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Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Nametag Guy Live: Making the Market Target You

I recently delivered the closing keynote address at the BeautiControl 2014 Annual Sales Conference. 

I spoke to 3,500 beauty consultants in Dallas, Texas.

This particular clip tells the story about my business model. About contributing enough good in the world that the market targets you.

Are you the arrow or the bullseye?




* * * *
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 2014-2015.


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

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I want to feel like I’m part of a continuum

When you work for yourself, the pile never gets down to zero. 

There’s always something else to be done. There’s always more work waiting. Even after grinding it out for sixteen hours a day, seven days a week, you still might not put a dent in the pile. 

Work units just keep popping up like some kind of twisted, neverending game of whac a mole. 

It can feel profoundly frustrating and mystifying. You think to yourself, I climbed all these mountains, and now there’s another one? 

What. The. Hell. 

Unfortunately, this experience is written into the entrepreneurial job description. It comes with the territory of hiring yourself. And learning to live with the uncertainty of it is part of becoming a complete artist. 

But as my mentor once said, the futility of everything is fertile ground. 

That’s why you learn to make peace with the pile. To love the pile. To accept work for the infinite regression that it is. And just do your best, every day, to move your story forward. 

Because art is a long arc game. There is no finish line. There is no expiration date on the imagination. Everything we create is a constantly evolving organism within the ecosystem of our larger body of work. Everything we do is assigned its appropriate home on the artistic continuum. And everything we become contributes to our story as an individual. 

Once we embrace that reality, once we surrender to the absurdity of this neverending pile, the thing we call work becomes much easier to process. 

What futilities have you come to terms with?


* * * *
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 2014-2015.


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

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Moments of Conception 127 -- The Dream Scene from Inception

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 dream scene in Inception:



What can we learn?


There are no rules if something is great. Ariadne is an architecture student recruited to construct the various dreamscapes. With her help, the team will be able infiltrate the target’s subconscious and extract the necessary information. Naturally, she can’t resist. There’s nothing quite like it. It’s pure creation. In the dream state, reality is negotiable. All rules can be bent or broken. She can even cheat architecture into impossible shapes. But this is a movie. Real people can’t access that kind of creative power in their own lives. Until we can. It’s simply a matter of giving ourselves permission. Realizing that, in art, we can do whatever we want. The only thing that stops us is our stubborn need to categorize. Our habit of addictively defining ourselves in narrow ways. But if we truly our creativity to expand into unexpected territory, we have to engage in possibility for its own sake. If a blues singer, for example, wants to cross genres and record a country album, she absolutely can. Nobody is going to stop her. But until she sheds the outdated way of speaking about her identity, until she accepts the story that it’s okay for someone like her to cross musical boundaries, then her music will never see the light of day. A useful mantra to remember is, no labels, no limits. If we decide exactly what we’re doing, then we can only be as good as that. But if we remake ourselves as we grow and as the world changes, keeping our creative process in permanent beta, anything is possible. Just like the dreamscape, there’s nothing between us and raw, direct, pure creation. What kinds of permissions do you give yourself?


First you write the book, then the book writes you. Ariadne has been to the top of the mountain. She seen the promised land, and knows she will forever be changed. Einstein was right, a mind once stretched by new thoughts can never regain its original shape. That’s the great transformation of art. How your life changes once the work is done. Because once you’ve shipped, once something is yours, once you have your own art in your own hands, you’re never the same again. I remember receiving the very first copy of my very first book. That moment is permanently seared into my memory. Something about the act of tearing open the box, inhaling the acidic scent of victory and beholding my own creation in my hands, changed me forever. I slept with the book that night. Because I knew my life would regain its original shape. And I was right. First the you write the book, then the book writes you. And so, there is no failure in art. Simply by virtue of engaging in the creative process, we gain something that nobody can take away from us. The person we become by creating it, and the life we’re able lead by having created it. How do you let experiences change you?


