Class is in Session ....


It's been quite a winter here in Pittsburgh.   No better time to cozy up during the vortex and get some work done.   As I sit here comfy and warm taking a break from a project, I think of all the other blog entries that I have written over the last few snowy weeks that haven't made it up on my site.  My perfectionism getting in the way, I guess.  I just can't quite sum up 2013 in a few words.

 So, I'll just leave it at this.  Thank you, 2013, for all your kindness. 

If you are reading this, YOU were part of my 2013, so thank you as well.  And 2013 was all good.  Thus, YOU are good.   If 2013 = good and YOU = 2013, then YOU = GOOD.  

Now I'm delving into Math/Logic.  DANGER! DANGER!  Artist doing math!  In college I was allowed to take logic as a math since I was a little ol' art student.   A-hem..... I took Calculus in high school, thank-you-very-much!   Well, I did take that logic class simply because I had never had a logic class before.  I learned all of my proofs and If/thens.  (Thus the YOU=GOOD)

While we're on the subject of classes - I think everyone should learn how to teach.  We spend our entire lives learning.  At least we should.  Wouldn't the process be easier if we were all better teachers for each other?   Don't we all have something of value to share?

I recently watched a documentary about the extraordinary composer Stephen Sondheim.   I have never seen anyone so free and articulate in sharing their creative process.  I think his greatest legacy will be as a teacher.  After all, he mentored Jonathan Larson.   Oscar Hammerstein mentored Sondheim.  See how it works?   Back to math... Hammerstien + Sondheim + Larson = "RENT". 

If you don't know who any of these people are, Wikipedia is available to you.  (The short answer is my Broadway Geek is showing again.)   See.... I'm giving you a learning opportunity.   You're Welcome.

In your research, I'm sure you will discover that Oscar Hammerstein wrote:
 "If you become a teacher,  by your pupils you'll be taught...."  

Coincidence?  I don't think so. 

May 2014 bring us all fantastic opportunities to be teachers and pupils!

Dishware and Dance Shoes - a salute to creativity

I admire creativity in all its forms.  I think we admire most what we can't do ourselves.  I've twinkled a toe or two in my time, but music is a magical mystery to me.  Therefore, I have a deep love of music and dance. 

The chain of creativity I'm about to describe culminates in a tap-tastic YouTube video that just made me smile from ear to ear.  Literally JUST made me smile.  I am at my computer - saw a story about this video on my nearby TV and immediately started writing about it.  The most creative endeavors inspire creativity in others, right?

So, if you know the story of "Cups" - feel free to skip down to the tap-tastic video... 

Anna Kendrick in "Pitch Perfect"

Anna Kendrick in "Pitch Perfect"


In the movie "Pitch Perfect", a singer uses a cup as the percussive instrument for her a cappella audition song.  We now know this song as "Cups", but this song's journey begins in 1931 with The Carter Family who recorded a folk song called "Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone?".  Over many years of re-recording and rewrites, the English Band "Lulu and the Lampshades" was the first to look at a cup and decide that it would be the perfect rhythmic accompaniment for this little song.  

This version became well known enough to have imitators...who had imitators.  Someone who saw one of these imitators was a successful actress named Anna Kendrick who decided to master the song herself.  Because as a successful actress she had nothing better to do.   I realize mastering something someone else has done is not creative - but stick with me....

This successful actress subsequently lands a role in the acca-awesome movie about collegiate a cappella competitions - "Pitch Perfect".  At the inception of production of the movie, "Cups" didn't exist.  I don't know how it came to be known that Anna had this little gem in her arsenal, but the creativity came back into the story when someone decided to work it into the movie.  Creativity requires bravery - which sometimes means being open to changing your original vision.  That change made this little folk song into something soulful, fascinating, fun and something people just can't stop listening to.  

WHICH BRINGS ME TO WHAT INSPIRED THIS POST.  Creativity inspires creativity right?  A broadway tapper decided to pair dishware and dance shoes.....


My next post will be ME doing this routine.  Ok, totally kidding.  I WOULD, but this is second in line behind mastering "Moses Supposes" from "Singing in the Rain".  If you don't know about that one - you're going to have to do the research yourselves, people. 

Anyway, this deceptively simple routine is so well executed, filmed and marketed for the people involved -  you've got to hand it to this group for creatively taking the "cups" phenomenon - and possibly their careers - to the next level.  

What about you?  Have you ever seen, heard or read anything so amazing it inspired you just had to act on it? 


Why Blog??

As with so many things in life - why not?   I'm by no means an English major.  Then again, I've been a few things that I never thought I'd be.  So now I'm a blogger.  I hope to be informative and entertaining.  I've been known to crack people up from time to time - mostly with horrible puns.  I want to share how I'm growing and how excited I am about this venture.  In other words... cheap therapy.

I have thought of bloggers as self-indulgent people who think that every thought needs to be spouted to the world.  Let's get this clear - I am no one special.  I haven't overcome enormous odds to achieve anything.  I haven't travelled through 3 countries to discover myself - although I have Eaten, Prayed and Loved.  I don't own an inspiring animal that changed my life. I have not bought a villa under the Tuscan sun.  Although I HAVE, obviously, read some chick books and watched some chick flicks. 

If I WERE involved in making movies, I'd be an editor or casting director.  I would not be a movie star, but I would help others shine.  In real life, my clients are the stars and my work supports their goals.  Fonts, Images and logos are what I cast in a project and as an editor I put those elements together in a way that tells a story.  

So with BetterBe, I have to tell my story so you trust me with your story.  I hope you stick around as my story unfolds.