C. McNair Wilson's Imaginu!ty Workshop
August 29, 2005

So, the workshop was a bust. I should have definitely Googled the guy before going. It's not that he was a bad speaker or anything -- he was quite entertaining. It just wasn't actually a workshop. As it turns out, C. McNair Wilson, according to his website, "lives his life at the confluence of faith and art," and while this was a group of folks from my church going to the seminar, I for some incredibly asinine reason didn't think it would be a mega-Christian seminar. Silly, silly me.

While some of the ideas were interesting, the whole thing was much more of a motivational meeting than any kind of workshop or even seminar. He talked about brainstorming with groups. Here's a link to someone else's site who did a nice write-up. It'll take you far less than half the time to read this than it did to sit through even just the brainstorming portion of the day.

Now, here's the deal: McFace (as one of the kids he knows likes to call him) is a great guy. But anyone who professionally motivates others drives me insane. I cannot take that much chipper, go-get-'em crap. One man stated during this seminar that he had always wanted to learn to fly, but it was just too expensive. Now, I have no idea what this man's finances are, and neither did McFace, yet he tells the guy that it can't be that prohibitively expensive and the guy should find a way or admit that he doesn't really want to learn how to fly.

And after each of his little "solve your issue in 60 seconds or less" pronouncements, he goes off into a story about someone at one of his previous seminars who had a similar issue and rose above it and did that thing they had always wanted to do. And that's fine if we're talking about a girl at a music conference who's always wanted to play guitar. Sure, by the next morning that girl, coached by about 50 guitar players at the conference, got up and played 2 songs in front of everyone, but what about those people who want to "make it" in a creative field? There's a certain amount of skill and luck that combine to get you and your work noticed so that you can "make it."

And, you may really, really, really want to be an actor, but you may also really, really, really want to stay in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and raise your kids there. How do you balance both? Well, in this case, it might be relatively simple to join the local theatre league in Kalamazoo. But there may not be a really easy answer for every situation.

I enjoyed McNair's stories of working with other creative folks - he worked for the Disney think-tank, the Imaginarium. And it's obvious that he's a very talented improv actor. (He calls himself a professional third grader.) If you need a kick in the butt to get started on being creative, then check out McNair's site and his books. He's entertaining and he'll help motivate you.

If you've already been bit by the creativity bug; if you're already creating stories, drawings, sculpture, music, whatever, then there may be better ways to spend your time than going to his Imaginu!ty seminar.

If you like amusing stories and a very animated speaker, go check him out. He's a stitch. He's also very Christian and goes off on Bible riffs and applauding Mel Gibson from time to time, so be forewarned if those aren't your cup of tea.

I used my time pretty well during the seminar. Since my scanner's absolutely refusing to talk to my computer, I'll see if I can take a picture of the sketches I did during his talk and post them tonight ....

Posted by Red Monkey at August 29, 2005 10:05 AM | Storytelling: She was, of course, supposed to be sleeping. | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |

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