Love Your Creativity.com From the initial spark of an idea to getting your projects finished & out there! Interviews with creatives and advice on keeping motivated to start and finish projects and get it out to there to be seen, whether you are a actor or a musician plus Marysia's fun weekly newsletter and 13 minute task of the day to keep you creating
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Multi award winning playwright & performer Claire Dowie interview
– ‘I just do it. ….when I say I don’t care, I mean I don’t care whether there is an audience, I don’t care whether there is any money, it seems to just turn up, the money and the audience. I have never done anything I don’t want to do… and why not? I think if you are true to yourself then it will be alright, if you are trying to be like somebody else, or trying to do like somebody else then it’s not going to work.’
Claire Dowie is a multi award winning playwright, actress, director, performer and oftentimes comic. Her plays have been translated into many different languages and her first novel Creating Chaos was published last year.
Her two most famous plays ADULT CHILD DEAD CHILD is on the A level Drama British curriculum and WHY IS JOHN LENNON WEARING A SKIRT on the A level English Literature British curriculum. She is performing them alongside three other of her plays at the Festival of Solo Festival: Best Of The Fest festival from June 30th to July 12th.
Colin Watkeys has directed her for over 30 years and is a well known solo theatre director and he interjects throughout the interview. Claire and I are doing a double header with her play ‘Why is John Lennon wearing a skirt?’ and my ‘The Singing Psychic’ show on July 3rd and the 8th at the White Bear Theatre, Kennington, London both plays directed by Colin.
Thursday 2nd July at 7.30pm and Wednesday 8th July at 7.30pmFor more details on the Face to face: festival of solo theatre and for bookings please go to http://www.solotheatrefestival.co.uk/
Hit the play in popup to play the podcast or go to the Love Your Creativity iTunes podcast
In this podcast interview we cover how Claire feels about making the work, how she feels she is not an actress and how the characters dictate the plays to her. Inevitably given Adult Child Dead Child is about expectations and the John Lennon play about women growing up amid low expectations feminism, being a female comic or performer in still a very full on man’s world and how to create and work on a character.
How she feels she just sits down and reads the paper and her characters write the plays for her. This is however after she has spent a lot of time with the character, seeing how they react in certain situations
How Claire feels when plays on feminism and women having a voice are still relevant according to the feedback she has been getting from the ‘younger generation’
How male reviewers assume automatically that men are funny and male playwrights are good and yet when it comes to women, she has seen far too many men walk to the bar when a female comic comes on stage
What it feels like to have other people perform your work
How she always manages to write, make, produce and tour the shows: she feels the characters make her do so.
How she doesn’t care about other people’s opinions when she is writing, that you must trust your own instincts and not listen to what you think other people want to hear, when you are writing a play
The inspiration behind her Bob Dylan tarot cards
Her advice to us all is just to get out and do it
And a lot of laughter
If you enjoyed this you may also like my podcast interview with Colin Watkeys about developing your own solo theatre show
Both Claire and I are also taking shows to the Camden Fringe 2015,www.SingingPsychic.tv
to book tickets for my Camden Fringe show of The Singing Psychic, Aug 17th to the 22nd 2015 at 9.15pm each night
go to http://tristanbatestheatre.co.uk/whats-on/the-singing-psychic–camden-fringe-2015 or
For Claire and Martin Stewart’s show http://www.camdenfringe.com/detailact.php?acts_id=179
12 steps to make your creative dreams come true
Do you ever want the world to stop spinning? Not long enough to kill people with the lack of gravity as you hang on to the ankle of your great aunt to ensure she does not spin off into space as she left the porch door open. But if the world could stop just long enough to settle my thoughts down, I’d have time to track, plan and finish all the wonderful ideas my creative brain keeps coming up with! I am sure you identify.
‘I am a creative, I have a thousand ideas and I don’t know how to stop hopscotching from one to another in order to get one finished, marketed and out the door’
La Croisette, Cannes, MIP 2015
Yes I know that is you too. The double edged wonder and curse of being a creative and freelance entrepreneur full of possibilities. I keep having wild flights of fantasy of wonderful possibilities from YouTube Channels, self published novels, albums, a death showreel, getting a new acting agent, doing podcasts in Polish, French and English, doing marketing for my The Singing Psychic show. Every talk at MIP TV has me so inspired though Luze Vlogs (a 5 million YouTube Subscriber blogger) saying he uploaded 15 videos a week on a quiet week did terrify me! Everywhere I turn or read something my overly active brain throws more fun ideas.
Please tell me I am not alone!
Actually I know I am not.
I do know what to do. I am just overindulging in the possibilities and the dramatic potential of not having enough time rather than what I do know I need to do. Then I want to have another dramatic showdown because the man I care about is not giving me the attention he has promised/I think I deserve.. before going back to the ‘I could write an album/screenplay/Pinterest board about how annoying he is and how much I want him.’ And hence I waste more time.
