Creativity is the Only Way to Survive (Viola Davis + Betsy Beers)


Creativity is the Only Way to Survive (Viola Davis + Betsy Beers)

Dave Marsey

If you’ve ever seen the show "How to get away with Murder," I would be foolish to call this one anything but #OMG for fear of Annalise Keating.

If you have watched, you know Annalise to be sexy and provocative. When Viola Davis got the script, she saw nothing of herself in this character. She feared failure – how could she play this role if she didn’t see herself being that person?

It was only once she “liberated herself from failure” that she jumped in, creating the smash hit. But in doing so, she injected her views on what makes characters relatable on TV. And thus was born the wig removing – that wasn’t part of the script.

Viola believes every actor needs to give the audience a way in to relate to the character. By removing her wig and makeup in an early episode, it visually reinforced that the character had flaws. And that we can all relate to.

For Betsy Beers, her act of giving people a way in was the pilot for Grey’s Anatomy. Getting drunk and having a one night stand the night before your first day of work – as a medical intern – seemed outrageous to studio executives. “Who would do that?!” they exclaimed. Betsy replied “Well… me; it happened to me before”. And just like that, she liberated herself from failure. And she made Grey’s a smash hit – largely because the characters are relatable.

So we should learn from this. We always say creative needs to resonate, be authentic, be relatable. What’s our way in with consumers, flaws and all?

P.S. Poor McCann. The moderator Scott Roxborough kept pronouncing it McCain.

Dave Marsey

Dave Marsey


Dave leads all aspects of business development for North America through collaboration and creativity, and provides vision and tangible paths to solve business challenges for net-new and organic opportunities.


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