Monday, October 13, 2014

My Creative Origins

By Rich

Sometimes, while I'm walking the streets in an attempt to recruit authors, I'm asked an important question...How does my garden grow? After I tell them it grows with silver bells and cockle shells they ask me another important question...How did I become such a creative, yet egotistically arrogant, writer? Well, it came from many places. Most of them 2,000 miles from where I live now.

I had a chance to visit my creative roots a few weekends ago when I flew out to reunite with old friends, dine on Wawa hoagies, and do some comedic Improv. And as I traveled from my former home state of Delaware -- yes, there are houses there -- to my family home in da state of New Joisey, I realized that I was also revisiting the places that sparked my imagination.

It began with the ladies in the above picture. Even before I started Kindergarten I pretended with these girls, playing Superman and Wonder Woman or Donnie and Marie. I was Superman or Donnie, by the way. On the street where we all lived in the North Jersey town of Bloomingdale, I would spend days riding up and down the concrete, pretending my bike was a spacecraft or the Batmobile.

My creativity moved to this place -- Samuel R. Donald Middle School. It's here my writing career began in Jan Courtney's 3rd grade class. It's also the location where I learned I was an attention hog, soaking in all the accolades from my starring roles in Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat and The Do-Nothing Frog. I would have had an audience at my house given the opportunity.

Three uninteresting years in middle school later, I ended up in Butler High School, which seems like a large elementary school compared to the mega high schools in the city where I now live. Here, I continued my love affair with the audience by participating in the annual play competition. Along with some of my pals we dipped our toes into the world of Improv. Well, we basically yelled out insults at each other because we forgot our scripts, but it gave me that taste of improvisational comedy that would bring me to...

...performing with these folks, the members of Delaware Comedy Theatre. Director Dave Warick elevated my performing skills, introduced me to the storytelling concept of C.R.O.W.E, and even let me direct my own troupe. I still perform with the group from time to time and always have a good time.

There's a message to this trip down memory lane, besides the fact my ego is larger than the Internet. Creativity takes time to blossom and, as I mentioned a few weeks back, needs something to ignite it to cause a chain reaction. I wasn't born to theatrical parents or took my first bow while still in diapers. It took time to stoke the flames of creativity to create a truly hot fire. Luckily, thanks to friends, family, and educators, I was able to maintain the embers for decades, leading me up to my current life. To all of you, thanks.

Where do the origins of your creativity come from?

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