The following is what every successful producer of work does including the below pictured International Emmys Awards (Digital @MIP) nominees and winners! They might not think of it in these words but trust some version of this happens.
International Digital Emmys, MIP 2015
The 100% reliable Cure – 12 steps to getting those creative ideas up and out in the world!
Turn off the tap.
Focus on one project.
Ask ‘What’s next?’
See what I can batch.
Don’t look at anything else til you have finished that action(s).
Go back to the same project.
Ask ‘What’s next?’ again.
Complete that necessary action
Repeat the previous two steps til the project is finished and ready to ship.
Market that project.
Market some more.
Rinse and repeat with project 2, 3, 4…..
1. Turn off the tap – no more listening to any podcasts, reading blogs on marketing or YouTube, emails focused down only to the 2 email inboxes that bring my acting work in. No more out the box discussions about what could be, no matter how brilliant the advice is. Sure you might have to go to work – in my case it’s being yummy mummy Indesit model three days a week – yes I am making fridges look good – but the project is the focus of my non model time.
2. Plan – I use a weird combination of Evernote and David Allen’s Getting Things Done. However I have not done a weekly review in months so I have spent some time wresting some order back in but not going to get it all cleared as need to get to the next step. However I am determined to get back to this planning step every week, so I can whittle it down that way.
3. Focus on one project – pick one, any one unless one has picked itself with a deadline looming I have booked in with my fabulous Director of Photography Martine Woolf to shoot the first few episodes of ‘SONGS OF SOHO – The Singing Psychic’ webseries this Saturday. So this is the one project staring me in the face as it is just three days away.
4. Ask what’s next – I ordered a portable light for the camera and now[...]
See yourself bigger & ‘Ask Marysia’, any questions?
No I am not talking about you after this Easter weekend’s chocolate orgy How do you see yourself? As a creative who has a day job? A parent who no longer has all the time you used to have to make the art you want? Do you see yourself as an actress or one who creates and produces as well? A filmmaker who has managed to get 3 shorts into festivals? A writer who has written in many mediums from stage to prose to film?
I know that the way we see ourselves dictates many of our actions. What we think we are, we make the priority to do. See yourself as someone who produces and markets new art (in whatever form that may come be in songs, videos or books) and you are more likely to actually find the time in the corners of your life to make it happen. See yourself as someone who is too busy to create and I can guarantee that your creative dreams remain just that dreams.
I have just added the hashtag filmmaker to my Twitter bio.
It seems a little insane to do so but it is actually correct. In the last month I have created, shot, edited and produced 3 standalone Singing Psychic sketches and then done all the posting online etc. Once I had broken my huge inner resistance of the making and posting of the first one (including the going to bed on the Saturday night before posting worrying my dramatic acting career was about to be destroyed ;)). Each one since has become easier as I have accepted that making The Singing Psychic videos is fundamental to me developing her as a character, as a brand and also building an audience. I have to fill a West End theatre for six nights in August so I am starting now Plus I am loving doing it!!
Lessons I have learnt in the last four weeks of being a filmmaker (well a very short film but still!)
Each short film (we are talking 2-3 mins) has got better, the editing the cuts, the lighting.
Each film I make I get braver – this one had outdoor shots and 3 locations in total.
Each film I learnt something new, video 1 I stressed about exporting it so it didn’t look weird with audio/video on YouTube, this recent one I was stressing about how to put my new The Singing Psychic logo onto the video as a watermark at the end. My logo was created by my fabulously brilliant art director/graphic designer extraordinaire Martin Butterworth.
Each film I have got quicker at making and editing. I have now starting detaching the audio, playing with positioning it against imported images and not being afraid I will make it look weird and not be able to put it right!
Each film I have learnt something new about social media reach. This new one I posted onto Facebook directly via their upload function as opposed to posting on YouTube then posting the Youtube link onto Facebook. I got 300 Facebook views in 20 hours and 75 on YouTube – my audience is largely on Facebook – I have over a thousand followers, 99% I know well.
