Tuesday evening, public speaker Victoria Price invited her audience at the SCAD Museum of Art Theater to help her unlock the concept behind her newest talk, “The Magic Word: Unlocking the Key to Connection, Communication, Collaboration and Creativity.”
Price, who is the daughter of acclaimed actor Vincent Price, discussed her current project and writing process involved with her new book titled, “The Way of Being Lost: A Road Map to Your Truest Self.” “The Magic Word,” according to Price, is a key component to the book.
“I was recently was in Orlando doing a talk — and I’m on my way to South Carolina — and I was driving through Savannah,” Price explained. “I knew I was going to be here, and I thought, ‘You know, SCAD is the perfect place for me to ask for help.’ And I really am asking for help, because you guys are used to conveying ideas and sharing really honestly how you feel about things.”
Price used her lecture as an interactive brainstorming session where she asked for the audience’s opinion of her concept of “The Magic Word.” The intention of the idea is to unlock the key to connection, communication and creativity, according to Price.
“‘The Magic Word’ is one of my big questions, because I’m not even sure if this phrase is the right phrase,” Price said. “So I want you to not even think that this topic is about ‘The Magic Word.’ It’s about the idea of ‘The Magic Word.'”
Price’s thinking behind the name “The Magic Word” came from her childhood memories. “We’re taught that there are certain magic words as kids that if we say them, good things will happen,” Price said. “But my mother had a very particular version of the magic word.”
Price said her mother, a designer, was English and very strict when it came to manners and Price’s behavior. Price described a time during which her mother’s advice opened her eyes to the power of those magic words.
“I grew up in Southern California, and I remember exactly where we were,” Price said. “My mother was about to drop me off at a birthday party. She said, ‘What are you going to say to the hostess after the party’s over?’ And didn’t really want to talk to her, so I was like, ‘Yeah, I need to say thank you.’ She said, ‘That’s not it. What are you going to say to the hostess.’ And I rolled my eyes. She looked at me. So I said, ‘Alright I’m going to say, ‘Mrs. Moss, thank you for letting me come.””
From this experience, Price came up with the idea of calling her new talk “The Magic Word.” For Price, certain words unlock specific responses to the world and in others.
“My parents were much older than the other parents,” Price said. “They believed in manners, and they taught me you should never ever limit your interests. In fact one of my dad’s famous quotes was, ‘If you limit your interests, you limit your life.’ And it’s really true. He was a renaissance soul and so was my mother.”
For Price, the dichotomy of knowing who she was supposed to be, while also recognizing what was inside her, motivated her to become a renaissance person like her parents. Price listed highlights off her extensive resume, which reflects her father’s advice to never limit her interests.
“I go all over the country designing for people,” Price said. “I’ve been an author. I’ve written successful books. I’ve been a screenwriter. I wrote for television for many many years. I’m educated as an art historian. I got my doctorate in American studies. For years now I’ve made the best part of living doing public speaking, aka a workaholic.”
In her effort to integrate the person she knew she should be with the person who harbored all her interests, Price said she purposefully kept herself busy. While researching ideas for her book, she explored the opportunity behind another magic word: “yes.”
“You know there are so many reasons we say ‘no,'” Price said. “We also fool ourselves into thinking we’re actually saying ‘yes’ when we’re saying ‘yeah but.’ ‘Yeah but’ is not ‘yes.’ ‘Maybe’ is not ‘yes.'”
Price emphasized that an adventure cannot begin with a “no,” but that “yes” opens doors, minds and connections.
“The bottom line is you cannot start a conversation with a ‘no,'” Price said. “The only conversation that never fails begins with a ‘yes.’ If I say to you, ‘Do you want to join me for coffee after this,’ and you say, ‘No,’ that’s the end of that. The only way we’re going to have that conversation is if you say, ‘Yes.'”