I’m in a strange place right now: summer vacation.
Summer is here, and it’s the like the creative rug has been pulled out from under my feet. And very quickly. So quickly I’ve landed on my butt, and now I’m sitting on the floor, looking for some kind of creative force to pull me to my feet.
I’m between jobs right now. Really, looking back on it, this is the first time I’ve been between acting jobs in a very long time. Back home in Canada, there was always a next show to look forward to; there were so many independent companies trying to nurture theatre in the Fredericton community that you could source out auditions and move smoothly from one project to the next. During this past school year it was the same! Now between school years… what do I do?
I’ve tried looking for work–restaurant jobs to pay the bills. Unfortunately because of bad planning and timing, these positions aren’t readily available. If money (that ever-looming and glooming oppressor) weren’t an issue, I’d have no issue! I would love to go out everyday and explore the city. I have an image of getting lost in the streets of London, stumbling across a darling cafe that serves the perfect cup of coffee and who’s environment encourages me to sit with my notebook and dream. And I have been doing that on occasional days, but guess what. That rumour that London is expensive? Absolutely true. Just training into the city fills me with incredible guilt.
So I try to be creative at home. I read, I watch the great movies and am in awe of the acting. I do my yoga every morning, trusting that it will keep me healthy in body and sane in mind. But it’s just not enough. Reading is wonderful, and I’ve always loved it, but it’s not doing anything to help my craft. Because I’ve been so focused on acting and turning it into a career, I now kind of feel like I’m wasting my time. I’ve also been going to the theatre to see my art at work by others, and I’ve seen some brilliant pieces. If anything though, that just inspires envy and fear; I want so badly to do what those actors do.
So how do you keep the juices flowing? What can I do to keep stimulated?
I’m thinking of concentrating on writing for the time being. It’s always been a passion of mine; for a long time it was my first passion. Is creativity just a giant slate? What I mean is, is it enough to be creative in some way, or does it have to be in a theatre-centric way?
When you’re in a good place artistically, there’s a specific part of you that just buzzes. For me, it’s my gut. When I’m proud or excited or discovering, I get the good ol’ butterflies. Why the gut? I don’t know, but there it lies. Sometimes it comes out of rehearsals and sometimes it comes out of finding a really intriguing idea that you want to map out with words on paper; the same feeling that expresses itself in different ways.
So what is creativity? Is it as simple as expression? Cause that’s easy enough to tap into and get me through the summer. Somehow I don’t think it is that easy though. There’s some mysterious element to it. Expression isn’t always satisfactory enough. Does it require audience? Not always. Does it require someone else though, to collaborate with and bounce ideas off of? Not always. What is satisfactory expression? I think when it rings true. When you’re satisfied that you’ve tapped into a kind of truth, you can sit back and sigh with triumphant exhaustion. It’s exhaustion because it’s a hell of a journey. And sometimes it’s a chase. You think you’ve reached it but something else occurs to you and you realize you have to keep searching.
The search for truth.
So, what truth do I want to seek out this summer? Suggestions?
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