A skewed relationship to reality. We’re all searching for some dream to pour ourselves into. Our one big idea that’s as large and as great as we are. A productive obsession that we can nurture and see to fruition. Of course, every creation has a cost. Not a price, necessarily, but a cost. To us and the people around us. Cobb warns his young apprentice never to recreate from her own memory, but to always create new places. Otherwise she’ll lose grasp on what’s real and what’s a dream. That’s why she needs a totem. Some kind of personal icon. A small object that you can always have with her, the weight and movement of which nobody else knows, to convince her beyond a doubt that she's not in someone else’s dream. What’s interesting is, the term totem actually derives from the word for “sibling kin, group or family.” Meaning, your totem doesn’t necessarily have to be an object. It can be a person, too. Someone who refuses to bullshit you. Someone who sees what you can’t see for yourself. Someone who has the courage to tell you that you’ve been following your obsession for too long, and you’ve become a slave to it. Who in your life is willing to say when you’ve gone too far? 


What did you learn?


* * * *
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 2014-2015.


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

Monday, October 27, 2014

Tunnel of Love -- Chapter 5: Loss, Theft, Damage (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 five:


LOSS, THEFT, DAMAGE

I got my coverage for theft and loss
Damage and mysterious
Under the cloak, of this night
We see what we can afford to see
It’s better to bury
Than expose
We all sling arrows, from quivers soft
Hiding inside a crimson cloth
Strike a blow, for the forces of light
And the various etceteras
The naked, the terror
Of regret
We don’t have to take the world as it is
All we are are crickets and wind
Seems like such a tender labor, and it is
Where love ends, pickets, and begins
We remember the past
The way we need to
* * * *
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 2014-2015.


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


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Moments of Conception 126 -- The Breakfast Scene from Pee Wee's Big Adventure

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 breakfast scene in Pee Wee's Big Adventure:



What can we learn?


You need a better routine, not more time. Peewee was an inspiration to me. He was a guy who laughed all the time, wore the same clothes every day, decorated his home with outlandish decorations and obscure furniture and he surrounded himself with strange contraptions and inventions that were deliberately over engineered to perform simple tasks in a complicated fashion. To call his home a playhouse was the understatement of the decade. God bless him. However, as an adult, I’ve come to appreciate his character on a more intellectual level. Peewee’s house, for example, is much more than just a Rube Goldberg machine. It’s a commitment to a routine. It’s a lifestyle. It’s a user interface for his brain. He knows that something is lost when he fails to start his day consciously. That’s why he executes a perfectly calibrated sequence for the first hour of his morning. It ensures that his day has a cadence and a rhythm. It creates ideal conditions to elicit his best work, although I’m pretty sure he doesn’t actually have a job. The point is, a creator’s morning rituals and routines and disciplines and habits are the very things that allow their creativity to blossom. It’s simply a matter of sticking with that routine no matter what. How predictable is your daily routine?


Reduce daily decisions to routine. There’s something special about diving into your art before the sun comes up. The world doesn’t make many demands on a creator at five in the morning. It’s calm, dark and quiet. It’s just you and your ideas. No distractions. No excuses. Complete control. You almost feel like you’re getting away with something. Playing with house money. Contributing to a surplus of imagination. Getting a head start over the rest of the world. It’s empowering as hell. Peewee represents the power of giving your creativity the first energy of the day. Just imagine if we could all wake up that excited every morning. What’s more, working first thing in the morning is also a way to safeguard yourself for the rest of the day. That hour or two of creating can prevent an entire day of guilty feelings. Because no matter what life throws at us, we’ll already have that chunk of creative work banked. Almost like emotional insurance, early morning creating is tool for orienting you in the direction of daily meaning making. Are you still wasting brain cells in the morning trying to figure out what to do, or does your daily routine relieve your mind the necessity of remembering?


