Sometimes we don’t know why we do what we do yet we trust that it might just be safe to let instinct be our guide. Why did I get up at 3:45 am and eat three quarters of a grapefruit? I’m not sure. But I’m not apologizing for it. It needed to be done.
August 21st, 2009
Why do artists choose to be artists? We don’t really. It chooses us like a terminal gift. It tells us that if we even hint at abandoning this marriage..that we will wither up and die. Kinda sounds like a cryptic heartbreakingly beautiful addiction. But it’s truth. And art, good art that is, is truth.
I wrote an article for Time Out New York in 2006 about the Healing Power of Creativity. I’ve always held on to a quote from interviewing the Dean of Music Therapy at NYU. “Creativity is health.” And if health is equivalent to life then..CREATIVITY=LIFE. If one of these begins to dwindle, it is a guarantee that the other one is going down too.
I love teaching comedy improv because we’re all artists and some people just need to be reminded that they are. Having the opportunity to reconnect grown adults with their sense of play is beyond rewarding and palpable. Creating involves the process of deliberately arranging elements in a way that appeals to our senses and emotions. Such an endeavor results in inevitable growth. It is a fundamental truth.
But some of us need it in our lives more often than others. I’m sure a lot of it comes down to basic genetic wiring. The new age energy people claim that the old souls who are members of the reincarnation mile high club possess the most primal desire to create. Either way, The reality is that some people make the shifts they need by having art in their life once a day, once a month or once a year. God Bless them. Others of us need it flowing through our veins in some way shape or form at every waking moment. Some people get their fix while doing ten minutes on the stair master while others need hours. I find it interesting that this is the analogy that I go with because a revolving stair machine is about as interesting to me as watching a MTV Behind the Music Special about the life and times of Michael Bolton. If there is no bus crash in Sweden..not interested.
All artists are teachers and healers IF AND ONLY IF they are creating from a place that is authentically who they are at that particular moment. I am challenging myself to step out of my comfort zone and tap into those arenas that universally cause anger and where we can collectively see irony. Maybe I’ll fail. Maybe I’ll offend. But I have to try. I see all my creative heroes as alchemists with the profound ability to turn lead into gold. I am sourcing from a place in myself that is frighteningly raw and present with the hopes that such an honesty might help others(and myself) experience the lead of the trials and tribulations of everyday day life transform into the gold of the spirit.
Come with me or don't. But like my midnight craving for a grapefruit, I simply don't have a choice.