Monday, February 20, 2006

Play. Write. Create.

We went to the kids' playwriting workshop today, under the big top. I decided to stick around and watch, considering my interests in writing & acting. There were only 14 kids there, and I think most were circus kids (that is, kids of the circus performers--I definitely saw a couple I recognized as the circus clowns bringing their young son in!). A group from a local theatre presented a playwriting workshop. First they performed 3 short plays (more like skits) written by winners of their young playwrights festival, then they led the kids in coming up with two more skits that they acted out on the spot as the instructions were given. Last, they led the kids through coming up with one more skit which they actually wrote down, explaining how to write down & format dialogue, stage directions, etc. My kids got antsy by the last part, but enjoyed the first part, and my first grader got to play the role of the baby dolphin in one skit--one of only 4 kids to be an "actor." (He was also curious how to write down stage directions, & is considering entering the playwriting contest.)

Sitting there on the bleachers, in the tent, watching the actors perform and just soaking up the whole creative environment, was invigorating & frustrating at the same time. I realized that I spent much of my life, especially my young life, in creative environments--a nurturing private school that valued imagination, occasional dance classes, several theatre groups, TV production classes, and finally SCBWI (conferences & retreats in particular)--and I need that. Even my last workplace was a more creative environment than others I'd worked in. I thrive on that sort of thing, and I miss it a lot right now. It's been years since I've felt like a creative environment was part of my day-to-day life. I really need to figure out how to turn my home into a creative environment, and I need to find some other creative environment to be, play, grow, & create in, preferably with other people. As introverted as I am, I love hanging out with other creative people when I get a chance. And even though I'm so cerebral I sometimes find my body unnecessary or even bothersome, I would ideally like to find an environment that is creative physically as well as mentally. I liked acting partly because it involved all of me, not just some of me. (You think maybe I should join the circus? Ha ha ha ha ha. I'm so out of shape that at the science museum yesterday, I found out my hand strength is less than HALF of what it should be for a woman my age! Ack!)

For other creative types out there, how do you find creativity in your lives, other than just sitting alone writing? How do you create an environment where your imagination can thrive? Where in your 3-D, offline life do you find other like-minded people...or do you?

1 comment:

Kim said...

What a fun day! I've been thinking about creativity a lot lately too. My house is a disaster; I'd like to blame it on my kids. I think the truth is that I encourage creativity and creativity can be a mess!

I've noticed I'm in a rut lately. I think I'm just too exhausted to pick up the clay and paint mess.

In answer to your questions: I write best in a sunny room, or even outside (both problems with this gloomy February). I don't have many creative projects I do with other people. Blogging and SCBWI meetings are big sources of inspiration for me these days.