In this March blogpost we would like to touch a sensitive subject: how to keep our creative juices going during down times. Obviously, we would all like to be always working and have a project after the other coming up. Unfortunately, we all know that this is hardly the case, especially as there are so many aspects of our industry that are out of our hands.
The good news is that there ARE some aspects that we can control! As artists we can (and should!) indeed always be working on our creativity. You might think -- Well, that is why I go to weekly acting classes. Yes, that’s correct. But why don’t we also look at further activities and little things that you can do to keep your creative juices flowing and your creativity going.
Here are a few little examples of activities that you can try right now to spark that creative flame and keep it alive (also in bold how all these are helpful specifically to acting):
Take on painting. And that doesn’t mean start going to live drawing classes and become the next Picasso. Just get a canvas and start playing around. No judgement, no expectations. This helps with imagination and sense memory.
Write one poem a day for a week: this exercise may need a bit of commitment, but it can be really good fun. You can write any kind of poetry, a sonnet, a ballad, a little rhyme poem. Or just a couple of lines a day. And you can write about literally anything: the simpler the better actually. Who not writing a poem about your favourite coffee mug? This helps with writing skills and Emotion Memory.
Mindfulness: Well, mindfulness itself isn’t a creative activity, but a little mindful meditation each day will make you more tuned in and aware of what is going on around you. The more you let yourself be surprised by details, the more you are likely to have creative ideas. This helps with Preparation, Focus and Relaxation.
Go to nature: that is an incredible way to keep your creativity alive. Go outside and start noticing the trees, the leaves, the clouds in the sky. Take a walk in your local park or catch a train for outside the city for a while. I mean, why not, right? This helps with Relaxation, Sense Memory, Grounding and Focus.
Take dance classes and yoga: or anything that makes you more connected with your body and pushes you out of your comfort zone. This helps with Relaxation, Focus, Grounding and Body awareness.
Cook: cooking is incredibly creative. Mixing ingredients, finding particular herbs and spices. Decide on a dish or cake you’ve always wanted to try, and make it! Enjoy the colours and smells of your kitchen while you’re cooking. And most importantly, enjoy the final reward of eating your delicious food. This helps with Sense Memory and Grounding.
All of the above help with Creativity, Self-Awareness and Self-Love! Not a coincidene :)
These are just a few suggestions on how you can keep being a creative human, regardless of who gives you or doesn't give you a job. It will keep you happy and fulfilled -- and remember, casting directors and producers are more likely to be wanting to work with happy people, right?
Keep it up, you! You're doing great.
PS: A fantastic book I would advise to get your hands on is Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way. It's a great inspiration, with lots of ideas and exercises to do each week to help you find and develop your Inner Child and Inner Artist.