They don’t call it an elevator pitch anymore.
You know that pithy phrase you carefully crafted and practiced to yourself over and over until it rolled off your tongue naturally and no longer sounded contrived or careful - that phrase you had ready to go for that moment when you happen to get in an elevator with some big cheese big wig who holds the keys, and you have twenty seconds to say who you are, how you’re awesome and why this big cheese should risk his neck on your next big idea?
Yeah, that. Well, the elevator pitch is now extinct.
Now they call it - and I’m not joking - I wish I was - no really, this is true, they call it:
The iPhone pitch.
It’s not not because everyone has an iPhone - it’s just a postmodern eponym; the iPhone is the Kleenex of all devices with screens we use to dilute our sense of self and cripple our connection to other human beings.
And it’s not because elevators don’t exist anymore - although it’s increasingly less common for anyone to be riding an elevator on their way to or from work. Aren’t we all basically staying in our jammies and working from home at this point?
Elevators still exist, and lots of people still ride them up and down, of course, at the mall or the airport or in a hotel during one of those expensive conventions where you pay all kinds of money to sit and listen to one person talk about their creative process instead of engaging in your own creative process . Or maybe you do actually ride an elevator at work, maybe you do “go to work”, and you work “9 to 5” in an “office building” that has an “actual elevator” - even in this case it’s not called an elevator pitch, because everyone inside of that elevator is just
Looking at their fucking phones.
No one’s talking. And you can be sure as shit that if I turned to someone I don’t know nowadays and, without any preface or introduction, I used my eyes instead of my iPhone to send them a message and then used my voice instead of a voicemail to convey the following information:
“Pardon me, I’m Sarah Elovich and I’m a writer. I’ve got stuff to say about life and humanity and it’s funny but also thoughtful and I have a unique if polarizingly satirical voice that I think you and your readers will really enjoy. I’m ready for a book deal. Let’s make this happen.”
This wouldn’t win me friends or help me influence people. It would only be the moment in which I became the crazy lady who talks to strangers in confined spaces.
Sarah Elovich is a writer and performer based in Oakland, CA.