What sets one producer apart from another? Style certainly comes to mind right away. But if you break it down once more, you will no doubt hit the word Creativity.
I once had an intern who was a Russian immigrant. She had come to this country as a young girl, but had spent almost all of her time here living among people who spoke her native tongue. Consequently, we had a language barrier. I made the mistake of thinking she really was not very smart. In fact, I thought she was downright stupid. Oh, she was very pleasant, even agreeable, but it seemed like every time I gave her an assignment that required just a little creativity, she would return with work that was frankly dreadful. She kept missing the point in her writing, never making a solid emotional connection. A few weeks into the internship, I decided we had both wasted our time and was prepared to let her go her way with little or no training because without creativity, a career in radio production would be very short indeed.
One day after I had made this choice, she asked me a question that really made me struggle. She wanted to know what creativity was. Where did it come from? How could she grow hers?
Understand, that I was firmly of the belief that creativity is something you either have or don’t. I really felt a bad case of “the squirmies” as we talked for the next 2 hours. I didn’t want to just come out and tell her that I thought her case was hopeless, but I didn’t want to blow any smoke up her skirt either. Before she left, she nodded once and said, “I think I understand.” I was doubtful, but I didn’t say anything.
The next day, she walked in and handed me seven scripts; one promo and six sweepers, the original writing assignment I had made a few weeks before. The only sound after that was my jaw hitting the floor as they…were…all…brilliant.
I spent the next few days mulling over what we had talked about that afternoon and finally came to the realization that creativity is a skill, not a talent. Oh sure, natural talent has a big impact on the level of one’s creative skill, but it is a skill. One that can be taught. One that can be grown and nurtured.
That is what this week’s video is all about. So click on the link and follow along.
Oh, and the intern? She took a bit of a left turn and went into sales, but I’ve spoken to a couple of her clients and they absolutely love working with her…because she’s so creative.