I need to learn more! It is important to learn what you need to know as a Just In Time process – I have been listening to podcasts on the way to my current three days a week modelling job and from that I learnt re the native Facebook video importance. I am clueless about ‘seeding’ – that’s when you let friends and possible influences know about your blog or video, so I am focusing on listening to podcasts on that subject. I would like people to see my work I mean I stayed in all Saturday and said no to dates so I could make it
I am also going to start shooting a series of weekly short podcasts and videos on the various questions I keep getting on twitter, via my blog and also in person as friends and followers see how my career progressing nicely forward. So if you have any questions you want me to tackle let me know via any of my social media links including Twitter @MarysiaT and via this blog contact form. #AskMarysia
Whilst I am not an Oscar winning actres
How to create a solo theatre show: interview with Colin Watkeys
Over the past 30 years, Face to Face Theatre Festival Director Colin Watkeys has specialised in producing and directing solo theatre and writers who perform their own work. He is now part of a world movement that recognises that solo performance possesses a unique quality of vision in theatre. I am performing part of my next solo theatre show The Singing Psychic at the Lost Theatre on July 8th so I took the opportunity to interview Colin
Here are some of the highlights (this is not a full transcript of the podcast interview, to listen to it press the arrow above.)
I asked Colin for one piece of advice to anyone who wants to write and develop a show and he said
‘Character. Character and narrative. Narrative is the character and the character is the narrative. Don’t try to manipulate anything, don’t try to put words into their mouths. Get to know the character and their narrative and it writes itself.
Claire Dowie famously said she does not remember writing any of her work. From her point of view the character does write it. The guy she plays, she taps in that person’s life, she calls it getting away with telling lies’ (her wiki)
Like Picasso ‘The lies we tell to tell the truth’, but if you take on someone else’s history you become a different character, it can affect the way you move. One play that Claire did she played 4 characters in, 2 male, and a middle aged woman and an older woman, all played by herself. Someone asked afterwards, as there was a short blackout ‘I was very surprised when you put lipstick on in the blackout’ but she had not actually done so. Colin did wonder how you can act lipstick but the audience had the impression that for a middle aged, middle class woman she always had lipstick on.
Thats a challenge ‘act lipstick’ but the point is when you really see all the characters in your story yourself, the audience does too. When you imagine the richness of the scenes, how you felt, where you were the audience recreates that directly themselves in a far more kaleidoscopic world than in a film.
He is always fascinated with solo theatre and performers. For a while he ran the Finborough for stand ups as he was interested in their relationships with the audience. He wants theatre to be like jazz so that people get up and it just happens, not with a set, not with a script.
He does like scripts as well but he likes everything to be created in the audience’s imagination and no tacky sets or effects.
It is what he likes, from working with stand up comedians but then it got boring as he then was coaching them for auditions for TV pilots, most of whom have got TV series now. He enjoyed most working up with Claire Dowie who used to do what she called ‘Stand Up Theatre’ and Ken Campbell, director, writer, actor including A Fish Called Wanda imdb link here) and comic who loved creating it there and then, he called it ‘real acting’
Ken Campbell used to say
‘The script’s there for a bad day when the geezer is not there, but when the geezer is actually there you just let go, you just do it’
Ken Campbell’s obituary
That is what Claire, Ken and Colin have in common, he knows it is not for everyone but when he sees a play he just wants to hone down to the one performer who has an interesting relationship with the audience, he thinks they could just do all of it. That’s what he loves.
I asked about retelling Shakespeare from a solo performer perspective and I mention Patrick Stewart’s one man ‘A Christmas Carol’ where he told the whole story himself and Colin mentioned the Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead’ with the different perspectives of Hamlet and each other.
I ask what Colin thinks he brings to our work as a performer.
He has no idea what he brings, he
Fear & Your Leap of Faith; 100 Days of Being An Actress
It is called a leap of faith for a reason: it’s not a small step or a sideways shuffle, not a little hop skip and then stop to look where you are going. It is a full bound leap over the side with arms flung to the air, not knowing whether you will end up swimming in a river of crocodiles or resting on Harvey Weinstein’s yacht with a glass of Krug. Every creative project always has a moment when you have to leap off and trust that the end result will be better for having leapt, be it a success or a ‘failure’ than some once half dreamed project that you never really got moving on or properly finished piece of work that never actually sees the light of day.
(You can listen to the podcast version by just pressing the arrow or here are the main points below)
There is also the fear of your life choices: I am happy with the choices I have made to be a professional creative. Occasionally though the instability, the insecurity of the next job, the fact as a freelance actress and performer my career and income is always uncertain, the fear may creep in. My father may never get over the fact that if I had not left my bond dealer career at 26 (I used to work in the City – the London equivalent of Wall Street) along with my Manolo’s and large pay packet I would be very wealthy now and probably have a serious London apartment paid for. However I may have to move out of the wonderful place I live in two months time and the mere thought of London flat hunting with it’s ever rising rents and the fact I don’t want to get a ‘proper job’ with a guaranteed income means there is more uncertainty than ever.
In rational moments I know I have made the right choices, that this is where I need to be for my career and my heart space but late at night fear creeps in! The fear gets worse also as I contemplate my next projects, especially the film I want to make based on my new solo theatre show that I am workshopping next month at the Lost Theatre in London. It may be terrible: terribly filmed, acted, conceived, written.. I could go on with all the negatives.
