It is been a few months since I designed hair and makeup for a show, but I am back at it again. In fact, I have two shows in a row that I am working on. The first, Sweeney Todd. Sunday was the first day we ran with all the lights, sounds, bells and whistles in place. Okay, there really weren't any bells and whistles, but we did have lights and sound and I was able to see my other form of creativity come together under the lights. Though there are few faces that need tweeking, it looked awsome, if not a bit on the creepy side. But then again, this is Sweeny Todd. Isn't it supposed to be a bit creepy? At least from the director's perspective it is. I hope to post pictures on a later post because I am really proud of what my crew and I have created.
The next show is for the children's theater. As soon as Sweeney is done I need to get cracking on Fiddler on the Roof. My main thing at the moment is finding enough beards. The oldest can only be 18 and there are a few of the papas that are going need help with the proper beard. I am looking forward to working on this show as much as I looked forward to, and what has developed from Sweeney.
Between the two shows I will not be free to write again until Mid-November. It is a sacrifice I am willing to make. In fact, I find it very helpful. Sometimes I get stuck with the writing, or not happy with what I am producing and need a break. Or better yet, need to step back. It could also simply be that my muse doesn't feel like working and he is out enjoying the fall weather and colors thinking I will wait here patiently for him. Well, that isn't happening.
Working in the theater gives me that opportunity to channel my creativity in a differnt driection. While I focus on something else the WIP is still churning in the back of my mind and I am fresh and ready to return to writing when the last show closes. Actually, the longer I am away from writing the more my muse bothers me with characters, scenes, plots, etc. I think he is a spoiled child in that as soon as my atteniton is off of him, or at least my writing, he does everything in his power to get my focus back the storyline he thinks he is creating for me.
But, when I do come back to writing after a show, I write better and quicker and this usually keeps up until the next show opens, if they are not too far apart. After Fiddler I won't be back in the makeup department until February when I take on the Wizard of Oz. Now here is a show I can make no mistakes. No matter how the director may change things up, nothing really changes. You expect the witch to be green, the tin man to be silver, and so on.
After that, I don't have another show until summer. I am not sure I have gone so long between shows before. However, there is a slight possibility that I will be directing this spring for a youth production. So, we shall see.
I know an author is supposed to write every day, no matter what. And, in part, I agree with this. However, for me, I do much better switching up the creative. As I said before, while I am working on faces and hair, the story is still brewing in the background. When I come back to my computer I am able to write in a way I was not writing before I took my break for the theater. It is as if I am refreshed. Then again, I have no specific deadlines at the moment so maybe I would feel differently if one was hanging over my head.
How about you? If you are a writer does it help to take a break and do something else or does taking a break mess with your muse? If you do take a break, what to you do? If it isn't writing, what do you find yourself taking a break from? What do you do and does it make a difference when you come back to the original thing you were doing?