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Train Your Brain To Be More Creative!

March 21, 2013

The human brain really interests me. Between books, acting classes, adult-guitar lessons, bored work googling, I’ve started to learn what happens to the physical body when the brain is stimulated in different ways.

The pertinent point for this entry, is that the more you work mentally towards anything, practice something, your brain literally rebuilds the neurological pathways in the brain to direct more attention to it. Your brain strengthens and adds to the nerves that are designated to that one new thing. Therefore, over time, you develop an increased ability at whatever the chosen task or skill may be.

An example from my own life: When I was about a year into living in NYC, I was bartending 6 days a week and pretty much lost in the nightlife world. I was thinking a lot about being an actor, but not ACTING on it. So, I decided that every day I would make it a point to DO 1 thing for my acting career. BAM! Within a month, I had my website up and running, my resume was redone, and I was auditioning on the regular. Simply because I kept the promise I made to myself.

Similarly, when I decided to write my first play, I set a deadline and said every day I would write for 15 minutes after breakfast. I knew breakfast was a habit I already had, and that I could tack 15 minutes on to that easily without disrupting my whole schedule. Slowly but surely I put together a play, and was excited to wake up every morning in order to work on it.

So, my experiment began. I started to wonder if I could train my brain feel more creative and open, so I could feel like more of a creator even when I wasn’t working on a specific project, but auditioning or doing the other boring “business” part of acting.

So, I put together a 3 step plan. It’s super simple and can take just 10 minutes of your day. Try it out over your next lunch break or waiting for the train.

1. Look at art outside of theatre. Such as, spend 5 minutes on a museum website – MOMA, MET, etc., Google an artist you’re interested in. Read a poem (you can find a bunch of free e-books on iTunes). Listen to a style of music that you usually don’t, or don’t know much about.

2. Assess your reaction. Be decisive. Love it or hate it. Why? What about it works for you, or doesn’t? Don’t be shy with yourself. Remaining neutral is coping out.

3. Daydream about it.  Take 5 minutes to free associate what you just looked at/heard/read. Give yourself permission to allow your mind to wander. You can write it down if you want. If you start to think about your to-do lists, just gently redirect your thoughts back to the art, and mind-wander back off from that point of reference. I do encourage you to write down any ideas or inspirations that come up.

My challenge for you is to do this 1 time/day for a few days and report back to me. Do you feel more creative? Do you feel more connected to the artistic side of yourself? Or, is it not your thing? Either way, I’d love to know! See you on the other side.

From my brain, to yours,

Kelseysig

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 21, 2013 8:17 am

    I totally agree. I started practising “do something for your acting and writing career every single day” a few years back and I’ve noticed so much progress in my skills in both fields and overall my way of thinking has changed along with it.
    I started with little things, now I dedicate to both as many hours I’d dedicate to a full-time job, it just becomes a force of habit.
    The same with working out, though. I’ve gotten so used to it I just HAVE TO do some form of execise every day.

  2. March 21, 2013 9:57 am

    Although I choose to work within theatre as my career, I do write poems, narratives, and do photography as hobbies during my free time (which is a funny thought for theatre- free time that is). It DOES make you more creative experiencing mediums across the arts. Also, your plan to do one thing a day for your career is such a great idea for anyone stuck in a rut career-wise.

  3. The College Theatre Dork permalink
    March 25, 2013 5:46 pm

    I love all of this! I’ve always maintained that my best poems came from my acting and vice versa. While I’m good at being multi-medium artistic, having better habits is something I should work on – thanks for the reminder!

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