All creativity begins with the moment of conception.
That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.
And so, in this new blog series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.
Today’s clip comes from the cups scene scene in Pitch Perfect:
What can we learn?
Create a holy shit
moment.Beca, like any good artist, is going find a way to be herself.
Competitive acappella may not be her ideal creative activity, but she’s
determined to exist in a manner that makes sense to her. To belong on her own
terms. And her audition does just that. Her song defies convention, opting out
of the traditional audition number. Her song leverages her immediate
surroundings, transforming a mundane item into a memorable instrument. Her song
creates a surprise, breaking the patterns and expectations of the judges. And
her performance sets off a chemical reaction in the audience, one that that triggers
alertness, snaps their brains to attention and sears the moment into their
memories. It’s a holy shit moment. An intentional point of over delivery. An
interaction undeniably soaked in wow, that people can’t help pick her. The
captain doesn’t even approve, but she yields nonetheless due to the team
desperate need for new talent. It’s a pitch perfect example ofstoppingpower versus staying power.
Because the effectiveness of a performance isn’t dependent on its longevity,
rather, its ability to evoke emotion in the moment.What could you do that would be a welcome surprise?
the creative muscle. Beca is an introverted, introspective and independent
soul. Her dream is to pursue a career in music making, not music performing. That’s why she works the overnight shift
the school radio station and spends her spare time making mashup mixes of
popular songs. That’s her creative territory. But when necessity comes
knocking at her door, she has no choice but to get out from behind the
computer, get up in front of complete strangers, and crack herself wide open. This
scene is a deeply vulnerable moment. But most auditions are like that. They’re cold, unfamiliar and intimate. And that’s a good thing. Because no artist will ever
come to discover themselves except as a outcome of disclosing themselves to others. Creativity is a series of long, meandering
journeys of discovery. And the more detours we take, the better. It shapes our
work. Carlin once said that if you don’t get up in front of people every day of
your life, you’ll never learn who you are. He’s right. Without a collision
between our work and the outside world, we’re the tree in the forest that
nobody hears. Are you avoiding the
emotional risk associated with live encounters?
It costs nothing to
encourage. Every artist needs that first person to take them seriously. Someone
who believes in them more than they believe in themselves. Someone to make
their creative experience immediately available to them. Even if that person
only comes into their life for a brief moment. I remember the first presentation
I ever gave about wearing nametags. After my talk, a retired ninety year old surgeon from the audience approached the stage, pulled me aside, looked me
straight in the eye and said, you need to
quit your job and become a public speaker. Talk about market feedback.
Truth is, I wasn’t expecting to hit a
homerun on that day. I was just grateful for the chance to play. Fortunately, the
good doctor helped show me
what I couldn’t see for myself. And it change the trajectory of my career
forever. That single decisive interaction compelled me to take a massive
risk in my creative life, the dividends of which I’m still collecting today. Who
was the first stand for your greatness?
What did you learn?
* * * *
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.
Now booking for 2014-2015.
Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!