That one time Chris Rock opened for you. Scaling the walls of a late 17th century castle. Climbing through a rain cloud on a mountain in Tibet. Spending the night sleeping on the streets of New York City. Having Rose’s fiancé from the movie Titanic steal your car at gunpoint. These are things most won’t find on the piles of resumes businesses are constantly inundated with, but when it comes to the world of creativity, this type of experiential education should be one of the first things you are looking for.
One of the most valuable and underrated traits of today’s creative minds is the amount of experiential education they have attained. So, what is experiential education you ask? Simply put, learning through observation and interaction with different types of environments. So, yes, that means that the time you attempted to ski down a women’s Olympic ski course in the middle of the Alps in Innsbruck, Austria (even though you had only ever skied twice before) is worth far more than the bruised ego and several bruised body parts you received. Even the Center for Creative Leadership and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest that people learn 70% of their jobs informally through experience, 20% through relationships, and 10% through formal training methods. What that means is that no amount of schooling will ever replace good ol’ fashioned living it.
One of the most famous examples of this method of learning is Steve Jobs, who did something super famous and big that I would look up if my Macbook Pro’s track pad wasn’t sticking so much. Maybe, I'll consult my Apple Watch, iPhone, or iPad later to find the answer... Anyways, as a teenager, Steve Jobs dropped out of Reed College after six months and went to India before returning to Silicon Valley. Often in his life, he went back to that, not for its triumphs, but the hardships he suffered and the harsh reality that he learned from observing and interacting with an environment he had so often dreamed would be much different than it actually was.
You see, he had went to India for enlightenment, but he returned after contracting lice, scabies, dysentery, and a near mob thrashing after he protested at being sold watered-down buffalo milk. Don’t worry, Steve. Everyone knows that watered-down buffalo milk is the worst. But the trip did mark a turning point in his life. In his own words, it helped him realize that "Thomas Edison did a lot more to improve the world than Karl Marx and Neem Karoli Baba (the guru he had been seeking in India) put together."
Thank God! Could you imagine Steve Jobs as purely a Marxist disciple? That would be like the alternate universe Superman portrayed in Superman: Red Son where Superman's rocket ship lands on a Ukrainian collective farm rather than in Kansas, and instead of fighting for "... truth, justice, and the American Way", Superman is described in Soviet radio broadcasts "... as the Champion of the common worker who fights a never-ending battle for Stalin, socialism, and the international expansion of the Warsaw Pact…" GASP!! In other words, it just wouldn’t be right.
With all that in mind, everyone’s life is solely unique in its own way, but people live “boring” lives because they are afraid to be different or try new things. In the world of advertising and marketing, being different and trying new things is invaluable. So, as you search for a person that will help your business stand out, remember to hire one with lots of experiential experience.
One of the things that I pride myself in is the amount of experiential experiences I bring to the table. Not only have I had the blessing of traveling to over 13 different countries (Canada, Italy, England, China, Tibet, Japan, Greece, Germany, Austria, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France, etc.), I have spent time in 48 of the 50 states. I have worked with school districts in the public and private educational sector. I have organized music festivals, movie/commercial shoots, and scholarship funds. I have worked with some of the biggest names in sports (Troy Polamalu, Lebron James, Andrew McCutchen, etc.). I have performed stand-up comedy at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles and Stand-Up NY in New York City. I am a member of the Screen Actors Guild, who has taught acting classes and worked extensively with improvisation. I have collegiate education in marketing, advertising, print media, public relations, film, acting, television, and I have worked in all facets of those industries. I have created and published comic strips, wrote published poems, and created music that has climbed to number 1 on charts. I have walked through ruins 1,000s of years older than me. I have been dwarfed by mountain ranges, awed by the vastness of everything, and humbled by how very, very small (but oh so very important) we all are in the story we call life. Oh yeah, and all those very specific examples you read throughout this article? Those are part of my resume too.
I am teeming with moments filled with places with strange faces and unique customs, and I am so very excited to bring this amazing catalogue of experiential education to you and your business. After all, in the world of advertising, it isn’t just any story that wins. It is the very best story that wins, and I am ready to share those stories with you!