Thursday, April 24, 2014

Rebooting Creativity: Finding Your Way Back Home

Are You Feeling You've Lost Your Creative Direction? Has Life Gotten in Your Way? Stop Making Excuses and Find Your Way Home. Create.


Life gets in the way. It happens to most of us. There are all kind of distractions (and some necessities) that can prevent us from creating art. No matter what the excuse-- it's just that... an excuse. The life choices we make don't have to be a roadblock to creativity.

Here are some thoughts to get you out of that slump and help get those creative juices flowing:

1) No regrets.
Don't think too much. Many of us create unneeded baggage over what we haven't done, or didn't do; and allow that to prevent us from doing what we love. The past is gone... get over it. Do everything you can now with the time you have-- even if it's only for a few minutes.  Don't regret what you can't change and change what you can.
2) See everything as an opportunity, not a roadblock.
That job you hate but desperately need to pay the bills... can be a source of inspiration if you look for it. Look around you, network with coworkers, share your passion-- you never know what you might find.
The project you took for someone else to make a little cash or get your foot in the door... don't waste that opportunity. Learn, connect, try new things... open your mind.
3) Every path leads somewhere.
Is your art or career headed in a direction, far from where you wanted to go? Can you see where it's leading? Is it a dead end?
Sometimes we find ourselves getting too far off track or even traveling completely away from our original destination. We have to be willing to adapt, change, or reverse directions sometimes.
Always keep sight of your goals. Don't go on for so long, convincing yourself that you have to do something-- that in reality is preventing you from realizing your full creativity.  At the same time, try to be open and experience the journey as it happens. Some paths unexpectedly lead to rewarding destinations. Just make sure you keep moving on.
4) Creativity is not the same as productivity.
No matter what form of art you create, it takes time, skill and connections to make it happen. A project could take you days, weeks, years or even a lifetime to complete. It may take time before you actually produce something worthwhile. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that quantity is as important, or more important than the quality of your work.
Lots of projects under your belt may make you feel productive-- but are you proud of them as well? Do they represent who you are as an artist?  Are you learning, growing and really stretching your creative muscles?
5) Stop making excuses.
We're all guilty of this. After awhile it becomes more of a habit. The only honest excuse for not creating art-- is not wanting to create art. There will never be enough time, money or resources-- these are not good excuses.
Think about this-- The excuses you give yourself are always worse than the ones you give to others.
6) Set goals.
Set goals for yourself. Give yourself some benchmarks for achievement. Goals give you a direction and should help motive your progress. Don't allow the failure to meet those goals to discourage you. Reassess and set new ones.
7) Do something.
Do something. Anything. Even for five minutes.
If you're a writer or painter -- put something down on paper, don't just think about it in your head. Scribbled notes or sketches can be great triggers and motivators even if they're incomplete.
If you're a performing artist, sing or dance-- whatever you do. Sing in the car or the shower, if nothing else. Dance a quick step in the empty hall at work or in your living room.
The longer you go without writing, or dancing, or ... creating-- the harder it is to get started again. You'll be glad you did. Even for an audience of one (you).
8) Success comes from failure.
 Lots of cliches could go here and the topic of failure could be pretty broad. I want to stick to your own personal measure of failure.
There is no better way to learn and grow than to try and fail at something. Failure can open up new doors and ideas, leading you to successes you never dreamed about.  Don't shy away from trying something that you might not get right the first time around.
Art is a process. It develops with time and experience and needs to be constantly molded and reshaped. 
Success the first time around? Great! Did you learn anything? And who is measuring the success? You or someone else?
I believe truly creative, artistic people are never completely satisfied with their work but learn when to stop and let it live. It can always be better, clearer, brighter, deeper... but sometimes-- what it is, is just right.
9) Don't give into fear.
Some artists fear failure. Others fear success. Don't let your fears rule your passion. Create and live your passion!
The bottom line is:
If you're a writer- write!
If you're a sculpter- sculpt!
If you're a dancer- dance!

The only one stopping you is you.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Naperville, IL — Surging Films & Theatrics and Introspect Theatre jointly present the Award-Winning Broadway musical Spring Awakening, January 31- February 2, 2014 at the Center Stage Theater, 1665 Quincy Avenue #131, Naperville, Illinois 60540.

Excitement is building in the Chicagoland area as Surging Films & Theatrics and Introspect Theatre gear up for their joint production of the controversial and award winning hit musical, SPRING AWAKENING, with music by Duncan Sheik and book and lyrics by Steven Sater.

Winner of 8 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, SPRING AWAKENING is a rock musical adaptation of Frank Wedekind's controversial 1891 expressionist play. Set in the rigid and repressive late 19th century Germany, SPRING AWAKENING follows a group of students navigating their way through the timeless story of teenage self-discovery and coming-of-age anxiety in a powerful celebration of youth and rebellion. Alternative rock ignites the stage as part of the folk-infused score that fuels the inner angst of the capricious teens.  SPRING AWAKENING is rated R for language, violence, and sexual content.

Artistic Directors Jeff Linamen and Billy Surges have assembled a phenomenal cast for SPRING AWAKENING, featuring outstanding talent from all over the Chicagoland area. Surges leads the cast in the role of Melchior Gabor, a smart, headstrong boy who refuses to bow down to society's rules. He is best friend to Moritz Stiefel (Billy Chengary), a troubled and uncertain boy, unable to handle the pressures he receives from his parents and peers to succeed. Rounding out the trio is Katie Meyers as Wendla Bergmann, an innocent young girl, exploring her blossoming curiosity to tragic results.

The large cast features Amara Brady (Martha), Taylor Bright (Thea), Tyler Clayton (Otto), Becca Heitz, Noelle Humbert (Ilse), Marc James, Mark Johnson (Adult Man), Gabi Knoepfle, Alex Knoll (Ernst), Chris Knudsen, Jennifer Lenius, Brandon Piper, Jordan Piper (Anna), Katie Long Piper (Adult Woman), Brandon Pisano (Hanschen), Vince Tolentino (Georg) and Aiyanna Wade.

Following its conception in the late 1990s, SPRING AWAKENING received further development leading to its Off-Broadway debut in May 2006.  The original Broadway production of SPRING AWAKENING opened at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on December 10, 2006. Its cast included Jonathan Groff, Lea Michele and John Gallagher, Jr. with a creative team led by director Michael Mayer and choreographer Bill T. Jones. The original Broadway production won 8 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Direction, Book, Score and Featured Actor (Gallagher). The production also garnered 4 Drama Desk Awards and a Grammy Award for Best Original Cast Album.

The success of the Broadway production has spawned numerous productions worldwide, including a production in London’s West End that won 4 Laurence Olivier Awards including Best Musical.

Surging Films & Theatrics and Introspect Theatre are presenting the full, uncut version of SPRING AWAKENING, January 31 at 7:30pm, February 1st at 2pm and 7:30pm, and February 2nd at 2pm at Center Stage Theater, 1665 Quincy Ave., #131, Naperville, IL 60540. For ticket information, visit or call 773-614-7846.

SPRING AWAKENING contains strong language, sexual situations and mature themes and may not be appropriate for younger or sensitive audiences. Recommended for ages 15 and up.

Presented by Surging Films & Theatrics and Introspect Theatre
January 31, 2014 at 7:30 PM
February 1, 2014 at 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM
February 2, 2014 at 2:00 PM
Center Stage Theater, 1665 Quincy Ave., #131, Naperville, IL 60540
BOX OFFICE: 773-614-7846

Directors Jeff Linamen & Billy Surges
Music Director Seth Durbin
Choreographer Billy Surges