Inspo: Gene Wilder on creativity, words in a Bronx hotel, and new audio goodness

Gene Wilder shares why he is creative

Gene Wilder creeped me out as a kid. Willy Wonka as a man is pretty strange, even to adult me. But the movie sparked particular fears of abandonment and guilt over seemingly innocent but reckless behavior. Like, was that little cowboy kid and his mom stuck in the alternative universe forever?! What kind of kid’s movie is this?? No follow-up. No nice little bow wrapped around its candy-coated package. Oh, we are not in Disney movie land anymore are we? Literally no happy ending here. Just a sort of OK one. Also, you couldn’t get that golden ticket without luck and relying on luck, even as a child, seemed wasteful.

That’s what made Gene Wilder so special though. He was thrilling more than anything else. The way her performed archetypes you thought you knew could make you feel a new way about them or about a situation. Even things you were pretty sure you had a firm grasp on, he could shift your vision of them a degree or two: Frankenstein, Hitler, candy.

After he died, this clip made the rounds on my social media pages. Tick, tick — shifting how you think about what makes you creative. It’s pretty perfect.

A Bronx hotel

I’m in NYC for a commercial shoot and my team is staying at a hotel with some gem-y copywriting moments.

Like this line on the room key card. “It’s not a room. It’s a Residence.” Technically, yes, this is a Residence Inn, but it’s also indicative of how the rooms feel. Good line. Subtle but effective.


If you’ve stayed in a hotel in the past five years, you’ve seen signs asking you to reuse your towels so you can save water, power and, presumably, the environment. So, it’s not really necessary to say why anymore, but hotels should still give direction on what to do with your towels if you don’t want to have them washed each day. I like that this copy gets that message across in a new, clever way.


I saw this poster in the hotel elevator. The 4, 5, and 6 are names of trains/subway lines and the hotel bar made drink specials based off this for $4, $5, and $6. In a place as overdone as NYC, sense of place can still be fresh and unexpected.


Audio goodness

My new favorite podcast: The Author’s Voice / New Fiction from The New Yorker.

Authors read their short stories that have recently been published in The New Yorker magazine. Of course the caliber of short fiction is top notch, but it’s interesting to hear the author emphasize certain words or read dialogue quickly that you might have read slowly. It adds a whole new level of character and, thus, intrigue.

This one’s great: “My Purple Scented Novel” by Ian McEwan

And so is this one: “The Bog Girl” by Karen Russell

It’s like having a stockpile of audio books without having to wait to be in your car to listen to them. One CTA ride with silvery voiced Ian McEwan in your ear, and you won’t even notice the talking hot dog riding next to you. (Yes, I’ve been in Chicago six months and have already ridden the train with a talking hot dog. I love it here.)

New favorite album: “And the anonymous nobody” by De La Soul

Yes, De La Soul is back thanks to huge financial backing pulled in by a Kickstarter campaign. That makes it interesting enough (they got $600k from fans to make this ablum). But damn the music makes me feel like smoke rings puffed from jade-hugged dope.

Love it. Spotify it. They still got it.

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