Work Is Not a Job

Looking for a manifesto to remind you that it never hurts to pursue your creative side no matter what career you have? Look no further than the inspired message of Catharina Bruns, a German-born designer and illustrator behind Work Is Not A Job. Her site aims to reshift your focus by reminding you that ‘work’ is not your 9-5 job but how you individually contribute to the world.

“In his pursuit of the dream, he was being constantly subjected to tests of his persistence and courage”

The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

How Cartoons Can Jolt You Into Being Creative

Hugh McLeod is a cartoonist. But his drawings on the back of business cards are more than just doodles – they are miniature keys to personal creativity. His novel idea got noticed and before long, he put together a book entitled “Ignore Everybody” with his own view on how to keep creative in the modern world.

This book presents 40 of his own tips on creativity, accompanied by a business card illustration. A few of my favorites are below:

 Ignore everybody.

The more ori­gi­nal your idea is, the less good advice other peo­ple will be able to give you. When I first star­ted with the cartoon-on-back-of-bizcard for­mat, peo­ple thought I was nuts. Why wasn’t I trying to do something more easy for mar­kets to digest i.e. cutey-pie gree­ting cards or whatever?

The idea doesn’t have to be big. It just has to be yours.

The sove­reignty you have over your work will ins­pire far more peo­ple than the actual con­tent ever will.

Put the hours in.

Doing anything worthwhile takes fore­ver. 90% of what sepa­ra­tes suc­cess­ful peo­ple and fai­led peo­ple is time, effort, and stamina.

You are res­pon­si­ble for your own experience.

Nobody can tell you if what you’re doing is good, mea­ning­ful or worthwhile. The more com­pe­lling the path, the more lonely it is.

Keep your day job.

I’m not just saying that for the usual rea­son i.e. because I think your idea will fail. I’m saying it because to sud­denly quit one’s job in a big ol’ crea­tive drama-queen moment is always, always, always in direct con­flict with what I call “The Sex & Cash Theory”.*

*THE SEX & CASH THEORY: “The crea­tive per­son basi­cally has two kinds of jobs: One is the sexy, crea­tive kind. Second is the kind that pays the bills. Some­ti­mes the task in hand covers both bases, but not often. This tense dua­lity will always play cen­ter stage. It will never be trans­cen­ded.”

Every­body has their own pri­vate Mount Eve­rest they were put on this earth to climb.

You may never reach the sum­mit; for that you will be for­gi­ven. But if you don’t make at least one serious attempt to get above the snow-line, years later you will find your­self lying on your death­bed, and all you will feel is emptiness.

If you accept the pain, it can­not hurt you.

 The pain of making the neces­sary sac­ri­fi­ces always hurts more than you think it’s going to. I know. It sucks. That being said, doing something seriously crea­tive is one of the most ama­zing expe­rien­ces one can have, in this or any other life­time. If you can pull it off, it’s worth it. Even if you don’t end up pulling it off, you’ll learn many inc­re­di­ble, magi­cal, valua­ble things. It’s NOT doing it when you know you full well you HAD the oppor­tu­nity– that hurts FAR more than any failure.

Green Finch and Linnet Bird

I finally gave in, guys. Thoughts on Theatre now has a Twitter. While being technosaavy about most other social media trends, I resolutely avoided twitter for as long as I could – out of no special hatred for it, just a general feeling of meh when it was first on the scene. But it’s been six years now, so I figured it was time to reevaluate my relationship with Twitter. Let’s be Twitter friends!

Good Things Develop in Time

“Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway

– Earl Nightingale

We are a culture of wanting, a generation of impatience. Without instant answers we let muddled, hurried thoughts lead us to frustration – “if not now, then when?” – and subsequently abandon the path before reaching its first curve. We want the results without the work. How can we ensure that we reach our goal when the clock on the wall seems to show time zooming by at a frightening pace?

1. Train your mind in patience. Start small, set little boundaries, challenge yourself. Promise yourself to do an extra set of crunches, try 24 hours without social media, or put your favorite guilty-pleasure food at the edge of your desk, and see if you can go 8 hours without touching it. Little successes add up to big ones in time. Each step is significant.

2. Make a list. Of 10 things you would do if time were no issue, if no obstacles stood in your way. Look again at the list. Realize that each one of these things is possible – the obstacles are the excuses we make for ourselves. Pick one and commit 30 days to getting closer to that goal. You reach the end of a month and it’s still not done? Well, you’re 30 days closer than you would have been had the idea just stayed on paper. Put time into it, get something out of it.

