We had the good fortune of connecting with Dylan Townsend and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dylan, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk is the essential component of growth. To lean in to your edge and face your own shadows of uncertainty, is the place where expansion comes from. Risk is therefore a great asset of any entrepreneur or artist, for it’s the leaning into one’s terrifying abyss, that come the miracles of tommorrow.
I always looks to feel into challenge, and what scares me most, and then make that a priority to deal with. If their is fear in doing something, if it feels risky, it must be hiding some greater expansion within it’s process that I am unaware of. That’s why it must be faced head on and with drive and purpose.
Some of the most risky decisions, the kind where your friends take you aside and question your motives and why you are activating something; are some of life’s most important breakthrough moments. I remember when I took a job that would have me leave Ireland, where I am from, and risk going on a tv show in Vancouver, my friends were worried for me and in that moment I was facing doubt all around me. It was a test to see if I would choose expansion or would I choose to stay where I was in my life. I took the risk and it changed me and my surroundings. The show brought more work, huge personal expansion and eventually got me to LA.
A risk is always worth considering- the scarier and more fearful you feel about it- the more you should consider taking it.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My work expands between mutual fields of art. Originally a writer and poet from my teenage years, I had to evolve my poetic non-sensical Joycian language, from the poetic forays into actual English that others could understand. It’s interesting, as a child they put me in the special English class, as they thought I was dyslexic and/or thought I had trouble with English in general. I find this to be true for many people; their greatest challenges become their most powerful attributes.
It was my writing that generated my entire career as a producer and director. Being around groups of actors and then going away and writing up a story was the seed for many of my initial productions. I entirely ad-hoc created my career as a producer, by learning through experience. I would write something and talent would be attracted and then we would make something together! Now that I have been at this process for over a decade, I have been able to take responsibility for bigger stories and larger productions. It’s been a very natural process and it all began with the written word.
Obviously there are many ups and downs by not taking many assisting jobs and working your way up in the media industry the normal way. There were learning curves that I was not aware of and I could of perhaps expanded in a more conventional way. That being said, I would not change how it’s all developed and am very grateful for the myriad of projects I am working on right now with a collection of amazing people that I adore spending my time with.
If there was one thing I would like the world to know, is that any story, however impossible in it’s telling may seem, can always be fathomed with enough persistence and actioned purpose.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Ohhhh a week long trip in LA! My friend is very blessed… for me I would start with the lesser known beaches west of Zuma… they are old California for me and completely tranquil, beautiful places to drop in to Los Angeles. A day out West with a hike or two and some beach wanders and perhaps surf a wave and then head to Topanga for some dinner and some weird and wonderful ceremony thing. Cacoa ceremony, sound healing and hopefully a sing a-long :))
Next day I would head to Downtown to some of the galleries and the action. What I love about LA is the contrast, one day you are in beautific beach environs, the next you are in the grit and creativity where the artists dwell in LA. Some epic food, find a music studio to drop into and buzz with some friends, then go to the cinema in the evening. One of my favourite things in LA is the old cinemas, I love the ‘The Vista’ in Los Feliz and I have always found that because LA is the media capital of the world and alot of people are in the industry, cinema goers really watch films with complete focus and the watching experience is always that bit better because of it.
Hopefully during the week there is a burning man event or some techno gig for us to get down at in downtown or out in nature somewhere. These are good LA times, when everyone dresses up weird and get’s even weirder. I would have to visit Venice beach to show them around the boardwalk and get some rollerskates/segways to rally around on and then maybe take a boat to Catalina for a day trip. That island is epic.
It would be essential to go and do some Kindalini Yoga( LA is where it originated) with Tej up in Weho and do some Boxing at Box Union and latter in the week, I would show them around some of my favourite restaurants including Il Pastaio( Sicilian), Rosaline( peruvian), meals by ganet( Ethiopian), Sushi Park( Sushi) and Dune( Falafel).
I love driving and would definitely want to show them around Mulholland drive and the lesser known roads in West Malibu. that is some of the best driving in the world and worth having a fun car to play around in 🙂
With all that said, it’s the people that make the city and is what has me in love with LA. It’s those experiences that you cannot really mention until that friend arrives and I look forward to showing them around and meeting the angelinos!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are a multitude of elements that go into someone’s career and the people, books and organisations that pave your path. I have been particularly gifted with many of the actors who trusted me to amplify their talents on screen, many of which- when I was just beginning- were working with me on blind trust alone. I appreciate you all for letting me mirror your magic.
I also have been gifted with multiple elder producing mentors, who taught me how to get things made and to blindly go forward even when it seems that everything is impossible. It’s always possible and that’s something I am grateful towards multiple figures for; they know who they are.
In terms of books, the beat writers of William Burroughs, Ken Kasey and later Hunter S Thompson, inspired me to always be exploring consciousness and say YES to adventures and to always keep questioning reality. You have to keep moving and these writers KEPT MOVING. This alongside some of the more journey and mystical orientated writers like Carlos Castenada, Paulo Coehlo, Mitchener and Lao Tzu, have all kept me to search for the stories along life’s viaduct and continue to be curious. Life’s greatest secrets are to stay curious and to stay perpetually young minded, fortunately, the former expands the latter.
Getty Images. Laurent Levy. Eimear Ennis Graham