All three of my kids are involved in their school’s Talent Show. They have been involved in it from day one, as kindergarteners. They have danced and sang in groups and even sang solo. Those 2 minutes feel like the longest 2 minutes of my life watching them on stage, and to me they are the bravest kids I know. I am not a major stage performer myself. I did the basic school productions as a kid, but that was it. My kids’ father is a stage and screen performer, so in some ways I suppose it is natural for them. Regardless, it is wonderful to see all three of them have a desire to perform and the courage to do it.
I began helping with the school talent show 6 years ago and have watched so many changes in these little kids. Our talent show is a full production: we have a theme, a time schedule, commercial skits with the kids, practice for a month and half, and take the time to turn an ordinary event into a learning lesson for the kids and guests watching it. It is run by parent volunteers, raises money for the arts program, and students participate voluntarily.
I have worked on all parts of the show, but primarily work as the Stage Manager handling the microphones, lights, curtain, and kid wrangling for years and I look forward to it each year! The ability to watch the kindergarteners, including my kids, go from definite stage fright to having amazing confidence after weeks of practice is a powerful transformation to watch. Over the years, the audience gets to see it from the point of their babies grinning ear to ear looking out beyond the stage lights for mom and dad; to growing into the 5th grader who belts the song like an adult. I am so honored to be a part of a confidence building opportunity for the future generation.
A "behind the curtain secret"; I cannot explain the joy and smiles the kids exude the second that curtain closes. It's a face of excitement I wish each parent could see, because those kids are so proud of themselves for what they just did. Behind the curtain we practice the silent clap and cheer, but you can hear the random "yeah!!" or "I did it!" if a microphone is still on or you’re in the front row.
Creative arts, in all forms, are the most amazing confidence building outlets for children and have been proven to increase test scores. I won't go into all the statistics; we've all heard them. I would, however, encourage anyone to fight the elimination of arts programs in elementary schools due to budget cuts.
Creativity is beneficial for us adults as well. Even if you don’t feel you are a natural in a specific area, by opening your mind up to creativity, you may be surprised by the positive results. I am a perfect example of this. I never wrote anything for publication before this blog. Before taking on this endeavor, I asked for guidance, and then stayed open for answers. God guided me to begin writing; because the situation with my daughter going to camp (see my 1st blog) was so overwhelming, I just needed an outlet. The phrase, "I am the mother...of a tween" came to me right after I dropped her off, and the urge to spread my voice about that situation nagged at me all day. The next day an ad for a writing course popped up, which I noticed but did not act on. Instead, I sat down and started writing and the words just came. I just wrote what was on my heart and it has now developed into these divinely guided writings.
I have even started drawing, which I had never done before. My previous drawings were the equivalent to a kindergartener's skills. But I had faith I could do it and now, I am simply blown away at the difference. Both skills completely formulated by faith, openness, and probably several lifetimes of practice I guess.
We are all creative. None of us are exactly alike in how we see something or present it. That is why we are here. So that each of our individual skills can be put to use to help push us all forward and discover different ways to work through the negativity.
We just have to nurture and believe in that creative gene. We all use our creative skills every day in many ways, such as how we solve a problem or the new idea that you came up with; it’s all creativity. When we produce art in any form, it has our own unique touch by divine guidance. Whether your art is writing, dance, painting, drawing, singing, acting, or problem solving, no one will do it the same as you.
When we feel we have no skill or that we don't even want to try, we should ask for divine assistance to show us where to begin and in what medium, God will help guide us. The challenge we face is to be open enough to recognize the divine promptings, then we will notice random things like that advertisement for drawing classes, or the writing course flyer we will find, or that random conversation about taking a dance class happens. Then we need to believe in ourselves and take action on those promptings. God will be there ready to help.
Much Love and Creativity.