I recently made the 22 hour drive over the weekend to Los Angeles which I will be calling home for the next few months.
A big welcome to the 31 new readers as we are at 658 total readers.
Thanks for being here and as always, if you want to see me discuss a particular topic just let me know.
On July 5 (Monday) I picked up the phone and called my parents.
“I’m moving to LA”.
They asked the logical next question.
My response had to surprise them when I told them that I was flying to Houston on Tuesday, packing my suitcase, and driving across the country on Saturday.
On Thursday I booked a month long AirBnB. By Sunday at 4 pm, I was in my new place.
So the question is why did I do this.
The answer is both wildly complicated and simple at the same time. The simple answer is something I want to discuss.
The fuel for creativity
Listen to any great comedian and especially my favorite Chappelle. He tells story after story to connect to his audience and provide both humor and social commentary. One of my favorite lines of his is this:
I’m so good at writing jokes… And this is not even an exaggeration. I actually write jokes backwards. I will write a punch line with no particular setup in mind. I just put it on a scrap of paper, and I’ll throw that scrap of paper in my fishbowl. I have a fishbowl in my house filled with random punch lines. And every once in a while, I’ll shake the bowl and I’ll dig in there and pull one out, and see if I can make that shit work.
What stands out here is that with the punch line ready to go, he needs to build out a story that helps it make sense. That means exposure to enough inputs to figure out the right output.
A boring life leads to boring stories which leads to lackluster jokes.
For the past 10 years I lived in Dallas. What new input would I find there?
I grew up in Houston. what new input would I find there?
Exposure to new people, ideas, and environments lends itself to creative output. It might be a building in a different city that moves you to draw a connection you never thought of before. It might be the way the sunsets over a set of cliffs. It might be street art. It might be anything.
A fire needs oxygen to survive. A creator’s oxygen is new experiences.
Other inputs for creativity
Shoutout to David Perell who sent me down a recent rabbit hole. He posted a video clip from Eminem talking on 60 minutes where he discussed how he read the dictionary. Every single word.
He went on to discuss how and why he can make words rhyme that others don’t realize. He pulled out boxes of scribbled lyrics on legal pads.
Those inputs from the dictionary meant that he could connect dots that others couldn’t simply because they wouldn’t put in the work.
The rabbit hole led me to look at how Kevin Hart often times takes over a year to perfect a comedy set before he will take it on tour.
I ended up looking at Picasso who is credited with 50,000 pieces of art.
Michelangelo left masterpiece after masterpiece unfinished. He would find new inspiration and move on. Now there’s also an argument to be made that he wouldn’t finish because a piece can only be judged once it’s finished. But that’s a different point.
All this is to say that if you’re a creator, you need constant fresh ideas which only come from new environments and inputs.
That’s why I came to LA.
That’s why I think more people need to push themselves on this journey.
Kanye West samples and remixes everything. The only way to know what your working with is to go out and explore.
Fuel your fire.
I recently launched a new Group Coaching Performative Speaking program. It’s a 3 month program utilizing self-paced lessons combined with weekly group coaching calls and feedback on exercises.
If you want to learn more, you can check it out here at Performative Speaking.
Friends of Robbie
Wanna be great on camera? My friend Cam of Minimum Viable Video is running free workshops for those who want to get comfortable on camera and use video to close deals, get work, and connect with the right people. Check it out:
The Film Your First Video Workshop: https://lu.ma/thjbvvu1
Video Pitching for Founders: http://lu.ma/rdcq6uj0
When it comes to being a creator, it’s often that you need permission to do it.
I could tell you to do it over and over again but let’s play into some ethos and credibility stack with Ethan Hawke here.
Thanks for reading as always and if I can ever help you out just reply to this email. I’m beyond grateful to each and every one of you 658 people for reading my thoughts and hopefully getting something out of it from time to time.
Keep pushing, keep creating, and keep believing that greatness is ahead.
See you next week,
Stellar edition this week, Robbie. Loved the Chappelle and Eminem stories 🙌 and I can also completely relate to a change of scenery helping with the creative process.