Showing Up on TV With Dreams

On this Thursday, July 10, I’ve been invited to appear on Arizona Midday, a show on the local NBC Affiliate. The smart thing would be to watch it once or twice, but I don’t have a television, and I’m working on most days at 1 p.m. when the show runs.

The reason I was invited is that I’m teaching a course at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe on Dream Journaling. The course came from some research that started as an interest and developed into a keynote speech, “Daydreams, Nightmares and the Power of the Imagination.” I’m a professional speaker, and most speakers choose a topic and specialize. Most smart speakers choose big topics like communication or life/work balance, something they can tailor to many situations.

I chose something I was interested in, something I could feed on intellectually, spiritually and artistically. Something that would change as I learned more, and push in front of me in wonder. Dreams. What they mean, they symbols they bring, how to interpret them. How popular it will be as a speaking topic remains to be seen. Personally, I think more corporations ought to spend time daydreaming (there’s a link at the bottom so you can learn how) because daydreaming and night dreaming are both respect ways to solve problems.

The jar of stars

The jar of stars

What I like most is that interpretation is individual. No sense looking up dream symbols in books and curving your thoughts around what your dreams are “supposed” to mean. You don’t get your life explained to you in symbols. Life is not Bingo, where picking the right number lines up a win. Dreams are personal, deep symbols that can be interpreted in different ways. You have to figure it out. You might be wrong, but won’t know it. You might be right, and still not know it. That’s the mystery of symbols. And life.

Back to the TV appearance. It’s a 3 to 5 minute segment, and I have to stuff it full of content. Not only because that’s what I do–as a writer, content is my life–but because I am neither blond, attractive, slender or young enough to have the camera focus on me. I have to bring visuals. It’s hard to bring in a dream.

So now I’m honing down the material to three interesting minutes. What do I focus on? How Hannibal dreamed that the way to attack Rome was to use elephants and bring them across the Alps? That would have been a really hard symbol to accept. How the Hebrew word for “dream” is a homonym for “health”? Should I demo–without practice–how the same symbol could be totally different for different people?

It’s only three minutes, and yet, it is a whole three minutes. Time for a dream to develop.

–Image: “Jar of Stars,” collage by Quinn McDonald

–Read “10 Steps to Creative Daydreaming”

–Quinn McDonald is a certified creativity coach who has never dreamed of being on TV, but is about to do it anyway. See her work at

9 thoughts on “Showing Up on TV With Dreams

  1. Quinn,
    I saw your spot and you did great! I enjoyed the segment (and I don’t usually watch the show at all!) and found it a helpful reminder of the days when I used to write in a dream journal. I haven’t done it in years, as I felt as though I had a handle on most of my dreams and the exceptional ones always stuck in my head like glue. I’ve been journaling my creative ideas lately, to get a handle on the patterns there, and it’s been fun. However, I may start journaling on dreams again, as they’ve changed lately and I’m feeling lost on the meaning of them. Thanks for the reminder!

    —–> Thanks for watching, Nancy. A friend made a DVD and I haven’t had the courage to look at it yet. Catching up with your dreams will reveal the most interesting things for you! –Q

  2. Hi Quinn a very good and inspiring thought from you. I always believe that dreams are very important in humans life. Each person have seen a dream some or the other day. No one can be free from these dreams. Perhaps I too have seen dreams which excites me some or other time. I have seen my bright future. Online dream dictionary is the best way to understand why this dreams came. Is these dreams have any effect on our life’s. So many answers you can find over there.

    —-> Marques, I’m sure your dream dictionary is a lot of fun, but I simply don’t believe that one size fits all when it comes to interpreting dreams. Our lives are different, our symbols are different, and so are our dreams. Dream dictionaries can’t explain our dreams to us, we need to do that ourselves. -Q

  3. Wonderful news and very exciting. Perhaps if you give a brief overview of the subject with one practical bit of information that viewers can put to use and then elaborate on the fact that this is a prism of creativity with many facets it might lead to a return visit. If you review your articles–you might be able to figure out the “first” natural step.

    When I hear a segment like this promoted or introduced, I always hope to leave with something I can try out.

    Best of luck—I know you will do great!

    —> I crammed everything i could into 4 minutes. The only problem was a question I hadn’t prepared for, the story of the Raven Woman necklace. Every time I tell it, I choke up. It was hard, as I felt my throat closing, but I got through the story in one piece. -Q

  4. Hi Quinn,
    Good luck with your interview! You should do great.
    You know the material inside and out, so that part is covered.
    Your comment about not being blond, young, slender, etc. concerns me. You are OK as you are (people with interesting things to say and are good at saying them are way more interesting to me than the perfect-looking bobble head).
    You may know this from past experience, but here are a couple of tips that I learned while being interviewed on TV.
    1. Wear something that you feel really good in. A good color, a good fit, a skirt that is long enough so you’re not tugging at it, etc.
    2. Wear your best color; the deeper colors look best on TV. I once wore a light blue shirt that looked OK under normal lighting but washed out to white under the lights. Not my best look.
    3. Bring along extra makeup and use the restroom in the studio prior to the interview to add more. One of the helpful people who interviewed me once said “double up your makeup” so you don’t look washed out and sickly. I feared looking like a clown, but by golly, I did look OK on the TV screen.
    4. Ask for a copy (DVD) of the interview once you are done. Most stations will give you that and you can keep it to learn from — or to show others what you are about at a later date.
    5. Ask to have your “10 steps to creative daydreaming” page linked to the station’s web site, and mention it on the air.
    Hope I didn’t insult your intelligence with my comments. You’ll do fine.

    —-Vicky. . Excellent suggestions, all of them. I’m planning on wearing dark slacks and dark shoes (although everyone here including me wears sandals, I thought pumps would look more professional) and a comfortable jacket that buttons. I had trouble once with a jacket that was fine as long as I was standing, but when I sat looked like it was still standing. The makeup is the trickier part. I know I will need to amp it up, but like you, I’m afraid I’ll look like a clown. I’m fine with how I look, but the two women who host the shows look tiny, and I always feel big. I would have totally forgotten the “10 steps to creative daydreaming url if you hadn’t reminded me! A huge thanks for the reminder!”

    Vicky F

  5. Congratulations. Q. I’m sure you’ll inspire all. This is a really good idea, I feel our dreams and their hidden messages should be paid more attention to.

    —Thanks Terry. I have a lot of information, so I’m trying to choose the most important information without babbling. -Q

  6. When people don’t have time to daydream then they don’t have time to live.
    When my dad is “cultivating his laziness” he is silent, thinking, solving and or analizing some life-essential problems, maybe just dreaming away and allowing his mind to relax. Sometimes he is dozing off and sometimes he feels inspired and grabs a one of his beloved books about philosophy or religion or his profession for he is a physician.

    My dad in his comfortable chair or on the sofa with his mind elsewhere that is how I still spend afternoons with him when I am back home. We speak a lot, tell eachother many things but this daydreaming is also part of our being together and I love it for it feels both so good and so familiar.

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