Living Creatively and How I See It
by Richard Furleigh
Many people say they try to live creatively, to think differently, yet few people manage to actually achieve this. To me it is the culmination of questioning the reasoning behind why people choose to do things, to examine if there is a different or better way, and then actually following through. It seems more and more that the last part of that is the difference between those who live creatively, who make real change in this world, and those who simply talk about it.
Creative living is more than just life hacks, alternate lifestyles, or simply being an artist. It is utilizing the ability to tap into the creative process, to seeing things from new eyes and perspective, and to think at a higher level in order to help make better sense and navigate the world around us. It is about using information given, and when that isn’t enough reaching out to those who do know or teaching ourselves, in order to grow.
One of the most pertinent examples I can think of is the entire fact that Kristen and I enrolled into a Master’s level business program after getting a Bachelor’s in theatre. When people ask what I do I tell them I am a professional actor, who also happens to not want to be a starving artist. From many of my artistic friends I get quizzical looks and questions about my commitment to my craft; the starving artist lifestyle is so ingrained into the collective psyche of our community that people often don’t think about any other way to do it. I have made the bold decision to opt out of that life by getting a degree that will allow me to get a well paying job with health benefits and financial stability.
There is also another major component to being an actor that having a well paying position will allow me; the ability to self fund larger projects. Instead of waiting around for a role to come up I can simply put up a show myself. Don’t think there are enough quality scripts by women being shot? Find one and collaborate to produce it.Even the simple ability that when producing a project, to actually pay other artists for their time will be extremely fulfilling; the ability to help someone else be able to pay their bills with their craft will be indescribable.
There is also an element of creativity in the workplace that feeds into this very mindset. The actor’s ability to enter the mind of someone else to bring other issues to light, improvisation that allows us to ask “yes, and”, the ability to look beyond the obvious for the deeper meaning and purpose of the work. These are all invaluable team driven skills that are not taught in any management classes that I’m aware of.
I hope that in some small way Kristen and I can help empower you as well, this is truly my fervent wish. Find some grain of insight here that you can take back to both your work and personal lives and use it to build something better. If you do then stick around, subscribe, and check back soon as the Furleighs add more on our little perspective of the world.