24th February, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow
Archive for January, 2012
Creativity arises from sparks struck through the stimulus of another: a thought, a word, an image, a well-written reasoning or a badly-conceived piece. There is friction created, either via warm agreement or jarring disagreement, through the interaction of stimulating matter with the one that becomes the creator. It is not something completely self-generated.
For this spark-striking, open perception is needed and a willingness to react to what you perceive. This is responsiveness: awareness and reaction.
Acting is responding – to the world, to the text, to the other performer(s), to the director, to the setting and to the audience. Therein lies the actor’s creativity.
Creativity, of course, is not limited to one particular period of the year, but having the focus of this month has highlighted a few related articles and thoughts of use and appreciated.
Considerations from earlier this month include:
‘just doing it!’ and an examination of what creativity is and how it is currently being perceived (possibly unhelpful perceptions that could do with being addressed, especially by ‘creatives’)
and ways in which people are being creative (examples which are not about the month, but what people are doing for themselves and can continue to do)
Now, as International Creativity Month draws to an end, here follow some more links to explore and find helpful ideas to keep with you through the rest of the year, continuing to benefit from this…
59 Seconds Guide to Creativity - http://richardwiseman.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/creativity.pdf
29 Ways to stay creative – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQ2QtTkgebo&feature=share
From the world of writing, but useful to all:
How a seed can grow into a dog - Inspiring Indies: Laura Clark talks about inspiration and where it can lead…
Make mistakes! - stop censoring / criticising yourself until you have created, then the creation can be constructively examined (before then is likely to be blocking / destructive)
Award-winning novelist and playwright Catherine Czerkawska offers some tips that can help more than just writers here:
and has some very interesting thoughts on ‘Creativity and Wellbeing: Should We Be Reclaiming Creativity?‘
What is creativity?
In this blog post – “Changing the way I think” - Ash Pryce examines elements of his depression, for his own understanding and for the aid of others who might benefit from reading about someone trying to be honest and open about the issues he faces (in which he is probably not alone).
There are many people involved in the arts who have similar situations, but this is not a particularly performance-related matter.
So why post here?
Self-awareness is a major part of acting – if you do not know where you are, how are you going to reach where you want to be? As ever, acting and life reflect each other here.
Specifically for performance – if you do not know your physicality, your behavioural patterns, the habits that are always with you, how will you know if they are getting in your way? They might obstruct your ability to express yourself (and so the character / play) emotionally, mentally, vocally and in other physical ways.
You may think you are doing a lot, when there is barely anything being communicated to most of the audience – this is very common in acting and often receives the criticism of being ‘wooden’. The reverse is also true – you may feel you are finding ways of moving and speaking that show the truth of your character’s thoughts and feelings, but others might see you as ‘hamming it up’. (Of course, we cannot please all of the people, all of the time – and watchers’ responses are greatly about them, rather than us – but a general consensus can teach us a lot.)
Addressing these matters, much of drama school is about clearing obstacles we have built up in our lives and that have become our patterns and habits. Most of what we do is who we are and important to our performance, but not everything is either essential or positive. Those are the obstacles that voice and movement practice and mental / emotional self-awareness exploration can help clear away.
Explore yourself – how you think and feel: your world is the world as seen, heard, smelled, tasted and touched by you, with all your filters (created through your life) in place. You cannot get past that, so embrace it – understand it as well as you can, so that your world works FOR you.
… if you do have an interest in reading about mental health, have a look at the preceding post on the Shattering the Stigma blog, a well thought-out and written personal experience about being diagnosed with bi-polar disorder:
A few film news items all at once, with the government-requested, newly published report on the future of British film calling attention:-
The future can be bright – if we make it so…
January is International Creativity Month – you can find out more here and check out the ‘Fun Stuff’ section for a lot of laughs.
We are now half-way through the month and Discover Fine Acting has been getting creative with a few projects:
the DF Acting Facebook Page profile image and other photos
exploring what can be done with DF Acting on Google+
attending continuous and consistent CPD training with the fun and fabulous Affectable Actors approach led by Tightlaced Theatre
Others have been busy too:
putting everything in place for the SCDA One-Act Festival – Edinburgh and Lothians District, with a new Audience Award and some mini videos…
…and there are bound to be so many more inspirational and helpful items currently being created that can themselves boost creativity in others.
So, what have you found that helps and what are you creating?