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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Moments of Conception 143 -- The Grave Scene from Kill Bill

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 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 grave scene in Kill Bill:



What can we learn?


Bring all of yourself to everything you do.
Recently I’ve been studying a textbook called Explaining Creativity. It’s the most comprehensive single volume presentation of what we know about the creative process. It not only considers the arts, but also science, stage performance, the workplace, and creativity in everyday life. Sawyer delves into the strategy of crystalized intelligence, which he defines as the breadth and depth of a person’s accumulated knowledge and the ability to use that knowledge to solve problems. Beatrix is a master of this strategy, although it’s uncomfortable to watch. In fact, every time I watch this scene, I feel claustrophobic and sweaty and restless and my knuckles start to hurt. That’s how realistic it is. But the moment that wood first starts to crack, you can’t help but silently cheer. Get out! Get out! Get out! Beatrix shows us what’s possible when we remain calm and trust our resources. Because her life is her preparation. She trusts that everything she’s experienced in her life, up until this very moment, will sufficiently support whatever she does in the next moment. And that’s what allows her to save herself. How are integrating every ripple of life into your creative moment?

Tap into your wellspring of inner strength. Every day when we sit down to write or paint or compose or cook, we have to believe there is something waiting for us. We have to trust our ability to sit down and respond to something. And we have to develop unshakeable faith that no matter how many times we open the box, there will always be something inside of it. The forest will provide, as the aborigines might say. But this mindset is a muscle. It requires daily work. And so, if we have any intention of breaking out of the coffin and clawing our way to the surface, we literally have to announce to ourselves, only a daily basis, that we are well equipped with sufficient internal assets to be successful. I’ve used mantras, meditations, affirmations, journaling, even morning pep talks in the bathroom mirrors, and they all work. They guarantee nothing, but they do allow for the possibility that I can perform in a creative, centered way. The point is, our inclination is to rely on an external force to get our creative work moving in the right direction. But most of the time, we’re reaching for something that’s already inside of ourselves. It’s simply a matter of mindset. Do you believe that who you already are is enough to get what you want?

You will use everything you’ve ever learned. Beatrix apprentices under a legendary martial arts master who humiliates, beats, starves, insults and tortures her, day in and day out, for months. But as excruciating as the process is, she knows it’s the only way to equip herself with the proper tools to defeat her enemy. That’s what I love most about this scene. Beatrix closes the trust loop. All her hard work finally pays off. Even though her enemy is only three inches away, she’s able to snap back into her training and set herself free. Because she had faith in the process all along. Even in the darkest days of her past, she chose to love whatever happened, stayed with her training and trusted that it would lead her to where she ultimately wanted to go. That’s exactly how the creative process works. Nothing is wasted. Every idea eventually finds a home. And so, each day we sit down to create, we ought to practice that same level of trust. To realize that something is happening to us, that life has not forgotten us, and that it holds us in its hands and will not let us fall. What will your training today accidentally prepare you for tomorrow?

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What did you learn from this movie clip?

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.


Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Rebalance yourself above the precipice of meaninglessness

Many days, it seems like I just barely outrun hopelessness. Like I’m just one step ahead of the paralyzing threat of insignificance, buying myself a little more time to keep my relevancy afloat. 

It’s a shitty feeling. Almost claustrophobic. Like there’s a monster in my room just waiting for me to stumble, and I can feel its hot, pungent breath on the back of my neck. Blech

On days like these, I invoke the words of my mentor, who taught me that mattering is a choice. That meaning is made, not found. And that every creator has to settle down into their own tolerable undercurrent of anxiety. Otherwise they’ll spend all their time managing worry instead of making art. 

And so, instead of peering over my shoulder to see if the monster is gaining on me, I keep moving my fingers forward. I write myself into the right mind. Because I know it’s impossible to feel sorry for myself when I’m creating something new. That the more I create, the better I feel. 

Then, once I start making progress, I give myself permission to feel good about completing something, no matter how insignificant it may be. Because that feeling of positivity brings its own energy and momentum that I can use to advance to the next goal. 

Call it self congratulatory, but the reality is, when you’re the sole employee, you do whatever it takes to deliver yourself from meaninglessness. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What hopelessness do you just barely outrun each day?

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For a copy of the list called, "24 Questions to Discover Which Word You Own," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.


Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The power of a victory log

We all need concrete evidence of progress. Positive reinforcement that makes us more inclined to take further action. 

I once consulted with the president of a boutique web development firm. They rented my brain to help develop a culture of innovation. Not just people generating ideas, but also rapidly executing on those ideas. 

My recommendation was to create a company wide victory log. A real time register of individual executions to emotionally invigorate the team and keep momentum alive. They dusted off an old computer screen that wasn’t being used, mounted it on the wall and kept a visual record of daily progress. A real time, digital log that posted concrete evidence of people’s victories, big and small. 

The firm’s president said the screen completely shifted the mindset of the office. It helped tip the scales toward happiness, boosted people’s confidence and encouraged employees to celebrate all of their executions. 

That’s the power of the victory log. It’s designed to empower you with the daily successes you create. It trains your brain to recall your achievements, plants the positive in your mind and reminds you just how successful you really are. 

Even when times are tough. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Does focusing on the negative prevent you from taking the risks you need to be successful?

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* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.


Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Tunnel of Love -- Chapter 12: Crumble (2014) -- Scott Ginsberg Concert Documentary

Tunnel of Love is a feature length concert documentary written, produced, directed and scored by Scott Ginsberg. The film explores the intersection of identity, belonging and creativity. Through live performances, playful and romantic exchanges, unexpected creative moments of conception and behind the scenes storytelling, Ginsberg’s film takes you on a heartfelt journey about what it means to be an artist, a romantic and an opportunist.