3. Refrain from patting yourself on the back. Studies actually show that if you tell everyone that you’re planning on doing something, you get the same emotional response as if you had actually completed the task. Ex. if you say “I’m going to run a marathon,” and everyone gives you a thumbs up and says “great” before you’ve even bought a pair of running shoes, this little convo can stop you from following through with your initial plan; you already received validation. So be hard on yourself. Keep chugging along whether or not others cheer you on. The reward comes from the journey itself, not only the result.

4. Acknowledge those who doubt you, but don’t let them slow you down.  There will always be people that think what you are doing is crazy/not worth your time/impossible/silly/whatever – but that’s why it’s your dream, not theirs. Use any concern and skepticism as fuel. Just like a drill sergeant who whips you into shape, let their words ring in your ears just long enough to light a fire under you. Then go. Do, create, be, and never look back.

5. Keep going. No matter what. Even if the path does not take you where you expected it would, you’ve learned something. And your brain thanks you for it, I’m sure of it.

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The Hipsters Are Coming, The Hipsters Are Coming! How Repackaging Broadway May Be Its Saving Grace

Is this the new face of Broadway marketing? If so, I don’t mind a bit. Faux faded images, main characters walking the street, everyone donning enviable indie-wear – all the makings of a hipster-approved production. And it’s about time we look for ways to show that the Great White Way isn’t only for older and financially privileged audiences.

These gorgeous shots from the new musical Once can be used to entice an entirely different crowd. And if Broadway wants to survive over the next 100 years, that is exactly what it needs to do. Attract younger audiences – they have the power of social media on their side and if they like a piece, they make it known. The generation’s habit of oversharing will be free marketing for the show, and give it the chance to survive in the high-stakes theatrical market.

Of course this photography is informed by the source material, the breakout indie hit with Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, and aims to create that same honest and raw feeling as the film.  Now that story gets to come to life in a completely new way on stage.

And as much as I’m not a fan of the “hey-that-was-a-movie-let’s-turn-it-into-a-musical” trend, I have to admit that these images have been nudging me to get to New York and check out the show.



“Take this sinking boat and point it home
We’ve still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you have a choice
You’ll make it now”

All of these beautiful instagram-esque images from the musical’s official site.

Up, Up, and Away – Flying High on Gratitude

Hey all, hope your weekend was grand.

Today’s officially the last day to vote for the Finalists for a Skydiving Package with Skydive San Diego. I found out I was in the running for this contest two weeks ago, and the polls close at 5PM tonight. If you haven’t had a chance to vote yet, I would love your help! The winner gets a free tandem skydiving adventure.

If you guys want to lend a hand, you can click on the photo below, then hit any of the social media buttons under “Share and Enjoy.” The winner of the contest will be the one with the most “likes”, “tweets” or other “mentions” under their profile on Bucket List Publications. Your support would mean the world to me!

If I win, I promise to share any and all embarrassing photographs. Thank you all!

Also I was thrilled this weekend to find that George of Vertical Tales had passed on the Beautiful Blog Award to Thoughts on Theatre! Thank you so much George for the award kudos!

Instructions for the award can be found here.  

In the spirit of the award, I would like to nominate a few other beautiful blogs that are doing some wonderful, inspiring work:

http://365til30.com – Lovely lady with a plan to accomplish all the things on her bucket list before her 30th birthday
http://patcegan.wordpress – Inspiration, daily affirmations, and a wonderful blog overall
http://mathiaslphotos.wordpress.com – A fantastic photo blogger with a knack for capturing ordinary moments in a beautiful light
http://barbaraelka.com – Features great photos and by a blogger with a beautiful way of expressing herself
http://sloppybuddhist.com – Really dig this blogger’s style and openminded mantra
http://kraylfunch.wordpress.com – This one, An Appealing Plan, is a fantastic lifestyle blog
http://bcommanderinchic.com – Always a fun, fascinating, or enlightening post.

Thank you again for the award, George! I’m incredibly grateful that you thought of Thoughts on Theatre.

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World’s A Stage: Spotlight on Russia

What do a bare-chested Vladimir Putin stroking the backside of an Olympic gymnast, a Botox overdose, and a partial brain transplant all have to do with each other? They can all be seen in a sold-out, groundbreaking new staging of a play in Moscow. This is what happens when politics and theatre collide in Russia.

