Many people tell me, “I wish I could do what you do. But I’m not creative.”
Cue the game show buzzer.
Ladies and gentlemen. We are all creative. Come to one of my shows and observe how I can get a room full of people who, in some cases, have never met each other, come together in one unified voice and sing like they’ve been friends for seven lifetimes.
We are all creative. You probably haven’t been given permission or found a safe way to explore.
My wife told me of a friend of hers who decided to take singing lessons in adulthood. She is only doing it now because she was told she wasn’t a good singer when she was younger. She has joined a singing ensemble at The Old Town School in Chicago and is really enjoying it and has joined a band.
We tend to think more inside the box than youngsters do. We have jobs and rules and penalties for not following the rules and lawyers that cost money to get us out of trouble when we do. Or we’re afraid we might fall down and get hurt and then our insurance premiums might go up or we’ll have to wear a bandage on our head to church and we’ll look stupid. But that’s wrong. Incorrect. Totally fake.
That’s F.E.A.R. False Evidence Appearing Real. .
You are creative. Now. Today. No matter how old (or young) you are. I mean honestly …
Is there a time limit?
CUE THE ANNOUNCER
“I’m sorry. You didn’t do it before you turned 30 so you must return to your seat and place your tray in the upright position…. or … off with your head!”
I know. I know.
There is a bit of a hitch. As adults we tend to be much tougher on ourselves than kids are. We feel like if we make a mistake that it’s over. We’re wrong. We can’t undo it.
But that’s why the arts are perfect. There are no rights and no wrongs. Someone will not get injured or killed because we sing a different note than everyone else. It’ll just sound — well, different.
There are no attorneys waiting to litigate you in a courtroom for picking up a guitar or taking salsa lessons.
Arts are great for kids because it allows them to crack that shell of conformity and see what’s inside. It’s ten times better for adults to experiment in the arts. Our societal instincts get to be shattered and replaced with a whole new perspective. Step outside the safety of the herd. Be different. Be unique. It’s risky. But compared to what? Cliff diving in Honduras? Taking up chiropractic medicine on your Gramma?
Sing like no one can hear you. Dance like no one can see you.
I had one woman in an audience at a cabaret show I was doing last week tell me “Oh no. I don’t sing.”
Ha! I told her what I thought of that thought. “If you can talk you can sing,”
So get out of your comfort zone and try something new. Try and do something someone told you you were no good at when you were younger but you want to do it anyway. Just go do it.
I used to be a pretty crappy singer. Some would kid and tell me I haven’t improved much. But I tell them at least I know which notes not to sing. And if I do, I try not to repeat em
But like my piano playing I got better with time. I repeated mistakes and called the good mistakes jazz.
Same thing as a creative writer. For years and years now, I have written countless bits, jokes, plays, sketches, songs, lyrics, commercials, scripts, stories and podcasts. They weren’t always good. Some were perfect. Exactly what the client needed for their product roll out or corporate event.
I have cultivated my creative abilities over time. It has been an occupation to be creative and it has been a choice. Out of either the necessity of the deadline looming over the horizon or out of the curiosity to discover the right combination of music and lyrics, I have developed a system of being creative at will. On demand if you will.
It’s not an original system I use. I learned about it from a woman named Julia Cameron. She wrote a book called The Artists Way.
I can only keep recommending this book for forever. I still use her very clear, loving and supportive direction to develop new projects all the time. I still write piano music both with and without lyrics. Listen to this podcast. PMSPODCAST
Her system of awakening and nurturing our creative beings — that resides in every human being, is effective, safe and possible for everyone. No matter your occupation or position in life.
I can go on and on about the tasks and the methods and the joy and the fears and the breakthroughs and the ecstasy of accomplishment that comes from taking a risk from trying some thing new. Of being creative. Of being unique and significant and, well, being human.
If you buy The Artist Way through my link l will get a small commission. It won’t cost you anything extra. But I will get paid for my referral.
Be creative because you are.
To learn more about how I can provide unique and memorable music and comedy at your event, call Amber at (773) 527-7417.