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This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
My name is Alice Greczyn and I’m an actress, author, and the founder of Dare to Doubt. Although lately, I’ve been focusing mainly on writing projects.
My interest in writing began pretty much as soon as my interest in reading began. I remember my mom teaching me how to read when I was about four and whole worlds opened up to me. Immediately, I was interested in writing and making other people feel that way—transporting people, challenging people, shaking them up the way I like to be shaken up by a good book or a good article.
I’ve been a steady journaler since I was seven or eight years old. My first journal has a bunch of kittens on it and my handwriting is terrible, but I was so proper. I read a lot of very old literature—classic children’s literature—when I was really little. Books like Black Beauty and Sherlock Holmes. So even as a child, my writing used words that were way too big and not age-appropriate for me at the time. But I always loved... [Laughs] I call them word paintings. I like to paint with words and I like to make word art.
Could you imagine a life without creativity?
No. No, I would just feel silenced and I would rather die.
“It would seem that the world is getting more black and white and less colorful. That’s why we need artists to keep messing the colors together and to keep making gray out of black and white.”
What would you say to young Alice?
The thing that I think young Alice most needed to hear was that she was right. God’s not real. There is nothing wrong with her and she doesn’t need to waste so many years of her life trying to please an invisible being who doesn’t even exist—who may exist in some way, shape, or form for others, but will not ever be real to her. And that’s okay—it’s not real to many other people, either. There’s nothing wrong with any of you. You’re not defective, you’re not broken. You’re not a sinner and it’s not your fault. You’re great. You don’t have to do anything to earn someone else’s idea of salvation for someone else’s idea of sin. You’re smart, you know better. You’re on it and they’re threatened by that. Just keep going, stay true to your guns. You’re going to be just fine and you’re actually going to be really fucking happy one day.
What does creativity mean to you?
I feel like I just said that magical-flow-state is creativity to me—and it is. Creativity is also truth-telling to me. It’s the telling of a subjective truth. I do think there are objective truths in life that, yes, apply to all. Like gravity. That is not a subjective truth. But I think most things people would like to categorize as true or false tend to be very subjective. I think art and creativity are the expressions of subjective truth, for that time and place and person, or people.
I think we live in an era where truth is so threatening, where people seem very resistant to holding multiple truths in one lens. People are advocating for non-binary thinking in a very binary way, it would seem. It would seem that the world is getting more black and white and less colorful. That’s why we need artists to keep messing the colors together and to keep making gray out of black and white. I’m talking about comedians, musicians, painters, documentary filmmakers, any artist. Anyone who’s willing to take a risk and bare themselves and be like, Look, this is the lens through which I’m seeing the world right now. This is something that I think might be missed. This is a voice I would like to contribute to this public conversation we’re having. Whether it’s about a social justice issue, a climate change issue, a child-rearing issue, a government issue, a bodily autonomy issue, I think that artists—more so than a lot of other people with platforms—to me, right now, artists feel like the last frontier of truth.
Honestly, I feel very dreadful about where we may be going as a society. Even artists are trying to cancel other artists. In the name of anti-bullying, so many of us have become bullies. In the name of freedom and equality for all, we are creating a very imprisoning, self-censored, and very unequal society. It’s baffling to me. I feel like I’m watching some bizarre episode of Black Mirror. I think the censorship of art is well and alive, and that makes me really sad and really scared.
So creativity to me, right now in this moment, means someone who’s willing to bare their truth, as uncomfortable as it’s going to be for other people to hear and witness—and does it anyway.
“...creativity to me, right now in this moment, means someone who’s willing to bare their truth, as uncomfortable as it’s going to be for other people to hear and witness—and does it anyway.”
The pandemic and you.
Going through this pandemic taught me that I need lots of time alone to be productive. I’m one of those obnoxious people who thrived in the pandemic in many ways. I was able to finish my book, which was huge. I’ve been working on it off and on for almost ten years. Suddenly, I had all this time to decide how I was going to publish my book, to get all of the editing done, and get the cover done. My book was published in the pandemic—and the pandemic is still ongoing, at least in Los Angeles. I’m still in it. Creatively, it really helped. As a writer, I don’t depend on a live audience to share my art. I imagine it’s been a lot harder for artists who do need that in their medium and creative expression. But for me, I thrived.
What does the near future hold for you?
I’m looking forward to dabbling in NFT-world. To continue my own creative, controlled, independent way of sharing my creativity in ways that potentially could monetize it. I don’t like to depend on my art to facilitate my income, but something I’m really excited to be seeing is a push from artists to have more control over their art. I’m excited to be a part of that and to experiment with it, and to share what I find with other people.
Artists should absolutely have ownership over their own fucking art. So many don’t—their art is owned by record labels, by publishers, and censored by studios and networks. To a degree, I get it. A label, brand, or studio curates what they share. Their audiences expect a certain level—or lack thereof—of material. However, at the end of the day, I am an advocate for people being true to themselves and sharing their truth. And when your truth is censored, we have to look for new ways to share it. So I’m excited to delve more into the blockchain world of creativity. I think there’s a lot of potential—so far, at least—for artists to have a more direct connection with their fans and more direct sources of income. Most importantly, to have entire creative control over what they want to share, how they want to share it, when they want to share it, and in what ways.
There is so much else I want to do. I’m never bored. There are always a million things that I want to do. Over the next year or two, I’d like to dabble in sewing again and maybe start writing another book. I’d like to travel a lot. I’m never at a shortage of things that I need to do because I want to. It’s really important to me to get in as much fun as I can—that’s a high priority to me right now—while also looking for ways to keep sharing information that will help other artists retain their own art. It’s that simple.
“Whether it’s about a social justice issue, a climate change issue, a child-rearing issue, a government issue, a bodily autonomy issue, I think that artists—more so than a lot of other people with platforms—to me, right now, artists feel like the last frontier of truth.”
This interview was conducted on November 3rd, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.