A new year, a new resolution. Alright maybe not so new, now that we are in February, but why should I just make a resolution because it’s a new year? I want to make something that might actually stick and not have been made in a drunken moment of reflection. But this year I do have something I want to stick. It’s about keeping me passionate through the madness that sometimes affects my burlesque life. And that is to improve myself as a performer and be more active in that improvement.
Over the last 12 months I’ve neglected my performance side of burlesque as I focussed on the production and teaching side. It’s been great, don’t get me wrong, but I forgot that the reason I loved burlesque so much was because it was something for me… or more so the audiences I perform to these days. But it’s the satisfaction I get of putting on a stella performance for them that keeps me on the calm side of insanity derived from that passion. As life got busier, rehearsal was the first thing that went out the window, followed closely behind by act development. I’ve had two acts rattling around in this space for sometime but haven’t got them past concept and costuming… It’s frustrating and I find I keep hitting a wall when I attempt to take them further.
So here are a few tips for getting it done. Hopefully they may apply to what you love to do
1. Stop making excuses! Here’s my most used ones.
“I don’t have time” We all have 168 hours a week, 10080 minutes. Okay albeit a few of those are required for sleeping, but if you’re sleeping 9+ hours then cut out an hour and hey presto… you’ve picked up 7 hours a week to dedicate. There is no longer an excuse that you don’t have time. If it’s important, you will make time.
“I’m tired” You will feel more energised if you make the effort.
”I don’t have the space” go outside and put your headphones on! Need a mirror? Once you’ve got the basics down, rent a studio, or film it to refine.
The term use it or lose it is never truer when it comes to the creative mind. I find although it might be hard to start with, the more I work at being creative, the more creative I get.
Look for inspiration – on the internet, in magazines, in the environment around you. I keep an inspiration scrapbook with pictures, words, lyrics, song titles, books I’ve read colours, costumes, images of any kind that make me feel… something. Anything at all. And it’s wonderful to reflect on it in the future and see how your taste has changed and developed. It’s also great to revisit and refresh old ideas.
3. Change your perspective
Okay easier said than done, but a good start is when a negative thought comes into your head stomp on it and remind yourself that that’s not helping, and find that positive thought to focus on.
Be objective. Stop putting opinion on to your creative flow and put fact on it, separating it from emotion. i.e. “I look sluggish and fat while dancing” is actually “I didn’t hold my posture correctly, and my movements weren’t in time with the beat”. You now have something you can work on, rather than just a bunch of negative musings with no measureable outcome for improvement.
Look at what you are doing (or what they are doing) from another person’s view. Take a moment and wear a different pair of shoes. You might even learn something.
4. Remind yourself why it is you do what you do and why you love it. Nothing can be more motivating than achieving that feeling.
Oh and my other resolution… to write a blog once a fortnight. I need to communicate with you more, share the love, rant a little, and give my view on the world. Hopefully you might find it useful!