Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Creative Cat

There are two kinds of people in the world: producers and consumers. A consumer is the end of the productive chain, a producer is any other link in that chain—one which passes on more value to the next link, rather than less or none. It is not the purpose of this post to define these any further, for more on this subject refer to "The Producer's Mind."

There are also two kinds of producers: creators and performers.  Creators originate and innovate goods, services, and even business models. Performers make this happen, and get it into the hands of the end consumers. Creators develop and manufacture, while performers market and distribute.In the past, I've also referred to these as "developers" and "promoters," respectively. I think that the use of the words "creator" and "performer" are more general and all-inclusive.

That being said, I acknowledge that there are exceptions to any general rule. In a previous post on the subject, I discussed performers in a more technical role, and I fear, a less dignified role. I do very much respect those who perform, we need them. Without them we would have nothing, but as I also said, their art is dependent upon the creators' art.

The general form of a performer is anyone who actively does...anything. To the extent that they qualify as producers, people who work for a company are performers of that company's business system. An actor is a performer who does a performance which was prewritten by a creator. Those who work as independent marketers or distributors, perform the duty of spreading the ideas and products of the creators. The one thing they lack is a significant, original idea.

It is the defining purpose of a creator to create...something. Most of the time, a novice creator must serve as his own performer. An amateur filmmaker, would likely perform the duties of director and cameraman as well. Musicians are most revered when they create what they perform. "Pop" stars who perform songs that were written for them are scorned by more "serious" musicians and music appreciators, while those who created the songs go largely unknown—to the general populace, anyway. Though, strangely, "cover" songs, jazz performances, and orchestras performing classical music are not scorned in this way.

Let me sum this up with an analogy borrowed from a world-class performer in the field of network marketing. He said chasing one's dreams is like a dog chasing a squirrel—minus the squirrel. He's crazily zigging and zagging, to and fro. He doesn't really have a plan, just a goal and the will to make it up as he goes along.

I submit that being a creator is like a cat, who is watching the dog chase the squirrel—minus the squirrel. He's smart enough to know that the dog is chasing something, but reserved enough to know that he doesn't want to do what the dog is doing. So he watches, and waits, and plans. Then, when the timing is right, he pounces. He may more may not have success. The risk is that the cat cannot course correct as much as the dog can, it's not a bad system, just a different approach.
FEATURED MEDIA: Adaptation - A brilliant work by Charlie Kaufman, this is the story of Charlie Kaufman who is assigned the task of adapting a book, The Orchid Thief, into a screenplay. Not entirely interested in the subject matter, Charlie performs the job his boss gave him, but his creative spirit takes over as he writes himself into the story.

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