Historical Romance

Historical Romance with an Inspirational Touch

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Back to the Theater

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?


  1. Sounds like you get inspired by one and the creative juices get flowing for the other. Sounds like a fun outlet for you. :O)

  2. We will miss you but it sounds like you are enjoying yourself a lot. You are a very creative individual. I will remember to pray for you at times between now and then!

  3. fun stuff, there are many ways to be creative and expressive. I like to take breaks by teaching or making decorative greeting cards. We all need balance and variety in our lives to make it interesting and give us the energy to continue with our WIP. Would love to see your shows.

  4. How fun! I have a friend that does hair/make-up for shows. It definitely takes a special talent.

    I absolutely have to take breaks from writing. Most of the time it's just a day here or there, but I've had to step away for a few months here and there. If I don't, then I get so bogged down in the rules that I lose the creative flow.

    Enjoy your time off!

  5. I think it's good to take breaks. I have forced breaks, and they haven't been creative lately, they've been to take care of a sick baby, a sick husband, a sick me...and round and round it's gone for the last month and a half. LOL! But the best break I ever took was for a 10-day trip to London. I was so inspired when I got home that I couldn't - and didn't - stop writing until the book was done about 5 weeks later.

    Great post! :)

  6. Amy--I am so impressed with your creativity. I think it's wonderful that you give equal time to both sides of your creative spirit. I hope you post pix of the costumes! Sweeney Todd and Fiddler--total opposite ends of the spectrum!

  7. You are one busy bee! And I think switching things up is a great way to keep the creative juices flowing. Personally, I try to switch genres within my writing when I start to feel tapped out. When all else fails, I fire up the oven and get to baking :)

  8. Everyone needs a break. I like to take a week off after I finish a rough draft. It's a nice catch-up week and I always head somewhere special for a few hours. Have fun!