However as outlined in Five Regrets of The Dying, a book from a nurse in palliative care, the number one regret of those at the end of their life is
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
I am ‘lucky’ that my life tends to support itself, the projects I have done and the network of people around me always gives me fresh hope and impetus to go on. This happened again today as I have had two screenings of films I am in over the last 24 hours:
Pearl which premiered in Forest Hill which was a lovely short I did last year directed and written by Nick Barrett. Trailer below. (It is to have its big screen premiere in a couple months at Crouch End Arts Cinema)
Pearl trailer from CORPOREAL Films on Vimeo.
Closer To Home (kickstarter details here) should have premiered at the BFI directed by Bhavithrah Satkunarasa & produced by James Lyndon today along with the other graduation projects of UAL, however the sound was not ready so the film had to be pulled at the last minute. I had already organized to go to the BFI and was meeting a friend who wanted some creative coaching and inspiration advice beforehand so I went to watch the other films despite not getting to watch the film I was in. It was wonderful to see so many young female directors, producers and writers all graduating.
After the BFI screening I got chatting to Thomas Stoppel who was brilliant in one of the films ‘Things I Do For You’
However not only is he an actor, he also has produced, written and directed short films and feature films. I asked him how he got into making films given he really is such a great actor and has a great look as well, enough of a combination that many in such a position would rest on their laurels and wai
8 lessons I learnt from the Cannes film festival about being a successful creative
I have just returned from 10 days at the Cannes Film Festival and this podcast and blog applies to all creatives as it very much covers some of the ‘rules’ of being a successful creative, whether you are an actress, filmmaker, musician or indeed photographer. (Yes that is me singing in French on the podcast)
It’s a business – the fashion, the mystique, distributor, sales agent to the short filmmaker
Surrounding yourself with people who dream & take big action makes you dream bigger
No room for perfectionism – be like Picasso
You have to do the work or someone else will grab the opportunity / from script to pre sales to press
Some live to party, others live to dream. some go to work. Blagging can be an artform but it’s your choice on how you want to use your energy Would you rather be at the Vanity Fair party as a success or as a ligger?
Someone out there will love your work
Get your elevator pitch updated
It’s reconnection, not desperately shoving business cards in peoples faces.
Here are some of the highlights of the podcast (this is not a full transcript)
It’s a business, it is the business of making movies from producers, sales agents, distributor, the circus of the red carpet, the mystique of the business, the press, to how the public perceive
This creative thing we do I have to understand myself as a cog in the wheel, as a brand. We have a responsibility to understand the workings of the business, the main players and how we can circumvent the gatekeepers if necessary by making our own work and where we can display it for maximum effect. You need to know the rules to break them
Question for you: What area of your business do you need to know more about. Licensing? Press? The Legalities of contracts.
On the red carpet Cannes 2014 Marysia Trembecka
Surrounding yourself with people who dream & take big action makes you dream bigger
when you are with people who don’t just talk about their dreams but they make them and then they go out to the marketplace and sell their art. Plus while they are in the marketplace selling their current film or art they are already talking about collaborating for the next work.
I went to Cannes as an actress but I left with knowing I will start producing films of projects. I am already working on my next solo theatre show but I now looking at making it as a short film at least.
Deepak Verma, from Pukkanasha Films said to me, ‘You should be a producer’ and I went from initial horror to a short film and now I am thinking feature length!
Question for you:-Who inspires you to re-size yourself, to see yourself as bigger.
at the Ken Loach premiere of Jimmy’s Hall
No room for perfectionism – Picasso
I had a short but valuable conversation about production with director/writer/producer James Hacking The Website. When he first started he made 4 or 5 shorts and then finally made his first feature and has moved forward since. He said he now knows he should have been making a short film every week and that all that fiddling round with the editing, the extra 100 hours to make 0.00001% difference is a waste of time and energy.
He said that
‘Picasso had the right idea, he made 35,000 works of art in his life’
We all are prone to hanging on to the perfectionism of our art.
(Added Note James Hacking actually got back to me after I wrote this post and said
As a matter of interest looked up his number of artworks ( I have a habit of talking out of you know where…)
His output estimated at…
100,000 graphic prints or engravings
34,000 book illustrations
300 sculptures and ceramics
But doubt even that is accurate, point is, be free to make mistakes….
His film Love’s Kitchen has a serious cast in it, I have just discovered: Dougray Scott, Claire Forlani, Simon Callow to name a few
‘Art is never fin
Customer ReviewsSee All
Just listened to the Ken Collard podcast and found it really inspiring, thank you!
Just listened to your 'Strong and Wrong' podcast. Very good advice! Will pass it on to a friend who I think needs to listen to it too:)