Getting off the page

Joyce Reitman
Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Last week I attended a live conversation with Barbara Cook, who is a 50 year veteran of Broadway and cabaret, a self pronounced food addict and who has seen the bottoms and tops of a career. At the age of 80 she is still recording and teaches a master class at Juilliard.

As the conversation continued, Ms. Cook spoke about the creative process and used the phrase "getting off the page." She described how a singer, whether operatic or jazz, will perform and take particular attention to every note on the page. Ms. Cook voiced her frustration with that approach, saying that those singers will never achieve greatness and will leave an audience cold. Ms. Cook spoke of reading and singing the notes on a page which is just the starting point to launch the musical creation.

I think we can apply the same concept to the formation and launch of a business. Launching a business is not about precise financial statements, beautifully worded business plans, the latest trend in tech-speak. Those elements are the launching point, where you then have to get to the passion and "ah-ha" moment of new direction and execution.

Getting off the page, why not?