As a voice teacher, I work with my students to connect our different tones in order to sound fluid. We try to connect with the material we are singing. We connect with the audience when we perform live and also when we promote on social media. It could be said that these connections are constant in almost any art form and in a myriad of jobs.
We need the connection that comes from Creativity to function as humans.
Looking back over all of the Creativity Advocacy articles from this past year, it appears that Creativity is everywhere, all the time. We employ Creativity when we make art or when we solve problems. We touch the sacred source of Creativity when we connect with others. Life itself is Creative, and ironically, so is death. But the recurring theme woven throughout all of last year’s articles seems to be connection. The mission of Creativity is to connect us—first to our inner selves and then to the world—ultimately, to each other.
Often, and in fact currently, certain political agendas tend to disconnect us. Not only that, but misconceptions can sever our togetherness when it comes to our art. Creativity cannot fulfill the ultimate mission of connection when we are ill-informed or when we are disillusioned. Sadly, social media helps with these delusions. I have found many artists who are frustrated because they’re not making money off of their art and music. I have also met many people who don’t believe in Creativity because they’ve lost their relationship with their art. I call this a conundrum.
Over the past three years, I’ve been working on a book that delves into what Creativity is and what Creativity is NOT. The book explores the origins of Creativity as well as the purpose of all our interactions having to do with this powerful phenomenon. There’s also a chapter that offers suggestions on how to prevent social media from being a major malefactor of Creativity. A better understanding of Creativity directly contributes to our happiness and our fulfillment, which makes this book relevant for anyone desiring to live an intentional and fulfilled life.
If you’ve become more aware of Creativity’s presence in your life through these articles, I hope you’ll delve even deeper and preorder the book: The Creativity Connection Conundrum. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 3:
American Idol, the show that premiered in 2002, has been very good for my business. I wonder if my phone would be ringing off the hook were it not for our recent obsession with talent shows. The debut season featured young Kelly Clarkson and audiences rooted for this small-town girl who’d received no training, had no familial support, no manager or agent—and their votes would transform her life in a moment. Her performance reflected innocent aspiration and raw talent. The collective voice of the dreamer was heard through Kelly Clarkson and overnight, American Idol changed the way we viewed stardom. Idol status could now be attained by the girl next door. If American Idol chose ten out of ten-thousand singers to make it to round two (odds that appear better than the one-in-a-million picks from a slush pile at a record label), then some wannabe pop singer from Paw Paw, Michigan with no financing and no business savvy might just stand a chance at stardom. This prospect would mean contestant hopefuls sleeping on the concrete outside hundred-thousand-seat stadiums while waiting in line for the first round of auditions, but if doing so was the new definition of “pounding the pavement,” it was a small price to pay. Being discovered had been “a thing” for decades, only now a television show would light the way.
Aside from Kelly’s talent, it was her charm and vulnerability that won over the masses. Text-messaging a vote to studio executives renovated the idea of audience participation. The observers could now be active rather than passive, as though 1950’s applause meters were installed in living rooms across America. Applause has been a form of power in most cultures dating as far back as Aristotle’s time. When popularity itself was under the scrutiny of the court, conventional wisdom cautioned against garnering support from the lowest common denominator of humanity. No such wariness now. In 2019, in place of slapping our palms, we have finger taps and ticks to gauge our reactions, and there’s no dispute that those thumbs-up “like” icons are what it’s all about.
Click! Next-scene: The X-Factor, America’s Got Talent, Dancing with the Stars—yet more yellow brick roads paved for promising starlets. I live in the heart of the entertainment industry, surrounded by actors, singers, writers, and producers. It can appear that life is one never-ending promotional hype in which everyone’s happiness hinges on the likes and shares of others. Every day, ritually, we count followers and build tribes. We re-tweet, snap and #hashtag before even visiting the toilet or brushing our teeth. Audience reaction has become a preoccupation over true artistic sensibilities. Some of my students excel in the social marketing arena more so than the talent arena, but are met with the most popularity because of their online appeal and dedication to fans. She who markets best wins?