Art Therapy: What’s your muse?

I love the concept of art as therapy. Art allows us to be creative. To have fun. To step out of the comfortable. To make mistakes and be a kid again. My creative therapy of choice: improv.

Right now, my life seems to be enough of a muse all it’s own. There have been wonderful trips, fantastic work adventures, but major disappointments and heartbreaks too. Who needs fiction when your life is drama-filled; enough to either scare away companions or open the door, wide, for critics?

I need it. In these moments, we truly need fiction to free our minds.

Some great improvisors!

Last night at improv I got to be an Italian debutante, a screeching banshee, and a subtitle interpreter. My favorite character of all, brought in my most beloved structure of improv: long form. In playing a game called ‘freeze and justify’ myself and another actor found ourselves continually coming back to 1 story line. We were going to have a baby. Unplanned.

This repeating theme was crucial as it:

  1. Brought me to go back to my improv ‘roots’ of long form .
  2. Allowed us to create a story arc. In 30 minutes-with other scenes in between- we had gone from finding out this would happen to 5 years later sitting at our daughter’s back to school night.
  3. Pushed me to play and play deeply with this character.

I was completely obnoxious, rude, and unsympathetic to my partner’s kind ways. I got to live in the ‘all about me‘ mindset of this character. It was liberating!

It was also humorous.  As I confessed that our kindergartner, Shanique was not his. I’d be happy for him to remain as “Uncle Steve” in her life, and take any monetary contributions for her.

Last night, I laughed, I loved, I hated, I screamed, both as myself or any of these characters.  Solely as Kate, I lived last night.

That’s what art can do. What are YOU waiting for?

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