I’ve found that I am most productive in my writing when I am working on a show. If you’ve read some of my previously blogs, I’ve been doing hair and makeup for community theater productions for the past ten or so years. I am not sure if it is because I am so busy that I need to be very diligent and write when I get the chance, or if it is because being surrounded by such creative energy that the theater offers it feeds the writer in me.
This year the first show I worked on was in March, Big River. During February, I wrote, but I was easily distracted by Facebook, television and other entertainments. After all, I had a whole month of nothing so I could take my time. Well, I didn’t get nearly as much accomplished as I wished to. Then March hit and I was faced with the looming deadline I gave myself with not enough time to reach it and trying to figure out how to tar and feather someone with the time allotted in two pages of script, without actually using tar of course.
April was almost a complete wash with regard to writing. I did get some done at the conferences and being with my critique partners and talking to so many authors, far more accomplished that I, had those creative juices simmering. But, before the last conference was over, I received a text message asking if I could help out on a show which opened Friday. The person who was to work the show had an emergency. I couldn’t say no, despite my looming deadline. The show was Chicago! So, two hours after I arrive home from the Spring Fling, I am at the theater getting the makeup room ready for another awesome show. And what is crazy, is I have gotten more written this past week and this weekend than I did during the whole month of February (which even had that extra day this year). What is that all about? With the amount of spare time I have compared to February, it should be the exact opposite.
I do think it has more to do with the creative energy than time management. When I am working on a story, my mind is also thinking about the next show and what makeup, wigs and hairstyles it will call for. When I am in the makeup room, people are asking about my books and what I am working on. I think creativity feeds creativity regardless of the venue. Whether you sing, dance, play an instrument, write or paint, it is all equally creative to bring one art form or another to a community.
So, while I may whine and ask myself why I agree to work on shows when I need time to write, maybe my subconscious is telling me I need to work shows because it helps me write. And, since I packed this year full: Hello Dolly opens in May, Hairspray opens in July, Wedding Singer opens in August, Twelve Angry Men (which I am co-directing) opens in October and finally A Christmas Carol, which opens in December, I should be able to get a lot written.
What stimulates your creativity, or anything else you do in your life? Do you find what should be all wrong is what actually works?