Welby Altidor – STORY

Welby Altidor

Welby Altidor

Executive Creative Director of Creations for Cirque du Soliel

Welby’s talk was one of the most strategic creative talks I’ve heard in awhile. He addressed Cirque’s creative process, and how they’ve refined it over the years. So helpful actually. There are nuggets below that can be adapted and incorporated for any creative team. He mentioned “Programming Failure” where you push the internal deadline up earlier. It puts strains on the team to hustle [I’m paraphrasing] and find the holes quickly. You’re supposed to fail. It’s ok to fail. I need to hear that. Just go do and fall on your face. It’s ok. You’ll know one way that won’t work or you may discover a way that works better.

Here are my short hand notes from his talk.

Creative collaboration

Creative courage

The future of innovation is a creative, collective, humanist enterprise that seeks to find new solutions to the problems of our planet and it’s future.

Lucas Dietrich

Politics, egos, insecurities get in the way of collaboration and ends up feeling more like a fight

“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.”
– Sir Ken Robinson

Get rid of the idea of perfect and just go after it. Hello courage.

Solving problems do not come with an instruction manual. We creatively come up with it.

Find what resonates or what the audience yearns for.

Transport. Create experiences that transport people to a new world.

Immerse people in the world. The audience wants to become a part of it.

Human. Maintain the humanity.

Perfection. Striving for perfection. The best you can be. Perfection enough is better than perfect.

Feast for the Senses.

Unexpected. Create moments that are unexpected even after you’ve been doing it so long. Bigger organizations tend to resist change.

Dreamlike. Try to tap into people’s dreams.

Connected emotions. Embrace emotions.

Inspire to create change in their life. When the work is done well want to inspire people.

“It is better to fail in originality, than to succeed in imitation, period.”
– Michael Jackson

Say the dumb ideas. Get them out. Dumb ideas lead to great ones and really aren’t that dumb.
Words Eat. Words Really Matter.

Lions Den meetings turned into Jams so someone doesn’t get out alive. Tell the truth and get it out in the open.

A show would be perfect with two weeks more. It’s perfect enough. Get it out in the open.

Belief Systems
Take a step back and look at how people are talking about the same thing but missing it.

Share knowledge. Always be looking. No one is too old or too young to be a mentor or mentee.

Program Failure
Pushed deadlines up to get the harsh feedback up there quickly. Learning and failing early to make it better quicker.

Choreograph Feedback
Develop a session, craft the session and feedback so you’ll get the info you need.

Don’t Ask for Permission
Challenge the status quo and go for it. Ask for forgiveness later.

About Who? What?
Keep what and who you’re doing it for quickly. Get lost in the deadlines. Remember the purpose of the project.

Break Rules
But not your principles.

Transcend Signature
The work needs to reveal itself to you. Process starts large. Big picture but you zoom in going in on the details. But the work is changing as you go in closer. So the work transcends you as the creator.