I’m a creator. I write, act, sing, improvise, cast, coach and work too many odd survival jobs to count. One thing I’ve learned in the Entertainment industry is the power of creation. If you’re an actor, you can’t just sit around hoping your BFA gets you noticed. You have to create content. And lots.
There is no excuse not to create. The only competition is with yourself. When you create a new piece, whether it’s a story, a character, a poem, a quilt, a painting, a song or a recipe you are engineering artistic growth. That’s key. For every 50 people too scared to risk failure, there is 1 who says screw it, I’m willing to be bad. To get to good. To get to great.
Most of us understand the concept of 10,000 hours to mastery. But what about just growth. Isn’t that a noble goal in itself? If we can practice a growth mindset not just in theory but in artistic practice this will open the door to the next door. Often that next door is one you could never envision until you just start doing something to begin with.
As a creative, my spine remains the same. To empower the individual to seek truth and speak it in order to elevate the collective. The medium may change from film to paint to speaking, etc but the message roughly stays the same. To stay true to that inner artist, you must be willing to risk. To play. To look the fool. To me, it’s always been worth it.
When I made Rizzo, it was a time in my career when things were going slow. So I developed the script, put together a crew and assembled a shoot schedule. From there, my acting career picked up almost instantaneously and I learned even more about the technical elements of acting on screen. The short film went on to the IndieBoots film festival and won an audience award. That felt awesome to know the work pays off and I was able to get others involved that wanted film experience too. So by helping myself, I was able to help others. We are innately selfish because that selfishness actually benefits the group as a whole when you see the bigger picture. That desire to create is a god given gift and using your skill is your way of saying thanks back to that source.
One of my teachers at iO in Chicago, Tara DeFransico gave us an assignment which I continue to assign to improv groups I coach. And now I pass it onto you the reader of the Ripon Common Sense. Ready? Here’s your homework assignment for the week: Do something that scares you.
You have 7 days. And Go!
Come back in a week and leave a comment about your experience. But most importantly, have fun!
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