My creative ability in the fine and musical arts is almost nonexistent, although I love to regularly bathe in the visual and aural joy and stimulation that art and melody provide. However, my creative ability in the arts of imaginative ideas, production and problem-solving is very good. I love to visualize a desired result and then proceed through the thought process of creating and implementing ideas in a manner that builds, like a crescendo, to that bell-ringing emotion that sings, “That’s it!”
I have had lots of fun and satisfaction expressing my creative talents….from writing, recording, editing and producing a comprehensive audio record of school activities to accompany the 1960 Jefferson High (San Antonio) yearbook….to programming and announcing pop, jazz and classical music shows on San Antonio radio stations during my college years….to producing the Miss Teenage America Pageant….to supervising the development and production of national advertising campaigns and TV commercials for some well-known brands and retailers.
I have also come in contact, though fleetingly, with some “on-stage” creative people….which now gives me the opportunity to do some name-dropping:
Before he moved to Hollywood to become Ben Cartwright on “Bonanza,” Lorne Greene was Canada’s most well-known radio and TV news anchor in the 1950’s. My parents were quite socially and politically active and I remember Lorne Greene in my Toronto childhood home often. In fact, when I “entered manhood” and had my Bar Mitzvah in 1956, he assisted in the service.
Rock Hudson was a big and very friendly guy who really seemed interested in me when I interviewed him over a lunch.
Ann-Margaret was quite petite and sexy. I don’t remember who rubbed against who in that narrow radio station hallway.
After a concert that I produced at the height of their career, Don and Phil Everly wanted late-night omelets, so Anne and I took the Everly Brothers to Earl Abel’s (San Antonio) restaurant, our favorite hang-out. The waitresses loved it. So did the Everlys.
When New Orleans jazz trumpeter Al Hirt came for his second concert, Anne and I took him to San Antonio’s La Louisiane, a fine French restaurant. He gave us a wonderful lesson in dining “Nawlins-style.”
Then there’s the story of dinner with Rich Little, or rather with his manager. While Rich was performing nightly as North America’s top impressionist at Canada’s finest dinner club (The Imperial Room of Toronto’s Royal York Hotel), he spent the days with me. I was producing a TV game show pilot at the national CTV studios and I had hired Rich to be the show’s emcee. (The show turned out to be not one of my finer achievements.) Anyway, Rich invited Anne and me to be his guest at his dinner show one night. Dressed and coifed perfectly, we enjoyed the comedy show from a front table, I enjoyed my gourmet dinner, Rich Little’s manager enjoyed Anne’s dinner and Anne almost didn’t get dinner as Toronto’s top hotel screwed up royally. Rich was mortified.
Talking about being mortified, a few years later, Anne and I were all dressed up and having an after-theater drink at the Celebrity Club, next door to the CBC-TV studios in Toronto. Anne went to the ladies room and I started talking to a man at the bar. He turned out to be “Mr. Kenneth of New York”….hairdresser to the stars. He was in town to do Elizabeth Taylor’s hair the next day for a TV show. Well….knowing that my lovely and stylish wife was always rightfully proud of her beautiful hairdos and that she was a big fan of Elizabeth Taylor….I asked “Mr. Kenneth” if he would touch up Anne’s hair. I truly thought she’d be thrilled. After all, this was Liz’s personal hairdresser. “Mr. Kenneth” whipped out a big comb, stuck it in a glass of water and gave Anne a quick “do.” Only problem was that he didn’t have a hairdryer. Anne was mortified. I still thought it was terrific. At least, “Mr. Kenneth” didn’t come into our lives at the beginning of the evening.
Only those who can see the invisible can do the impossible.
Creativity inspires more creativity.
The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.
Those who dream by day are cognizant
of many things which escape those who
dream only by night.
Edgar Allen Poe
Little ideas that tickle and nag and refuse to go away, should never be ignored ….for in them lie the seeds of destiny.
Creativity is so delicate a flower that praise tends to make it bloom, while discouragement often nips it in the bud. Any of us will put out more and better ideas if our efforts are appreciated.
Criticism is easy. Art is difficult.
A new idea is very delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn.
It can be stabbed to death by a quip or worried to death by a frown.
A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something.
Listen to your creativity.
When it whispers in your ear, you should sit down and write what it says to write.
