Sunday, March 12, 2006

High Visibility can help you win the star system

Hollywood's star system pervades global culture. While there are tens of thousands of aspiring actresses in film capitals around the world, only Reese Witherspoon can command $18 million a picture. Whether you sell real estate, defend criminals, lift faces, opine on the economy, or consult to managers, you are among millions of others aspiring to reach the peak of your profession. And why not? In these and many other endeavors, the top fraction of 1% receive a disproportionate share of the rewards.

The Third Edition of High Visibility can help you win this star system. Having just finished reading the book, there were four sections that particularly caught my attention:
  • Chapter 4's Visibility Hierarchy introduced a compelling way to chart an individual's visibility on a two dimensional scale mapping visibility duration (from a day to forever) against visibility reach (from global to international). I found this a useful way to assess one's position in the hierarchy and to consider one's future.
  • Chapter 5's 22 Major Storylines highlighted popular media story concepts such as "success/failure/success" or "the big break" illustrating them with individuals who fit these storylines. This list struck me as a very useful way to brainstorm story ideas for editors and writers.
  • Chapter 6's four basic charisma strategies fascinated me. Detailing approaches such as "The Impressive Stranger" or "Charisma Through Audience Mastery" I was struck by the example of how Scarlett Johansson's performance in Lost in Translation helped her emerge from the pack.
  • Chapter 11's Visibility Life Cycles presented seven standard patterns of visibility which reinforced to me the evanescent nature of fame -- highlighting the need to adapt effectively in order to maintain visibility.

While I was flattered that Chapter 6 began by recounting how I've tried to generate visibility over the years, I found that the concepts and anecdotes presented here offered me new and thought-provoking insights. If you're aspiring to reach the top of your profession, High Visibility is a must read.

1 Comments:

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