Friday Five #2

1. “Twirl Me” by Wildlight: lyrical storytelling and downtempo chords and water drips evoke a fascinating place in this song:


2. Big Girls Cry by Sia: It’s no secret I love Sia, from Breathe Me to Chandelier. Her partnership with Maddie Ziegler is riveting, and the newest video is no exception:

And in case you’re a Behind the Scenes video nerd like I am, here’s the BTS.


3. Yuri’s Night: On to something happier! I attended my first Yuri’s Night, an international celebration of space. Los Angeles’ took place underneath Space Shuttle Endeavour! A few highlights: meeting R2-D2 (which I did quite a lot of at Star Wars Celebration this past weekend!) great costumes, geeky people, space art installations, and a Space Shuttle Main Engine. But the most fun was the intelligence, perspective and passion of my fellow space nerds:


4. “How Google Works”: No, not the search engine–though they do discuss that too–the company. How do you build a culture of innovation and quality? How do you help your employees thrive as the business scales? I especially love the way they discuss hiring practices and why it’s better to throw the typical “7-10 years experience” hiring rules out the window and instead hire “Smart Creatives.” It reminds me of the rule I use a lot for casting interactive experiences–no matter how well you plan ahead, the Guest/User/Audience will surprise you. So when you’re casting someone to interact with a Guest, cast the person, not their acting abilities. When everything goes out the window, they’re going to default to who they are and what experiences they have and can bring forward–this isn’t a bad thing! They’ll be more believable too, since it’s their true character. “How Google Works” postulates that industries are innovating so quickly, that being fully experienced in the incumbent software language or having done the job before isn’t the solution. Instead, you hire the wildly curious geeks (Smart Creatives) who you know will want to learn and take on the challenges head-first when curve balls get thrown.



5. FREE COMIC BOOK DAY! Mark your calendars, not this Saturday, but next. I’ll be celebrating in LA at the Blastoff Comicsfest in the NoHo Arts District, but most comic shops should be having events! Say hi if you see me, I’ll probably be highly recognizable.


What do you need from this life?

“What do you need from this life?”

I was reading Carter Beats the Devil when I read this line. My breath caught. It was the question I didn’t know that I’d been waiting to be asked.

My life is a blank page right now, and I’m trying to figure out my next steps. Having a blank canvas and deciding what to make on it is every bit as daunting as generations of creators have time and time again pointed out.

Not for a lack of ideas: There’s a LOT I want to do. I would like to spend two weeks in a Mars colony simulation, like Kellie Gerardi just was. I want to travel to the furthest ends of the earth and make things. From studying the neuroscience of illusion to live action role-play game design to the human rights of architecture and even beyond, I have an endlessly growing list of people, studios, companies, fields, and ideas that interest me.

Compile those with the experiences and skills I already have, that’s a lot of options to pick between. There’s not enough room in one lifetime to do everything I want–though I realize this voracious curiosity is a great problem to have.

But there, staring back at me from the page, was the most obvious thing. Not what do I want, but what do I need? 

I need to make things. Good things. With great people. I need challenge and reward. Challenge and failure. I need to be close to people, and have the ability to tell them the scariest, hardest things, and for them to feel comfortable telling me the same. And to celebrate the happiest things. I need to see as much of this beautiful planet as I can. If it becomes possible for me to temporarily leave this planet, I need that more than anything. Permanently? Maybe one day. I need to share the universe’s beauty with other people. I need to see that empathy and love exist. I need clever humor and bad puns and brilliant laughter. I need good food. Star gazing. Books and music and art. I need to be places where I can ask “why,” and feel it is okay to challenge the status quo. To innovate. To not just do things because that’s how they’ve always been done.

That’s a lot, I realize. But, suddenly, that’s infinitely more attainable. Almost any route I take in life will be guaranteed to bring me some of these, and if I work hard and strive my hardest, maybe even most of these.

It’s beginning to feel like I have a plan. The world’s most abstract, least-organized plan (particularly for someone who enjoys color-coded schedules), but, still, a plan. I am searching out what I need.

So… What do you need from this life?