If you ignore it, there is a good chance it won't come back.
Do it big….do it right….and do it with style!
Originality is unexplored territory.
You get there by carrying a canoe….you can't take a taxi.
If you steal from one author, it’s plagiarism.
If you steal from many, it’s research.
Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.
Things you would never know without the movies:
During all police investigations, it is necessary to visit a strip club at least once.
All beds have special top sheets which reach up to armpit level on a woman, but only to waist level on the man lying beside her.
It’s easy for anyone to land a plane, provided there is someone in the control tower to talk you down.
Once applied, lipstick will never rub off….even while scuba diving.
The ventilation system of any building is the perfect hiding place. No one will ever think of looking for you in there, and you can travel to any other part of the building you want without difficulty.
If you need to reload your gun, you will always have more ammunition ....even if you haven’t been carrying any before now.
You’re very likely to survive any battle in any war….unless you make the mistake of showing someone a picture of your sweetheart back home.
The Eiffel Tower can be seen from any window in Paris.
A man will show no pain while taking the most ferocious beating, but will wince when a woman tries to clean his wounds.
If a large pane of glass is visible, someone will be thrown through it before long.
All telephone numbers in America begin with the digits 555.
If being chased through town, you can usually take cover in a passing parade
….at any time of the year.
When paying for a taxi, don’t look at your wallet as you take out a bill. Just grab one at random and hand it over. It will always be the exact fare.
If staying in a haunted house, women should investigate any strange noises in their most revealing underwear.
Mothers routinely cook eggs, bacon and waffles for their family every morning,
even though their husband and children never have time to eat them.
Cars that crash will almost always burst into flames.
A single match will be sufficient to light up a room the size of Wembley Stadium.
Any person waking from a nightmare will sit bolt upright and pant, wide-eyed.
All time bombs are fitted with large red readouts so you know exactly when
they’re going to go off.
It is always possible to park directly outside the building you are visiting.
If you decide to start dancing in the street, everyone you bump into will know
all the steps.
Most laptop computers are powerful enough to override the communication systems of any invading alien civilization.
It does not matter if you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts. Your enemies will wait patiently to attack you one by one, by dancing around in a threatening manner, until you have knocked out their cohorts.
No one involved in a car chase, hijacking, explosion, volcanic eruption or alien invasion will ever go into shock.
When they are alone, all foreigners prefer to speak English to each other.
Any lock can be picked with a credit card or a paper clip in seconds….unless it’s the door to a burning building with a child trapped inside.
Inspirations never go in for long engagements
….they demand immediate marriage to action.
Writing is easy.
All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper
until drops of blood form on your forehead.
Children’s Books That Got Rejected:
Fun Four-Letter Words to Know and Share.
The Kids Guide to Hitchhiking.
Some Kittens Can Fly.
Grandpa Gets a Casket.
Strangers Have The Best Candy.
You Were an Accident.
Things Rich Kids Have, But You Never Will.
Pop Goes The Hamster….And Other Microwave Games.
Writing a book is an adventure. At the beginning it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a master….and then it becomes a tyrant. And then just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude….you kill the monster and fling it to the public.
The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof crap detector. This is the writer’s radar and all great writers have had it.
A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a person contemplates it
bearing within themselves the image of a cathedral.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Begin with the end in mind.
Making the simple complicated is commonplace.
Making the complicated simple….that's creativity.
It is often said that people are ruled by their imaginations,
but it would be truer to say that they are governed
by the weakness of their imaginations.
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
A person's life is dyed the color of their imagination.
There are no days in life so memorable as those which vibrated
to some stroke of the imagination.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking.
Angels whisper to people when they go for a walk.
The shrewd guess, the fertile hypothesis, the courageous leap to a tentative
conclusion….these are the most valuable coins of the thinker at work.
In art….there are no rules.
If you nail two things together that have never been nailed together before, some fool will buy it from you.
Rules and models destroy genius and art.
Creative thinking is the realization that there is no particular virtue in doing things the way they have always been done.
The perpetual obstacle to human advancement is custom.
John Stuart Mill
To fulfill a dream….to be allowed to sweat over lonely labor….to be given a chance to create….
is the meat and potatoes of life. The money is the gravy.
A capacity for childlike wonder carried into adult life
typifies the creative person.