Now I am repeating that same concept right here on my blog.
Each episode of The Tiny Café takes 10-15 minutes, and is inspired by a question I post for you beforehand.
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Introducing The Tiny Café
Hello everyone. I’m Annette Wernblad and I am what’s called a cultural mythologist, which means that my area of expertise is stories and myths and archetypes, and what I’m really interested in is how these things affect our lives and how they can help us tap into very deep levels of power inside ourselves that we didn’t know we had, as well as not sabotage ourselves and the best efforts we make at creating the life that we want.
So I’m also the creator of The Art of Living Deliberately Virtual Café, and I’ll tell you a little bit more about that later.
But if you, just for the time being, imagine that you’re sitting in a lovely cafe in Paris or London or in New York or in another city that you like with a big cup of coffee. And for 90 minutes during The Virtual Café, I’m leading you through an exciting masterclass. What this is is what I call The Espresso Version of that. Those of you who follow The Virtual Café know that I normally have a gigantic cup because we have 90 minutes. This is gonna be The Espresso Version so I just have a tiny cup.
So I hope you’re sitting comfortably with your drink of choice. So imagine this as the, you know, if you are in Paris and you sit down at a sidewalk cafe for 10- 15 minutes with an espresso and drink it, and then you move on.
And the reason why I’m doing this is that I love my Virtual Café, and I just want to give you a sort of a taster of what it is we are doing in The Virtual Cafe and why it really is a lot of fun. Because when I say that I’m a mythologist and that I’m interested in myths and archetypes and stories and literature and cinema, sometimes it maybe sounds a little bit dusty, and so I’m just, I wanted to show you that it’s not, it’s not dusty at all.
There Is No Wrong Answer
I intentionally phrased it this week as, “Who do you like better? Matthew McConaughey or Ryan Gosling?” And when I phrased it, who do you like better, that was on purpose because you know, this is one of the things I teach when I teach students how to analyze films or how to analyze literature or how to actually analyze anything. I always make it a point to explain to them. This is the first step in being good at analyzing anything. And I think you have to sort of practice that in order to be really good at tapping into those deep inner powers that we all have inside us that we tend to ignore. Is that, let’s just take movies as an example.
When you watch a movie, um, you, we tend to say that, Oh, that was really great, or that was really bad, when what we really mean is, I really liked that, or I didn’t like that. And the first step to being good at analyzing anything is to know that there’s a difference between those two things. Whether you like a film and whether it’s good, those are two different things. Whether you hate a film or whether it’s bad, those are two different things. So when I phrased the question, “Who do you like better? Matthew McConaughey or Ryan Gosling?” it was actually to indicate to you that there is no right or wrong answer.
You can, you know, you’re entitled to like either one of them more than the other, and both answers I think are totally legitimate. And I will try my best, going forward to phrase it that way as well, so that whatever you answer to anything I ask you, you know, who’s smarter Luna Lovegood or Hermione Granger, or whatever, I will ask you, there is no right or wrong. So, yeah, that was the reason why I phrased it that way.
The results came in and the results were, Ryan Gosling, 33% and Matthew McConaughey, 67%.
Archetypal Qualities We Respond to
And if we had been in the real Virtual Café, we would’ve engaged in a conversation about this. I would’ve asked you: why did you say Ryan Gosling, or why did you say Matthew McConaughey? What is it that you mean? How are they, how are they affecting you each one of them? Because when I say I deal with archetypes, you know, that word may sound so mysterious, but what I really mean is that when we respond to Ryan Gosling, we, we don’t know him personally. So we’re responding to his public persona or we are responding to the roles that he is playing. And the interesting thing, and this is what my Virtual Café is about, this is what about all my work is about is looking at: how does this affect us and why does it affect us that way?
But I invite you to sit down and look at what is it about Ryan Gosling or Matthew McConaughey that you respond to, because I can guarantee you that it is a mirror of something deep inside yourself.
My own vote goes to Matthew McConaughey, and I would like to explain to you why, uh, and that’s not because Matthew McConaughey is better. Yeah, it is . It’s not because Matthew McConaughy is better or better actor than Ryan Gosling. It is simply, and I will explain to you why.
I think what’s interesting about taking those two as opposed to taking Matthew McConaughey and Matt Damon or something like that, is that both Ryan Gosling and Matthew McConaughey have that potential for being, I think, very persuasive and moving romantic leads.
Do you know what I mean by that? Is that, you know, they, they, they have that capacity of being really convincing as a romantic male character, which I think sometimes is hard to find. But that is not the reason why I like either one of them. I actually like them despite the fact that they’re very convincing romantic leads.
My favorite performance of Ryan Gosling´s is the film called Murder by Numbers. Uh, do you know that one? It’s an old film he did with Sandra Bullock where he plays a really convincing, serial killer. It’s a movie that’s based on the Leopold and Loeb case, the real life Leopold and Loeb case, the same way that Hitchcock’s Rope was, which is a very interesting story of, of a very specific branch of psychopathy. So that’s actually my favorite role, followed I think closely by his performance in the new Blade Runner film . I mean, is a hard act to follow Harrison Ford, and I really think he does that. But you may have all kinds of different other favorite performances of his.
When my vote goes to Matthew McConaughey, it is despite the fact that he had a decade of playing romantic leads. When Matthew McConaughey did his first films, the real breakthrough role was in A Time to Kill. I mean, from that, from one day to the next suddenly he was on the map, he was a household name. Everybody knew who Matthew McConaughey was, so that really changed his life.
