As you know, I like to shape serendipity.

Therefore, some time ago, I went to see the “Giacomo Variations” where John Malkovich plays Casanova.

So here are the observations and discoveries that John Malkovich and the show offered me:

  • John Malkovich can hold a pretty tune.
    Who knew! Assumptions are often proven wrong!
    What assumptions are you having that you want to try to prove wrong this week?
  • Casanova should have been a hippy.
    He was definitely born in the wrong century, what with all those buttons to undo and layers of clothes to get rid of before he could assuage his hunger.
  • Shocking people right at the start guarantees a great opening.
    A minute or so into the play, John/Casanova breaks down on stage and all of the sudden there is silence, then hectic running about. People from the orchestra get up and run on stage, the director’s assistant comes shouting ‘John?! Someone call an ambulance…’ For a minute or so, they had the whole audience in terrified awe as we were all wondering whether this was real or part of the play (the latter happened to be the case).
    Made me wonder how I can start a presentation or training differently next time…
  • Duplicating is original.
    The play consisted of a total of 4 people: 2 actors and 2 singers. They were each other’s double: playing the same role, dressed the same, sometimes set in the same time (i.e. conversing with themselves) sometimes set in different times (playing a younger self). What seemed like an oxymoron actually made the whole play very original and often confusing or funny.
    So how can you duplicate something existing to make it more original?
  • The world is small.
    What is the likelihood of a big celebrity coming to your hometown of 80.000 people? Low.
    What is the likelihood of bumping into someone you know when a big celebrity hits town? High.
    Malkovich did come to Luxembourg (and so did many other famous actors) and I bumped into someone I knew.
    What does that teach us? Sometimes likelihoods are just that.

Where have you gone this week? What did you observe?

Where are you going this week? Will you look for things to give them a creative twist?