Remembering Your Kick Ass Self

There is never a perfect picture. There is never a perfect age or stage- when we look back with nostalgia at a time in our life- we are simply shining the flashlight on the best parts, the highlights, if you will.

So- without thinking too much- what age were you when you knew what you  loved? Things may not have been harmonious, or perfect, but you had a strong sense of what you enjoyed, what you wanted to be, do or have… were you three years old and loved to spin around to music till you got dizzy and fell over? Were you seventeen and you were a passionate vegan, who loved indie cinema and bohemian op shop clothing? Were you twenty-one and had gained your independence? What age were you when you knew what you loved? That age holds all the answers.

If your seventeen year old self (or what ever age you have chosen) had a message for you right now, what would it be? “Wear Doc. Martens, listen to Tori Amos, do a drawing and smoke a cigarette.” Cool- except for that last one. A cup of tea will be a good replacement: only listen to the advice that’s good for you. Listen to the guidance and act on it.

Exercise- Advice from Your Chosen Age

Insert the chosen age “When I was ___ years old I loved to…” and then list the numbers one to twenty. Next to each thing that you’ve listed, write the feeling of the experience- for example, when you were seventeen maybe you loved going to art galleries, and the feeling you experienced was inspiration. Identify the feeling for each thing that you loved.

Now- next to each item, write an action step that you can take immediately, or over the next week that can address the items on the list. For the above example, the action step would be to go to an exhibition. If you loved The Beastie Boys when you were fourteen, listen to an album. If The Labyrinth was your favourite movie when you were nine- watch it.

When you reconnect to the things that brought you so much joy, you remember why they did in actual fact inspire you. You remember a vital part of yourself you may have forgotten. You reawaken within yourself an aspect of your creativity and true essence that holds the key to your current happiness.

I‘d love to hear from you after you do the exercise- what did you remember? What action steps did you take in reconnecting to your past passions/interests?

 

 

 

 

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YOUR CREATIVE NEW YEAR

Happy New Year!

Here’s a fun exercise to determine which creative projects or goals we’re going to work on in 2016. Instead of looking at the entire year ahead, let’s just focus on the first quarter- this takes us from now up until March 31st.

  1. Get a piece of paper and divide it into 3 columns
  2. Label each column with the heading “Project 1”, “Project 2” and “Project 3”
  3. Now, choose your projects/goals- it could be: Project 1- Learn Guitar, Project 2- Go to an Acting Class, Project 3- Write a novel
  4. Look at your list again- is it realistic? Can you actually accomplish these three things by the end of the first quarter, or is this list already stressing you out? Yes or no?
  5. Re-edit list- it might look now look like this Project 1-Start guitar lessons, Project 2- Start going to an Acting Class, Project 3- Write a short story/plot for my novel
  6. Now you have three projects to work on that are actually in your grasp of achieving.
  7. Now under each heading, list 5 steps you need to take in order to achieve these outcomes- for example “Start guitar lessons” a)get guitar out of the garage b) tune it c) research group classes- where are they on/who’s running them/what appeals? d)listen to some music that inspires me e) sign up/attend classes etc.
  8. Do the same kind of list under each project, the Acting Class process will be similar, but if writing is your goal you will need to be more specific/disciplined and realistic, for example- how much time can you devote to your practice? Do you need to set your alarm half an hour early just to get up and write before the rest of the household interrupts you?
  9. Now you have a blue print for the first quarter of the year. The list should now feel supportive to your wishes, not stressful. Don’t forget to tick off your achievements from this list, no matter how small! For example, you can’t start guitar lessons without getting your guitar out of the garage- tick! That’s one thing off your list.

I hope this year is super creative for you and you are able to connect with your soul through that which you love- be it music, art, writing, performance or whatever makes you smile. I am available as a Creativity Coach both in person or via Skype and my seven week courses are listed below- Love Claire xx

Acting Classes- Term 1- Acting Fundamentals (Beginners class for Grown Ups)- 7 Weeks/$300, Saturday Mornings 9-11am (Feb 6th, 2016) Pasvolsky Studio (Intermediate to Advanced)- 7 Weeks/$360, Saturdays Midday- 3pm (Feb 6th, 2016). Creative and Acting Coaching sessions are available in person or via Skype. Email me to book- clairepasvolsky@gmail.com

 

The Books that Changed You

Happy Monday,

My Saturday workshop this at The Imago Studios was inspired by the work of NYC based theatre company The Wooster Group- in relation to the deconstructing of text to create a “stand alone” performance piece that somehow still represents the themes and undercurrents of the original text but sheds new light on it, and in so doing creates a completely new work- where the “old” text may be almost unrecognisable.

