. @SheldonEShaw on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

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Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is The World's Best Human-Centred Podcasting Coach and the only Podcast Innovator with the signature bright yellow headphones, who masterfully crafts human connection for high-impact achievers in a vibrant community. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Flywheel Nation Community as well as on Innovabiz' InstagramTwitter, Facebook pages and his personal Photography website.  

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