St. Margaret’s Film Students Have Surprise Q&A With Dave Chappelle
St. Margaret’s film students had a surprise visit last week during a Zoom session, as famous comedian and actor Dave Chappelle stopped by to discuss the topic “What does it mean to be a storyteller and what is our responsibility as artists to the world during such a painful time?”
St. Margaret’s film teacher Karen Bennett arranged the visit by Mr. Chappelle through a colleague connection, inviting Upper School film students and former film students to take part. The students didn’t know who the guest would be until Mr. Chappelle showed up in the Zoom session.
Mr. Chappelle shared his thoughts on using storytelling and creativity to help people cope during trying times.
“He said it was never too soon to let your art reflect tragedy, reminding us of the great quote by author Toni Morrison: ‘This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal,’” Ms. Bennett said.
Mr. Chappelle also gave his thoughts on different books he has recently read, emphasizing the importance of being educated about world history.
“He strongly recommended to our film students to read biographies to gain a greater insight into the character of people we admire,” Ms. Bennett said.
Mr. Chappelle also answered questions from students. Senior Blake Jafari asked about his process for structuring the delivery of his stand-up comedy routines. Mr. Chappelle stressed the amount of practice that goes into his work.
“He reminded everyone that the most powerful art usually feels easy to the viewer, but is always the result of untold hours of hard work and practice,” Ms. Bennett said.