Saturday, May 5, 2012

The artist’s elevator speech

You have a mere 140 characters, spaces included. The previous sentence was 48 characters, including the space after the sentence separating it and this one. I just went 16 characters over my allotted 140. Buzzer! Thanks for playing. Failed again.

I hear that artists are crafting elevator speeches today; tweet length versions of their “pecha kucha’s”. Cut and paste the term into your browser to learn more.

Like the rest of us in other endeavors and elevators, artists browse the marketplace, art-in-hand, seeking buyers and investors. Competition is very keen. Art collectors, investors, and paying audiences are busy folks with a fixed amount of cash and diminishing lines of credit. This better be good, so in the department store elevator we go! Ready?

This better be good. I’m busy. Excuse me while I text. Go ahead. Fire away. Press send.

A friend of mine, a funny savvy East-Coast business person, always asks “what is it?” It’s hard to get frustrated with that question for me now. I get it. Distill it and pour me a glass of bourbon! I don’t need to know how you made it. That’s your problem.

What is it? What is this elevator speech everyone aches to create and spout?

It is what it is. It’s gotta be tweet-able. Short. Sweet.

Put down the verbose William Faulkner book you’re reading. Ditch the Shakespeare, OK? Yo, Hamlet! What is it?

HAMLET: It’s a play, a “poem unlimited”, life, death, parents, children #HaroldBloom #poetry #drama

BUYER: 91 characters with hashtags. Good job, Ham.

I’ll buy it. I’ buy the reality today that we must pitch it clearly, succinctly, with words selected carefully to pique someone’s interest. Pique. Nice word. 6 characters.

Well, I’m off to return a few books at the Kansas City Central Library, and as I do because I have a reading-sickness, pick up a few more because that’s how I roll… I like it there. One can ride the elevator and not hear any speeches.

Happy Derby Day!

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