Watch the trailer. Meet the creators. Go behind the scenes. See the episode schedule. Download the discussion guide.

Tunnel of Love will be presented as a serialized, episodic documentary. The movie’s centerpiece is a live concert, so I’m premiering each song as a stand alone chapter. There are 14 songs in the concert, so the distribution timeline will occur over a period of 14 weeks, from September to December 2014.

Here's chapter twelve:



CRUMBLE
Not looking for a cause, just clues
Run it through the garden
Shake the fairy dust off your shoes
Take my blues and guard them

Born and raised for the canvas white
A fashion for rebellion
Come to tear a hole in your sky
What did I tell you?

All along, all along
Crumble, crumble

We finally found a right to wrong
In the stolen moments
Fortune’s scary when she looks upon
But we go on to no end

Everyday, we are drowned in doubt
Everyday, we are seen but not

A road paved with ruptures repaired
Icy grip of dollars
Everybody’s first word was air
But we don’t care to bother
* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.


Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Build your story where you are

Shakespeare didn’t open in twenty countries. He had one theater and one audience. The people cherished his art, the artist cherished their attention, and together they made something magical.

That’s something I always wanted for myself. A homebase. A platform where I could hone my voice, grow my network and build my story. A place where I commune with my neighbors and lock into the historical, societal and institutional frameworks of my creative world.
The word that came to mind was fixture, meaning someone firmly set in place that has been present for a long time and will continue to be so in years to come.
However, I knew that nobody was going to just give that to me. There was no sanctioning body desperately searching for a local songwriter to take residency. And so, I decided to hire myself. To create my own platform out of whole cloth. I took my guitar to the park and started busking under the historic arch. Same place, same time, every week. Even in the winter.
And people started taking notice. Soon, through a consistent presence and constant word of mouth, my name started to become associated with that place. And after about a year of singing songs under that arch, I had become a permanent fixture in the neighborhood. I had officially incorporated myself into the community, creating an expectation and a mythology and a ritual around my performances. We even made a documentary about it.
Proving, that you don’t need to wait for permission to create your own opportunity, build your own leverage and grow your own momentum. Just hire yourself. Stick around and continue to do what you do, and eventually the right people will find you.
LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What stage could you commandeer and convert into a home for your creativity?
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For a copy of the list called, "23 Ways to Learn a Lot at a Really Young Age," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!
* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.


Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Moments of Conception 142 -- The Final Scene from The Prestige

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 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 final scene in The Prestige:



What can we learn?


Use your voodoo at the speed of light. Great magicians don’t deceive people, they distract them. They don’t dupe the audience, they simply misdirect them. And so, it’s not dishonesty, it’s about capturing people’s imagination through selective perception. It’s about the power of the unexpected and the advantage of being underestimated. Master that, and you can get away with anything. A few years ago, a picture of me was featured on a popular list of the worst tattoo designs of all time. Thousands of people shared it and hundreds of people left snide comments. And I remember thinking to myself, who’s the joke really on here? Because last time I checked, my nametag gave me everything. I built a brand, a career and a life from a sticker I saw in a trashcan. There is no logical reason that any of that should be happening to me. That’s the real joke. And it gets funnier with every passing day. And nobody is laughing harder than me. Proof positive, that there’s nothing better than feeling like you’re getting away with something. That’s what inspires people. It’s the simple fact that you cracked the code, got into the club, pulled one over on the world and had the last laugh. That’s the real art. What is the crucial magic you’re creating?


Awe equals wow plus how. I absolutely believe in magic. Not supernatural enthusiasms, ancient mythologies or occult practices. But real magicThe art of influencing others and producing marvels using natural forces. Creating moments of awe and transcendence and enchantment that transform people and reorient their lives, goals and values in profound and permanent ways. In fact, magic is the reason I decided to make a documentary. Since day one, busking in the tunnel has literally been magical. Both for me and the audience. There’s just something sacred about the architecture and the aesthetics of that natural phenomena. The musical experience is sizable and powerful and vast. Every weekend, as people walk past me playing and singing, I can literally watch their faces and bodies changing. They dance and hum and smile and wave and sometimes even come barreling into the tunnel at full speed, just to investigate this curious, magical machine. And all I can do is smile. Because you can’t get that from singing into a hairbrush. That’s our job as artists. To create awe. To give people a window into a world of wonder. To do things that make people say, holy crap, this is amazing. But how the hell did they do that? I need my camera. That’s awe. Wow plus how. It’s not a proven formula. It’s not a predictable construct. But it’s the best shot we have at making a difference. How does your art enter the conversation with curiosity?


Guard your curiosity against exhaustion. Borden explains that if you can fool people, even for a second, then you can make them wonder. This might be the most important line of the entire movie. It teaches us that the penalty of technology is its tendency to eliminate wonder. Take search engines and smart phones, for example. I’m grateful for their existence. I use them daily because they make my life easier and more connected. But thanks to their invention, now everybody knows everything. Freely and instantly. Which means there’s need to wonder anymore. There’s no way to get lost anymore. There’s no reason to turn to the stranger next to you and ask for directions, creating a moment of pure human connection and curiosity. Boredom, it seems, has become a quaint relic of the past. And we’ve decided that a life without wonder is good. But it’s not. In fact, it’s quite dangerous. Because all innovation and art and progress and growth begin with that first crucial step of wonderment. That first tilted head glance at something that doesn’t make sense. This movie reminds us that our curiosity must never wane. That we should always want to know more and want to go further. Because when we stop wanting to find out, we’re done. How is your work a source of wonderment for people?


LET ME ASK YA THIS...

What did you learn from this movie clip?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For a copy of the list called, "49 Ways to become an Idea Powerhouse," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.


Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!