Posts Tagged ‘creative juices’

Dramatic Interlude

No landsquid today, Squiders–my holiday weekend was overstuffed (pun intended, haha) and I’m still recovering from it on some levels. Thursday, I promise, and if I’m wrong I shall let the Alpaca have my favorite hat, even though he will probably eat it.

So, moving on. I’ve always said that it’s good to try new creative things every now and then. I think it helps one grow as a writer and/or an artist, helps clear the mind, and gives one experience they can apply to whatever their main creative occupation is.

With that in mind, Saturday I am going to try out for a musical.

Am I terrified?

You bet!

My local community theater is doing Into the Woods, which admittedly I know nothing about aside from it being a Sondheim musical and a mixture of fairy tales. And that Chris Pine rips his shirt off during a song in the movie version (which I have checked out from the library, but still not actually watched).

Am I expecting to get a part, or even make it to call backs? Not especially. I am what I would call a competent singer–I can sight read, have good rhythm, and can stick to my own part in a multi-part song–but I don’t think anyone will ever say I have the voice of an angel. I was an Alto II in high school and an Alto I in college, but I can usually do the mezzo soprano and Soprano II ranges without any issues. On the other hand, I have had a death cold for about a month and it’s only within the last few days that I can sing at all.

Musicals and I don’t have an especially good relationship anyway. I didn’t get cast in a single one in high school, despite being in the advanced women’s choir and also a regular lead in non-musical plays. I was only onstage for my senior one because one of the chorus (a freshman, alas) dropped and they needed to replace her. And I’m pretty sure high school was the last time I tried out for one.

But it never hurts to try, right? Experiences! Variety! Theater-based mysteries! (A friend and I went to see Curtains about a month ago, which is a musical about a murder during a musical, and it was lovely and I enjoyed it a lot.)

And maybe I’ll actually get a part, and then get to sing, by myself, in front of all sorts of people…

But maybe dressed as a princess! That would be okay.

But first, I need to pick–and learn–an audition song.

Have you tried anything new lately, Squiders? How did it go?

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Creating the Right Atmosphere

Perhaps you’re the sort of person who can write anywhere – even at the dining room table while your offspring scream bloody murder and beat each other with foam swords. You are a lucky person.

For the rest of us who need to be at least somewhat in a good frame of mind to get work done, this post is for you.

This will vary from person to person. A lot of people like to create their own little writing cave, with inspirational artwork on the walls and their desk laid out just so for the best writing efficiency. Others just need any sort of flat, clean surface, as long as its either quiet and/or bright and/or you are the only one and so no one can bother you.

If you’re having trouble focusing, take a look at the environment you’re trying to work in. Is it messy? Clutter, for whatever reason, often manages to be subconsciously distracting enough to throw you off. Is it bright? If the room’s too dark, you might find yourself getting drowsy. Is it noisy? Sometimes it can be hard to focus around a lot of extraneous noise. Some people can listen to music to drown out random noise; others cannot.

Experiment with music, lighting, and location to see what works best for your creative juices. Sometimes you will need to leave the house to get work done – try a variety of coffee shops, libraries, and book stores – any place that’s willing to let you sit at a table for a few hours for the price of a mocha (or less) – and see if you can find one that suits you. My favorite one is painted with cheerful colors, has lots of natural light, and contains a constant low hum of happy customers.

Do you have any tips to share? What works for you?