The Scared Is Scared: A Child’s Wisdom for Starting New Chapters (Creative or Otherwise) in Life

The future’s uncertainty has paralyzed many an artist. How to begin?

Were you to take the advice of 6-year-old Asa Baker-Rouse, you might show the word “start” in a box, add an equals sign, frame it with a box, make the word orange, then green, then white in a green box….

Asa is both narrator and muse of The Scared is Scared, the final project of recent Middlebury College grad, Bianca Giaever‘s independently designed Narrative Studies major. Rather than hand the boy a script, she allowed him to determine the course of her film, literally visualizing his spontaneous monologue with the help of several game friends, a trick implemented earlier in Holy Cow Lisa, which built on an interview with her college advisor.

The result should appeal to anyone who had a soft spot for PeeWee’s Playhouse’s Penny cartoons. It’s cute all right, but  The Scared is Scared also boasts an effortless-seeming profundity. Asa may be of the age where piano-shaped cookies and secret sleepovers represent the pinnacle of anarchy, but he’s got an ancient master’s take on things coming to their inevitable end. By committing to roll with whatever unknowns this child might supply, Giaver taps into a rich vein of creativity. Along the way, she makes peace with a very familiar-feeling unknown, the fate of the young artist leaving college’s cozy embrace.

It turns out to be a perfect place to start.

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