When he first started doing those films, people called him the new Paul Newman. So that was sort of the persona he had at that time as a very serious and convincing actor of a classic mold, but also something new. And then the romantic comedies came in: for an entire decade from 2001 to 2010-11 he played only romantic leads. Those were the only roles he got offered, and I think he was good at that, but I don’t like watching those movies.
I was just recently reading, and listening to the audio version of his amazing autobiography called Greenlights, which I can highly recommend. But then he made a decision and he talked to his wife about it, and he made the decision that he no longer wanted to play romantic comedies, period. So he informed his agent, I am not gonna accept any more roles playing romantic comedies. And his agent was obviously distraught because, you know, that meant a loss of a lot of money.
So at the beginning, they kept offering him roles as romantic leads, and at one point they called him up saying, You know, we will pay you $5 million to pay this role. This was a significant raise in what he was used to, so he was like, Mm. No, no, I’m not gonna do it. I’m gonna stay true to the decision I made. I feel really deeply in my soul that this is a waste of my time and my talent. So then they called back, saying, We will pay you $10 million. And he thought about it for a long time and then said, No. I’m gonna stay with my decision.
For a 20 month period, imagine that those of you who have your own businesses, for me, that’s a horrifying thought and I admire the man Matthew McConaughey greatly for this. For an entire 20 month period, he did not get any more offers.
And then finally he got offered, I think was it in in 2012 that he played in Magic Mike, the Steven Soderberg film, and then he played Dallas Buyers Club, for which he got both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award. Then he got offered the small role in, Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street. Some of you know that I wrote an entire book on, on Martin Scorsese. So that was a big moment for me and noticing, and I was really happy when I saw that because, oh my god, Matthew McConaughey’s back.
And then there was an American female journalist who came up with the word McConaissance, you know, this was his renaissance. The McConaissance was when he was suddenly reborn and he started doing these serious roles again.
But the way Matthew McConaughey tells it in his Greenlights is that he thought of that at home, that was a great word, McConaissance. So then he was doing that interview with that journalist and he sort of slipped that word in between. And then she said, Oh, that’s a great word. And she wrote it and everybody thought she invented it. But he was actually very, you know, sneaky about it because he really wanted that word to be the official word for, for what was happening in his career.
But the reason why my vote goes with Matthew McConaughey was when he did in 2014 the first season of the TV show called True Detective where, he played the role of Rust Cohl.
You may not know this about me, but for about 5, 6, 7 years, I actually taught Method Acting to actors. So I know quite a bit about acting and when I watch movies, I always pay close attention to the acting. You know, how what, what is it that when they affect us deeply, these characters, what is it that the actors actually do? And I can tell you this still to this day, what, seven, eight years later, that I have never in my entire life seen anybody act as well as McConaughey does in True Detective, I’ve never ever seen anything like it.
If you haven’t seen True Detective. Each, season is a separate entity, but the first season with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, absolutely mind blowing. Really, really scary gothic, southern gothic that is particularly kind of gothic, which takes place in the South. Um, normally Southern Gothic takes place after the Civil War, but this one, it relates back to before and after Hurricane Katrina.
So, yeah, I mean, and I could talk about that forever. So this is why does my vote go with Matthew McConaughey and it is because of that role. And I I love that man. I mean, I know that some of you have this crush on Ryan Gosling. It’s not because I have a crush on Matthew McConaughey, it’s because I really admire what he does in terms of really going in depth with these characters.
The Masculine Archetypes
So yeah, so those of you who are already in The Virtual Café, I can reveal now that we’re gonna be talking more about this. We’re gonna be talking about the masculine archetypes, the masculine principle, especially after the last two years and the exhaustion that we feel: what is that we can do with the masculine archetypes to get back on our feet and get inspired from a really deep and powerful place? Really, really deep inside what I call the Aladdin cave inside of us.
So we’ll be talking about masculine archetypes, we’ll be talking about the persona, which, like when we think Matthew McConaughey – you could do the same with Ryan Gosling – what is it that you think, what kind of characteristics would you put on this particular actor the way, you know, the same way you could with James Stewart or Cary Grant, or you know, Tony Curtis.
Are You Living Deliberately?
As you can probably hear, I mean, I could go on forever, but I have gone beyond my 10 minutes. But you know, sometimes it’s a little bit hard to explain what is The Virtual Café? What does it mean, the art of living deliberately, and how can you use stories and it tends to sound more academic than it really is.
Because the point, my only point really is this: Life is short, and we don’t even know how much time we have here. And I think it’s such a waste that we, you know, we spent so much of our time focusing on notifications and social media and things that really don’t mean anything to us. And I think it’s a waste of our time.
We should be thrilled to be here at this time and really living as fully as possible, living what I call it, as deliberately as possible, and in order to do that, you know, tap into the Aladdin’s cave inside ourselves.
So, so yeah, that’s it. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you so much everyone. Thank you.
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Kind words from happy customers
Lynch + Annette – Sally
Sally A.Ward / My Life is Twin Peaks
Annette – Michael
Myth Story Journey – Henrik
As one of many who have attended Annette's classes on the hero myth and journey in the movies I cannot recommend her writings and teaching on the topic highly enough. I've always felt enriched after these courses and watching movies today is an even greater pleasure than it was before I got acquainted with Annette's enlightening thoughts.
Henrik Frederiksen (Senior Vice President)
Seeing – Tim Maloney
Thanks Annette for helping me see.
Mouffetartine – Irene