As a fan of the work of The Wooster Group, for the past twenty years, I don’t think I seriously thought about “deconstructing” a text in terms of performance. For the purposes of Saturday’s workshop, and because the Wooster Group are no strangers to controversy- the text we “deconstructed” was perhaps one of the most controversial of all times, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. The groups looked at themes and styles from the book that are now present popular culture, as well as the text itself to create new and fascinating scenes/montages using collage, music, movement, metaphor, sound effects and video to create a “stand alone” triptych. It was extraordinary- dark, evocative and provocative.

The themes and darkness of the material challenged all of us and sparked the conversation- as we change and grow, how does a text change for us? As in, if you read a text as a teenager, with a limited perspective of the world and of the self- what happens, when you read that same book twenty years later? It changes, because you have changed. Your world view and perspective has changed.

Lolita is more relevant today than when it was written. As a piece of literature it is poetic, but it is also terrifying. I have been having conversations this week with friends, family, students, collaborators etc- about the books that have changed them. Specifically, I’m interested in the books you have chosen to revisit and re-read and the different experiences you have had with each re-read and why? How had your world view/personal perspective changed?

The fifth time I read The Unbearable Lightness of Being I was in Prague where the novel is set- the best reading experience ever- to be in the actual physical location of the text when you read it is fully immersive and powerful. Every time I read The Catcher in the Rye- it is a new experience. As a teenager I found it highly amusing, the last time I read it as an adult- I found it tragic.

Maybe you loved something in your twenties, reread it a decade later and found it self indulgent. Perhaps you appreciated the text more on the second read through as your perspective altered and you connected more to the themes. I’d love to hear your top 5-10 books. The books that changed you, and then changed when you did. I’ve listed my top 10 below- it’s not easy coming up with a list!

TOP 10 FICTION

1. Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Park

2. The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend

3. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

4. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

5. The Collected Works of Billy the Kid by Michael Ondaatje

6. Alias Grace by Margaret Attwood

7. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

8. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

9. The Hours by Michael Cunningham

10. The Collector by John Fowles

CREATIVE STATE OF MIND

“The dignity of the artist lies in his duty of keeping the sense of wonder in the world”- Marc Chagall

Hi Friends,

Let’s make 2015 our year of living creatively. The above quote inspires me. While some of the world is in a current state of crisis, chaos, disorder and disharmony…we as artists/creators- need to focus on making beauty, seeing beauty and sensing wonder. If there were to be a creative movement in 2015, where people focused on what makes their heart sing, rather than tapping into a fear mentality, then I believe there would be a radical shift in consciousness- creative consciousness.

Here’s a fun exercise to tap into your Creative State of Mind…

1. Write numbers 1 to 20 down a page.

2. At the top of the page write “Stuff that makes me Happy”

3. Don’t think too much, just write the list as fast as you can.

4. What comes up? Going to book stores, being with family, writing, singing, cooking?

5. Grab a highlighter and highlight all the creative activities/things you have listed

6. Now grab another piece of paper and write the numbers 1-10 down the page

7. At the top of the page write “Creative Things to Expand My Mind in January”

8. From your first list, choose ten creative activities- remembering that most things are creative- exercise is creative, fishing is creative- choose your top 10-

9. Look at your list and put it into action. For example, your list might look like this- 1. Going to the Movies 2. Drawing 3. Running on the Sand 4. Yoga 5. Agatha Christie Novels 6.Singing in the shower…etc. Next to each item- write down something you can REALISTICALLY do this month to feed this part of your soul. Eg- 1. Rent my five fave movies and invite my closest friends over for a movie marathon on New Years 2.Go to the art store, buy some coloured pencils and a sketch book and spend one hour on a Saturday doodling whatever I feel like. 3. Run on the sand 4. Go to a yoga class or download a Yoga app on my phone and do some in the backyard 5.Get into the bath, put on some Bach and read some Christie for an hour 6. Sing in the shower, every morning- create a playlist of my favourite “Shower Sets”…and so on

10. When you take the time to create a list like that, you can be an active participant in your daily creative practice. When you are making/doing something- whether it be a sculpture or a loaf of bread…you are in a creative state of mind. Enjoy! Claire x

“Unleashing Your Creativity for Grown Ups” Summer Intensive- January 19-23rd 48, Watt Street, Newcastle, Australia. Email Claire to book- clairepasvolsky@gmail.com. Creativity Coaching available for international clients- 30 minute or 1 hour Skype sessions available. Email to book.