(i wrote this over a week ago)
Part of what I’m trying to do here is examine my own creative process. It’s especially important to me now because I am trying to dig my way out of a creative abyss and I’m hoping if I make note now of what works and what doesn’t that it will help me in the future. From a performing standpoint, I have been stagnant since my last project which ended in November. I was exhausted on every level at the end of it and I needed a break. I think because I had allowed myself to become completely burnt out - it made it harder than usual to return to the process. Then, of course, the longer I waited the more insurmountable it all started to seem. So, my first lesson would appear to be to not let myself burn out. I knew as it was happening that it was happening and I didn’t take action. I should have taken time off, gone to get a massage, pampered myself in any way I could to help lessen the effect. I’d also given up yoga and meditation because I “didn’t have time.” These are two practices that are beginning to seem imperative to me.
Depleted, inert and out of shape I began rehearsals for A Midsummer Nights Musical. I skipped the first rehearsal because I still wasn’t ready to face the task of starting again. When I did finally get to rehearsal I felt like I was just going through the motions. I couldn’t see myself in the role, I felt nothing. Oddly, during this whole time I had a song that I couldn’t get out of my head. I was a little obsessed with it and couldn’t figure out why. Just yesterday it came to me - although it’s not a song from the show, it’s my Titania’s song. This has happened to me other times in the past when a certain song will represent a pivotal moment in the show to me. The song itself then becomes very important to the development of my character. I’ve learned a long time ago never to revel my secrets otherwise they won’t work for me anymore - so I’ll not name the song!! So, happily, although I didn’t know it, I was already subconsciously working. Finally, I read the play. I wish I could clearly identify what led me to do it. A sense of responsibility? Fear of public humiliation? Creative curiosity? I don’t know. Mostly, I think I just felt like it was my job to read it so I read it. That in turn led me to watch several different versions of the play and then the creative juices started to flow. Ideas started to form about the character and her relationship to the others. Seeing the set helped me, too. Although I was unable to see myself as the character I could see the character on the set and I could see myself on the set. Now after a week of inner work the two have begun to meld together. The “it’s my job” motivator also spurred me to look at the music and the funny thing about music for me is - once I start singing - I start to think creatively. I can’t sing through something through just to learn it. Now, at last, after a week of inner work, reading and re-reading the play, and exploring the music, I have begun the task of physically getting ready. This is the part I wish I would have maintained throughout my hiatus. It would have been so much easier to visualize myself as Titania if I didn’t feel like a fat, stiff, bloated mess. So, this would be another important lesson. Although it is a big pain in the ass, it’s much easier in the long run to keep the instrument in shape.