The play, titled “Berlusputin,” premiered ahead of the March 4 polls for presidency (Putin has now won back the presidency). The show draws inspiration from the incendiary internet gossip swirling around the election and breaks almost every remaining taboo about the Russian leader’s personal life. The text is an adaption of “L’anomalo Bicefalo,” a work by an Italian playwright.

A glimpse into this unique and enchanting evening of theatre:

  • This production imagines what might happen if half of former Italian prime minister and Putin buddy Silvio Berlusconi’s brain was transplanted into Putin’s head after an accident.
  • The show performs in the ground-breaking Teatr.doc house, an intense black box space in the middle of Moscow renowned for its hard-hitting political plays
  • The actor playing Putin wears foam muscles strapped to his chest; the actress playing opposite him devoutly dons a headscarf to portray his wife Lyudmila, who got a little too close to her spiritual advisor at a monastery.
  • Putin tries a little too hard not to look his age and the resulting Botox overdose turns Putin into Dobby the house elf from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. (Putin was  reportedly offended by widespread comments on his resemblance to Dobby when the the film depiction came out back in 2003.)

The Internet rumors of Putin’s Botox use, the mucky situtation with his estranged wife, and his hardcore crush on Olympic rhythmic gymnast Alina Kabayeva all were fodder for the play – much to the demise of the state, and much to the delight of almost everyone else in the country. The director has promised that they will continue to do the play as long as Putin is in power.

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Into the Wild Blue Yonder

Guys! Guys. Exciting news!

This past weekend, I found out that I am one of 15 Finalists for a Skydiving Package with Skydive San Diego! The winner gets a free tandem skydiving adventure. Over 200 submissions came in, and it looks like I’m in the final running for what would be the flight of a lifetime!

But while my part’s now over, now I need your help. The winner of the contest will be the one with the most “likes”, “tweets” or other “mentions” under their profile on Bucket List Publications. Contest ends March 12th.

If you guys want to help, you can click on the photo below, then hit any of the social media buttons under “Share and Enjoy.” Your support would mean the world to me!

If I win, I promise to share any and all embarrassing photographs. Thank you all who continue to be wonderfully impassioned readers of Thoughts on Theatre, and a big welcome to new subscribers as well!

Image Sources: 1,2
For more about the contest: Bucket List Publications

You Are Theatre

Recently came across this wonderfully inspiring YouTube project: I Am Theatre. Their mission is to capture pivotal moments in the lives of theatre-makers over the course of 50 weeks.

This video I found particularly inspiring since Mallory is a woman who had to reconsider her dream. Watch to see how she was able to turn the craft that she loved into a fulfilling career.

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I Have a Dream, or two, or three

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that”

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

In honor of MLK day.

No better way to pay homage than by sharing a dream or two:

I have a dream that the people of this nation recognize that history repeats itself. I hope that we can open our eyes and see that the struggles of the gay rights movement are no different than the struggles of the civil rights movement. Individuals are  fighting to get equal and fair treatment owed to them under the law. I hope we may soon be able to look back and shake our heads over the folly of not recognizing this truth sooner.

I have a dream that we may realize that the “American Dream” never included a provision on blatant arrogance and egoism. I hope that as other nations progress and potentially surpass our status as global superpower, we takes notes on how to improve rather than try to cut down their success. If we attack other nations verbally, physically, or ideologically simply because they stand a chance to rival us, we only promote xenophobia.

I have a dream that future generations may be able to live in a country that champions the health and wellness of its citizens. I hope to see families who ensure that their children stay active, schools that offer vegetables other than pizza to their students, and prescription medications that cost less than the price of  summer beach home on the southern coast.

I have a dream that we all may come to understand that protecting and caring for this earth is a global responsibility. This shared gift is one with an expiration date. If we continue to treat the planet like garbage, that is all it will become.

I have a dream that even with all of the entertainment and ease of communication technology can provide, we acknowledge that there is no substitute for human connection. I hope that we continue to see value in face-to-face conversations, hand-written notes, and random acts of kindness in the future. Even if every three year old starts toting along an iPod to preschool one day, I hope we never forget the importance of forging real relationships and learning from others.

I have a dream that we may finally free ourselves from the shackles of prejudice. I hope we can understand the difference between one “bad person” and an entire community. I hope that we can see that fear begets hatred. And if we allow fear to control us, we will shrink our perspective day by day. We will see only a fraction of options when there are a multitude. May we choose freedom now.

I have a dream today.

Let freedom ring.

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