Create a framework for inspiration. Peewee’s debut movie was written on the back of his wildly successful television show, Peewee’s Playhouse. We never missed an episode. Saturday mornings, my brother and I would race into the family room and fawn over his fantastic house filled with toys, gadgets, talking appliances, puppet characters and a disembodied genie’s head who lives in a jeweled box. The show used live action comedy, running gags, viewer interaction, video animation, green screen effects, claymation, famous guest stars, and of course, awesome eighties music. It was everything a burgeoning creative mind required. When the show went off the air, I was devastated. Saturday mornings would never be the same. What’s sad is, years later, Peewee was arrested for indecent exposure in an adult theater. And it set off a chain reaction of national media attention that changed the general public’s view of his work. But I never cared. Still don’t. The character that lived in my head and lived in my television was all that mattered. Peewee’s playhouse was the definitive environment for creativity, imagination and whimsy. His world was the first place that gave me permission to surround myself with inspiration at all times. Do new ideas flow as a natural consequence of your personalized workspace?


What did you learn?


* * * *
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 2014-2015.


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

Friday, October 24, 2014

Moments of Conception 125 -- The Omnidroid Scene from The Incredibles

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 Omnidroid scene in The Incredibles:



What can we learn?


Once you have some, you can get some. Omnidroid is an advanced self learning robot. It’s an artificial intelligence machine that corrects its own mistakes by collecting information on the opponents it encounters. That way, every subsequent model improves upon the previous one by correcting flaws found during fights. The creative process works in the same way. Once you have some, you can get some. Take filmmaking. I just finished my first documentary. But since I’ve never made a movie before, it’s all new territory for me. I have no frame of reference for this kind of project. My editor, on the other hand, is a veteran videographer. And he explained that in the filmmaking process, the more things we do, the more we understand what doing means, and that knowledge informs all of our subsequent decisions. Like the robot, with every modification, our creative mechanism becomes more capable against its opponents, solving more problems and fending off potential threats to its plans. And so, each day when we sit down in the edit bay, we learn something new. We discover an angle or a cut or a transition or a color correction that we’ve never tried before. That experience affords us context and understanding and a sense of what’s possible for the scene, which in turn populates our frame of reference and expands the palette from which we create. And this process ultimately allows us to go back and retouch the previous day’s footage with our new found knowledge. Are you flooding your creative process with intense learning experiences?

Be worthy of your advantages. This movie is a brilliant meditation on identity and mediocrity. Syndrome, the super villain responsible for creating the robot, is conniving, manipulative man who seeks personal gain without honest work or achievement. He doesn’t actually possess any special powers, he just has a ton of money. And so, instead of trying to raise the bar, he builds inventions so that everyone can have special powers. Because when everyone’s super, no one will be. Yikes. What a powerful reminder that if want to be special, we have to earn and deserve it. That operating from a mindset of intrinsic remarkability is misguided and even dangerous. Because contrary to what reality television might suggest, true and meaningful achievement isn’t something that just falls in our lap. It’s the result of creating real value for real people. It’s the byproduct of having the guts to risk and the willingness to fail and the desire to change the world for the better. It’s the consequence of doing things for the love and the journey and because we believe in their importance, not because of where they might get us. Syndrome’s goal isn’t to develop and protect his moral sensibility, it’s to pursue things with which to leverage his brand onto the superhero totem pole. And that’s why he ultimately loses. Are you climbing the mountain to see the world or so the world can see you?

The pile never gets smaller. Bob says that no matter how many times you save the world, it always manages to get back in jeopardy againInteresting, considering the same thing could be said about the creative process. Because often times, it feels like a tail that grows back everyday. Just one goddamn thing after another. It’s the pile that never gets to zero, no matter how hard we try. There will always be more to do, all the time, forever, until we die. It’s an infinite regression. Like two opposing mirrors. But over time, we learn to honor the pile. We make peace with it. We even joust with it. And we give thanks to the creative gods that we have because it certainly beats the alternative. Better to constantly have a world to save than to live in one that doesn’t need us. The point is, we all grow tired of cleaning up the mess. Bob doesn’t feel like fighting crime every day, but it’s who he is. The mess is what he lives for. The mess is what brings out the best in him. The mess is why he got into this business in the first place. And when it comes to the creative process––the pure, unromantic slog of sitting down and doing the work, every single day––we don’t have a choice. The world will always be in jeopardy. That’s why we signed up. Creators like their beauty strange, their plots unruly and their duty untamed. Which world is waiting for you to save it?

What did you learn?

* * * *
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 2014-2015.


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