Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Emotions and Creativity

I am drawn to award shows on TV, most particularly Broadway’s Tony Awards because this particular event honors live theatre – and live theatre was central to my life for more than thirty years. No doubt those of you who share my interest, watched this year’s Tony Awards on TV last Sunday. As usual in awards shows, there was much emotion – mainly excitement, pride, gratitude, some overwhelm, and lots of delight. I am sure there were also disappointments, sadness and anger too, but we didn’t get to see much of that…….

Emotions run rampant in the theatre world, as in all environments where creativity abounds. It is almost a given with theatre people; writers; actors; singers; dancers; musicians; composers; choreographers; artists; directors; all are expected to be ‘emotional’, that is to have and to show lots of emotions freely, unabashedly. This can be a good thing, it can be entertaining, and it can even be inspiring. But all too often it can be destructive. Few, if any, demands are placed on creative or performing artists to manage their emotions, with the resulting emotional chaos we are so often witness to in the world of celebrity.

I like to challenge the assumption that one needs to be emotionally unmanaged to be creative. This assumption is, I believe, a myth! On the contrary; the ability to understand emotions and emotional information, to appreciate how emotions merge, mingle and move through relationship transitions, to grasp emotional meanings and to be able to identify, assess, process and modulate them within, is surely central to some of our greatest and inspired works of art!

I'll be musing more on this subject!

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