Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Moments of Conception 086 -- The Busking Scene from Once

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 busking scene in Once:


What did you learn?

This is what you’ve waited for. Watching a man surrender himself like that, screaming the top of his lungs, in the middle of the night, in the middle of the street, standing out in the cold, is the most moving opening sequence of any movie I’ve ever seen. His voice isn’t perfect, but who cares when you have goose bumps? Glen is a freight train of raw, naked emotion, which is exactly what ever songwriter should aspire to be. In fact, this scene ended up becoming my moment of conception. After we saw Once in its broadway premiere, this musical was responsible for kickstarting a creative transformation in my own life. Glen’s story inspired me to finally publish my original music online. Which urged me to crawl out of music hibernation. Which compelled me to start performing in public again. Which gave me a platform to play weekly concerts in my neighborhood park. Which provided me with a source of power I did not have before. Which inspired me write music that was more muscular and soulful. Which inspired me to write, produce, direct and star in my first concert documentary. All from hearing one three minute song. Too bad I can’t repay him. Guess I’ll just have to pay it forward. Perhaps my work will inspire the next songwriter. Which art inspires your art?

A chance to even up the score. Glen explains that during the daytime, people want to hear songs that they know, songs that they recognize. And if he played this song, they wouldn’t listen. That’s a common conundrum among street performers. We’re tempted to use other people’s songs to lure in the crowds. Bu the reality is, there’s no cover bands in the rock and roll hall of fame. If you want to make a name for yourself, you have to make your own music. And that’s what the songwriter does throughout this movie. Once he lets the animal out of the cage, once he gives himself clearance to be completely free with his art, the one person who needs to hear his song, does. And she changes everything. The whole course of his life pivots on that encounter. She turns love around for him, and she does it in five days. That’s the beauty of performing in public. There are no limits. It’s a permissionless platform. An honest canvas where we can play and sing and purge whatever we want, as loud we want, as much as we want, and we stick around and continue to be yourself, eventually, the correct people will find us. Will you still be around when the world is ready for you?

There are no emergencies. I’m amazed at certain people’s ability to involve themselves with every controversy, news story, celebrity scandal and inconsequential social drama the world has to offer. It’s an addiction. An emotional high. A cycle of feeding off of other people’s misfortune. Almost like they’re leading someone else’s life for a short period of time. And what’s sad is, that time could be reinvested in making art. Bringing something new into the world. But instead, they allow the ambient hysteria to infect their brain and poison their creative well. They allow other people’s drama to bait them into a life of worry. And that’s what I love about this scene. Glen chooses to maintain a serene distance from most of life’s commotion. He knows the more time he spends participating in other people’s drama, the less time he spends on himself. And so, he intentionally steps out of the current. He finds his sanctuary. He doesn’t allow other people’s shit to stand in the way of his art. What a great lesson for any creator. Impose your own order on chaos. Have you found a way to prevent the world inside of you from being contaminated by the world outside of you?

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!