Creativity and innovation are widely recognized as essential to success in business and in so many aspects of our lives. For over two decades, Cirque du Soleil has been a world-renowned laboratory of creativity, enthralling audiences around the world by fusing dazzling acrobatics, staging, choreography, and music, along with beautiful costumes and technical effects, to inspire and create magical, almost otherworldly theatrical experiences. In The Spark, Cirque's former president of creative content, Lyn Heward, invites readers inside the world and ideas of Cirque du Soleil through the story of an ordinary man searching for meaning in his work and life. Like so many other people in their careers, sports agent Frank Castle has lost the passion he once had for his job. But a chance encounter with an inspiring Cirque du Soleil director takes him inside Cirque du Soleil to meet the artists, directors, designers, and technicians who create, shape, and perform in their acclaimed shows. As the story unfolds, the artists reveal surprising secrets about the sparks that ignite their creativity, from the pressure of deadlines and the exhilaration that comes from risking it all, to the chance encounters and everyday occurrences that have changed the way they live and work. As Frank comes to discover, every one of us is creative, wherever we work or whatever our job title is, but it's up to us to tap into that powerful force. As The Spark makes clear, there is no single formula for creative success; each of us must unlock the power of our imagination in our own way. An inspiring tale that draws on behind-the-scenes stories from the most creative people in entertainment as well as some out-of-this-world Cirque du Soleil magic, The Spark is an unparalleled guide on how to make creativity a part of everything you do.More
"This book is a jewel." (Publishers Weekly)
"If you've ever wondered what it would be like to run away to the circus, this book might bring that spark to flame." (AudioFile)
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Too simple - but good advertising
The conceit is that this is written/narrated by a "Frank" who encounters Cirque de Soleil, and, by meeting various also fictional Cirque people, discovers what makes Cirque so special and questions his own decisions in life/Business, to then turn his own life around and re-discover his own "spark".
The lessons are simple, are I say simplistic - take risks, trust your instincts, follow your passion, push the envelope, etc. Nothing we haven't read/heard a million times before.
As the short length suggests, the book can't really go into much detail. What is presented as biographical/autobiographical, really isn't, at which point I wondered why so much time was spent on Frank" when he's really just a vehicle to transport the message.
While I'm left with no doubt that Cirque is awesome and I'd really like to visit one of their shows, it's too simple to really explore the creastive spark. It more sets out to Show how Cirque's brand of creatibity works, but it's not really very applicable to one's real life - whether creative artist or not.
It strikes me that the audiobook is basically an attempt to adapt one of their shows to an audio format. A fictional character goes through lessons with various guides and ends up changed for the better.
While the reading was fun (some accents were grating, but the narrator was overall very nice to listen to), I think I'd have got more out of buying one of the show DVDs or getting a ticket to a real performance. As a business book or a book on creativity, it remained very at the surface.