Engaging in the Creative Process

I have to admit, I'm often exhausted. It is no surprising fact that I spread myself thin across my obligations but I do so wholeheartedly willingly. You see, aside from occupational assigned work, all of the projects I take on are things that I enjoy. Actually, they are only things that I enjoy. While it is great that I fill my time with projects that I'm passionate about, it often doesn't leave my life open for much else.

In the last month I have taken on two side projects that I'm extremely proud of and passionate in - aside from the on going projects already in place. This coming April I will be performing in Rock of Ages and directing a gay adaptation of Romeo & Juliet under the name Romeo & Julius. Both of these projects take up numerous hours of my time outside of work. While I have acted on numerous occasions, the endeavor of directing a full length production is not something I've had to concern myself with before.  This is an entirely new experience that I cannot say with certainty I am confident in myself with. Despite this hesitation I'm still excited to take on the responsibility and I cannot wait to see the final product come together. 

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Though I find myself increasingly more and more exhausted, and my anxiety heightens as the show dates approach, I've also found myself increasingly happier.  When I have too much idle time I tend to find my mind wandering. I get lazy and dejected. I've found myself completely flipping my sleeping schedule mid school year and sleeping through classes for a month at a time because I didn't have something motivating me to keep going. My senior year of college was rough in that regard but as a freshman in the real world I'm working hard to keep my spirits high.

Since moving back home in May of 2017 I've taken on bullet journaling not only to keep my life in order but to keep my creative energy moving. After serving 3 months at an internship with the District Attorney's office, I moved on to a job working in a public Charter School which gives me loads of free time - something I've never once enjoyed having. In high school, I stayed after for clubs almost every single day and would travel from there to dance lessons. It wasn't uncommon to get home around 10 PM, finish up what ever homework or book I wanted to read and then go to bed. In college I wasn't much different. I laced my afternoons with Sorority meetings, 3 different on campus jobs, rehearsals, or just generally getting to know my residents. It's a miracle I didn't burn out entirely until my senior year, which has a reason entirely different than my overloaded schedule if you would even believe that. But that's a story for another time so instead of getting into that or talking about how to avoid burnout (which I'll save for a post later on) let's talk about my creative outlets.

Working a full time job is no easy task. I'm lucky enough to have a career where I can go home at 3 PM and feel like I've accomplished something. Though that accomplishment doesn't really satisfy me as a person completely. That's why in August my friends and I decided to take on the project of building something from the ground up - something I'm super excited about but still can't announce yet (it's killing me). Then in October I joined the cast of the Rocky Horror Picture Show again, but this time not just one cast, two. My home in 20 Cent Fiction Productions led me to joining RKO Army, the largest shadowcast group in my area, something I never would have thought to do in my life. Since joining RKO I've performed in Repo! The Genetic Opera, and RHPS with them and I can't wait to do more.

Once the Halloween season was over though, I felt the itch to be more creative again. I started editing more random artsy YouTube videos. I picked up playing piano again and started reading more. Though nothing really filled the creative itch inside of me. That's when I went out and auditioned for Rock of Ages. I didn't even get a call back. It was upsetting, but I resigned myself to focus on my YouTube project. I posted a video the next day. I promised myself to commit to the process and actually grow my channel - which I have, it's crazy. Though within a few days the cast list came out and I was offered the role of Dennis' Understudy. It was a happy surprise and I of course accepted the offer. Fast forward a few weeks and I'm not only Dennis' Understudy, I'm now playing the role of the Mayor and Ja'Kieth Gill (under the name of Babs). Romeo & Julius on the other hand has lost at least 5 actors in the short 3 weeks since auditions. It has been a stressful time but being able to help other people mold their own characters and interpretations of the story is incredibly rewarding. 

YouTube, I refuse to fall to the wayside during this time. I cannot believe that I'm managing to stay afloat working Monday-Friday 7AM-3PM, rehearsals 6-10PM, dedicating my Saturday nights to jumping in on random shows and Sunday afternoons to my project meetings. I cannot believe I'm considering auditioning for another show amidst this chaos, but I also can't believe I would be happy any other way. This is my creative process - fueling off the energy and talent of other people, throwing myself wholeheartedly into things that I'm passionate about and letting whatever comes out of it happen. I cannot create being idle and while I might be able to create more if I did less, I wouldn't be happy with the end results.