Seth Godin posted an interesting link about creativity. basically he states that what may be creative for one person, may actually not be very creative at all by another stand point. He uses the example of a police officer solving a crime with what looks like to be creative methods from the outside, but is actually a very formal technique. Then he likens creativity to stretching the edges, which like an old sweatshirt, you may have to push further and further to be on the edge.
Why bring this topic up here? I think sometimes stagecraft is like an old sweatshirt. You enter the industry - you get your shirt. You poke around the edges, you work creatively. Then you settle in on techniques and processes that tend to work, and you get comfortable and stop pushing the limits.
To take it even a step further, I would even say that collectively the industry has a shirt, with alot of different people poking around at the various edges. You have some people on the very edge creating and trying out the latest gear and ideas, and you have some in the middle staying stable, and in a holding pattern. The catch here is twofold. Not only do we as an industry need to be at the edges, but we need to do so collectively. This is why I believe in the Tech Expo, and Yale's Tech Briefs, and why I try to post here. Only by sharing information, and making it apart of the common knowledge available can we continue to push the real edge. Otherwise you'll have some guy in the middle wildly poking at the seam on their edge, while that same idea is pretty boring to others around him. Point is, the more we grow as an industry, the more we need to lay down the path for others to follow. So much of what we learn is learned on the job by respected people in the industry and is passed on orally. We take so much of our normal construction techniques for granted I think it is sometimes hard to identify new ideas. But I challenge you all to document, write up, blog, or otherwise submit ideas, techniques, and solutions.
You can submit ideas to the Technical Production Commission here. Also, don't forget the Answer Box section of Stage Directions, Yale Tech Briefs, and the Tech Expo.