Monday, February 27, 2012

What Inspires Our Best Work?

Alan Menken
Before the Oscar gala, I watched a piece on Sunday Morning about the person--a person who's alive--who has won the most Oscars. Many possibilities flicked through my mind, a few I thought might be sure bets. But when they said his name, my response was Alan who?

Then they cued the music. OH! THAT guy!

Alan Menken, a composer, has won eight Oscars and been nominated a remarkable 19 times. I've been singing along with the fruits of his creative genius for years. First hit musical: Little Shop of Horrors. And wait till you see a list of his other credits, which includes the music for Beauty and the Beast.

If you already knew all of this, YAY, YOU!

During the interview segment, he described his musical style as "infectious, vulnerable, unguarded, joyful ... basically kind of childlike, in a way." Then he added the line that caused me to grab a pen and write it down.
"I do my best work when I'm serving something bigger than myself."
I felt like he strummed the harp of my writing heart with those words.

I've watched the CBS piece a few times online. Each replay, I am more filled with Menken's enthusiasm, and I am singing louder.
  • Childlike
  • Vulnerable
  • Infectious
  • Enthusiastic
  • Something people want to share
  • Serve something bigger than yourself

Seems like a good set of inspiration for any creative type to me.
Bonus link for your perky pleasure: Little Shop of Horrors - Dentist Song
Bonus fact: Norman Menken, Alan's dad, was a dentist.


Wilda Morris said...

"Serving something bigger than myself." Yes, that nails it, doesn't it!

Charlene Ann Baumbich said...

Indeed it does.