Monday, December 31, 2012

Cheese sketch

I've been a Monty Python fan ever since I was a kid.  Even before I got half of the jokes, I loved the randomness and creativity from the troupe.

One of my favorite sketches is the Cheese Shop sketch, which I love.  I'm not going to ruin it for those of you who haven't seen it, but I understand those who don't find it as amusing as I do.  Here's the link:

So why am I posting about this?  Because of this:

For those who don't feel like watching the video, it's an interview with John Cleese explaining how the sketch came about.

Ok, so what's my point of this post?

To summarize, *spoilers* the sketch is about a man going to a cheese shop and finding out that they have no cheese at all.  And the idea for the sketch came about in a very roundabout way.  After John Cleese got really seasick after a sketch, he was hungry and asked if they could get some cheese.  While looking for cheese, between the three Monty Python members in the car at the time, they got the idea that they could write a sketch about a man looking for cheese at a chemist's shop (pharmacy).  It's silly and random, sure.  No chemist would have cheese, after all.

But that wasn't the sketch, obviously.  They asked themselves, "why would a person be at a chemist's to buy cheese?  Because the cheese shop was out of cheese."  And that became the sketch.  A cheese shop out of cheese, made funny because the owner wouldn't admit to it.  Bam!

I didn't write this post to make you all watch a Monty Python sketch (although you should).  I wrote this post to show you that creativity doesn't really work in a linear format.  A does not lead to B then to CA can lead to "fish" then to "Oklahoma".  If from A you expect B and wait for only B or B-related things, you very well might wind up with nothing - except frustration.  If you allow things like risk and open-mindedness into the mix, it will pay off.

What's more, the more you practice and get familiar with that sort of thinking, the better you'll get at it.  At first, perhaps it's a little scary.  You might feel stupid or vulnerable.  Months, years later?  Not only is the fear gone, but the quality of the outcomes are much higher.  It's a skill, like anything else!  So stretch your mental fibers and warm up the cranial membranes...then start creating!

In the meantime, I'm going to go get some cheese and compose stuff.  No, seriously, I have some edam in the fridge.  :)

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