Author: Guest Blogger

The ETA friends and extended family of bloggers.

Here’s an assignment I give to some of my actors. Choose a large department store (preferrable Nordstroms) and faint in the men’s or women’s clothing department (the opposite of your sex). It’s easy – you just slowly fold your body down to the ground. The purpose – because you’re afraid to. To put yourself out there. You live in a box and you don’t really know it (none of us know the parameters of it). Because you need to feel vulnerable. Because you need to feel in control. Do something silly and connect back to the child, the adventurer that…

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One day last week I took off from a workshop I had facilitated for suburban high school kids to attend to my own learning, first dropping in at an open-to-the-public talk at Northwestern University and then finishing the evening at a Chris Matthews-moderated political event downtown as part of a three-city 2009 speaker series. The contrast was shocking. At my workshop, students talked in pairs and small groups, moved their bodies, grappled with exercises, reflected and shared, engaged and debated. The session and insights changed based on their participation. At the two “adult” learning events, I sat on my ass…

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I find myself talking more and more these days to groups about social entrepreneurship, especially to non-profit and community organizations. This makes a lot of sense in these difficult times, because entrepreneurship as an idea and a practice is generative, pragmatic, and hopeful. I also find myself revisiting Franklin Roosevelt’s canonical line from his first inaugural address that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. It’s only recently, though, that I went back and read the entire address and discovered that Roosevelt actually defines what fear is. In fact, his definition of fear is quite useful for…

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What part has creativity played in your life? (As asked by Wayne of Creative Skills Training Council in New Zealand.) In the two houses in which I grew up, my mother and I created an “Art Center” under the stairways going down to the basement. We painted the first one all yellow and the second one was all red. Both times we bought stencils and spray painted the words, “Art Center” on the small triangle of wall under the stairs. There were shelves and all kinds of art supplies. Only really advanced and fancy projects were encouraged! Favorites were covering…

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Yes, the subject of arts entrepreneurship is in vogue these days. It’s no longer gauche to discuss the business aspects of a career. That’s great news for artists that prefer not to live a destitute existence. But what exactly does arts entrepreneurship constitute? For universities embracing this topic, classes typically cover a lot of ground: writing resumes, developing websites, copyright law, forming a nonprofit, filing taxes.  While all these lessons are valuable indeed, one vital aspect seems to be consistently ignored: product development. Instead, the lessons taught suggest that if you simply become more business savvy and employ great marketing…

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 I’m sending an article by Kelvin Legal as I have found the content, by and large, to be useful. http://kelvinlesterlee.wordpress.com/2008/04/01/some-thoughts-and-blogs-on-entrepreneurship/ I like the idea of being self-employed. One day I hope to be able to run my own business, perhaps even run a law firm (whether as a partner or by starting my own remains to be seen since I am still in law school). Entrepreneurship has hit the mainstream in a big way. Where once people preferred the protection and stability of a good-paying job, more and more people are now jumping on the entrepreneurship bandwagon or being encouraged…

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This week I spent a day with a group of IT leaders from one of America’s great companies (whose meals have made billions happy). With our goal being to make strategy recommendations to improve a technology process, I conducted a Creative Problem Solving (CPS) session to collectively harness creative thinking to address a complex challenge. Most of the problems we face in our culture, business and lives need creativity, but few of us know about CPS, a valuable process that has been discussed, tested and evaluated for more than 50 years. Originating from the brainstorming work of advertising pioneer Alex…

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What is the purpose of art?  BIG discussion and many different beliefs are out there.  Here’s mine.  Art must  contribute to making a real difference in the world.  Mia Farrow is fasting for 21 days starting Monday April 27th.  I think of this as performance art.  It is time we all became more aware of what is going on in Darfur.  We don’t want another Rwanda, although in some ways it’s happening already.  My mother spent time at Ravensbruck concentration camp and I heard stories about he stay from the age of 10.  I wish everyone had.  We need to raise our…

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Child within?  What does that have to do with public speaking?    Speakers need to be reminded that their imagination and their ability to talk passionately and speak in pictures, is directly connected to how often they release the child within.    Last night I conducted another amazing Acting Class and it reminds me of the skills public speakers need in order to be great.   Be a five year old.    Everyone found a spot on the floor and began imagining their five year old space and whatever popped up was then worked on – tying shoes, waiting for Dad to…

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