Live @ Lotusphere 2011: Kevin Spacey Sends The Elevator Back Down
Today’s Lotusphere 2011 opening general session kicked off with a real shebang.
I couldn’t completely see, as I was somewher
e near the back of the massive hall inside the Dolphin, and a few thousand faithful Loti were directly ahead of me as the The Mass Ensemble kicked into their new age collaboration musical act before Lotus GM Alister Rennie took the stage to set the stage.
I counted 15 massive video screens throughout the room, if that gives you an indication of how massive it was. I thought perhaps I’d shown up for a rescheduled Rolling Stones show.
But alas, “Start Me Up” wasn’t the theme. It was “Apocalypse Now”-redux, as Rennie explained: “I love the smell of social in the morning.”
Me, too, Alister, especially when I can actually get online and BE social.
But if the conference theme “Get social, do business” couldn’t exactly be practiced in the Great Dolphin Hall of Collaboration due to the once again wi-fi overload, it could certainly be felt amongst the faithful.
Rennie went on to explain that this going to be a really important year for social business and Lotus, and that we would be hearing from a variety of customers and partners relating their own success stories.
And that’s when the surprise opening speaker appeared.
Let’s play a little bit of “Jeopardy” to tune up for the forthcoming Watson/Jeopardy matches in order to guess who it was: He created the imagined character Keyser Söze in the 1995 film, “The Usual Suspects.”
Answer: Who was Verbal Kint?
And who played Verbal in that film? Two-time Academy award-winning actor, Kevin Spacey, of course.
From the moment he appeared, Spacey’s monologue was straight from an early Lotus collaboration playbook.
As the actor’s fluid presence filled the room he explained how collaboration had been key to his entire thespian and film career, and in a nod to “Pay It Forward,” explained that giving back to those who struggled to break into the business was an obligation.
“You should spend a good portion of your time sending the elevator back down,” Spacey explained, indicating that those who had made it in entertainment, or any business, should think about how to help give those that come after them a hand up.
Spacey’s way to give back was to start one of the first social networks for the entertainment industry, Trigger Street.
Spacey related that he started the site in 2001-2002 as a community platform for undiscovered talent to showcase their work and to receive peer feedback and criticism.
“My own life has been blessed by people give me those same opportunities,” continued Spacey, explaining Jack Lemmon had once seen him perform as a 15-year old student actor, and that Spacey would go on to perform with Lemmon in three films, including “Glengarry Glen Ross.”
Spacey also explained how we came to be involved in this year’s Academy-Award nominated film, “The Social Network,” about the questioned germination of Facebook, then moved towards his denouement:
“What is your vision for yourself and your company and the world? I think we should be optimistic. When we do it and work together, there’s nothing we can’t accomplish.
“Listen to someone else’s point of view. Good ideas can come from everywhere…Having a positive attitude won’t solve all our problems, but they might just piss off enough pessimistic people to make it worthwhile.
Now that’s the Kevin Spacey I know and love. Pay it forward…even if with a little attitude.
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