Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Vote For Comment of the Week

Here are this week's contenders:

Student #1 has left a new comment on your post "Playing Shakespeare’s Men":

I really appreciate the idea of just producing a quality Shakespeare production, giving women a chance to play roles they don't usually get to play and not worrying about feminist commentary. I think just initially this is a great movement for women and it allows great actors to really show their skills without worrying about what gender they are. I can completely understand not wanting to be seen as commentary on gender roles, but it is an inevitable factor in doing something like this. Honestly, I really like the whole concept and I don't think that it needs that extra political commentary. The author ends by saying, "I hope they'll turn to creating play-worlds in which women don't have to pretend to be men in order to be powerful." This struck me strangely. I honestly didn't think about the production of the plays by all female casts to be 'women pretending to be men' and this being he only way they can 'be powerful.' It made be a little frustrated. Aren't the women portraying these characters, even if they are men, showing how powerful they can be? Aren't the actresses showing their skills and power through these rolls without having to make a direct statement about gender? Anyway, I can see both sides and I think they would just be very different productions. I support them both but I also don't think you need to make something obviously political/racial/etc. to make a great production. I love the possibility of these issues emerging, hanging around in the background, but sometimes it's nice not to have it shoved in your face. 
Student #2 has left a new comment on your post "Get Over Yourself: How Your Ego Sabotages Your Cre...":
Make sure that you keep the conversation about the work in a creative environment. People need to get over the idea that what they have to say is the only way to do things. People need to be able to be very open about their intuition about certain items and if there is an easily offended person in the room that can be tough. Sometimes in a creative context the other line that is not really clear happens to be the most important. You need to know who has the final say in a collaborative environment and people need to have mutual respect in order to be able to let it go when they are over ruled. You can through a much longer and more difficult consensus process remove the ego and most of the personal character dominance but that process requires in many cases more time and discipline than people have. If you want to indulge your creativity to its fullest and make sure that each persons input is respected then you need to look at setting aside the time and people need to have the confidence to fully develop their ideas. In our industry I completely agree with Andrew and think that you need to find the balance and that will be a continual struggle throughout life. You must know yourself and know the group in order to be true collaborators and if the group dynamic does not allow for that you need a backup plan to deal with someone who has brought ego into the room. Being a good creative collaborator takes a lifetime of study of human interaction and some of us are naturally better at it than others but the second that you stop evaluating how you interact and how you comport yourself in that context you are no longer growing as a collaborator.  
Student #3 has left a new comment on your post "TED talks are lying to you":
This article made some really good points. I think the world of creativity as seen by the artist and creativity as seen by the business class are two vastly different things. It is true that the professional managerial class feels like they own creativity to some extent. That's part of the reason that books on being a creative person are in the management and leadership section of the school library and not on the arts floor.

I wonder if part of this trend is due to the fact that artist tend to look inwards for creativity, delving into their souls and dreams whereas the business marketplace tends to look towards proven forms of creative achievement at a spring board for future endeavors. That is why books on creativity do nothing for the truly creative soul. We don't look to see how others were creative in our attempts to be creative ourself.

Thats not to say that artist don't study the paintings of past artists and writers don't study past literate when being creative. Understanding the past work in ones field is key to being an active member in said field. But it is not a key to being a creative person. The study and training one puts into the arts is to enhance the medium which one choses to express their creativity.

Part of me feels that books about being creative are useless altogether. Can you really teach someone to "think outside the box" and ignore conventions. Can you teach someone how to daydream? Would it not be better in our fast paced, consumerism based society to teach people to take time out of their day to just be one with nature and embrace quite reflection? I believe that reflection and time spent daydreaming is the only way for one to truly learn to be a creative person. 
Student #4 has left a new comment on your post "How Mind-Wandering and “Positive Constructive Dayd...":
I initially chose to read this article because of its title, as "daydreaming" is something I tend to do a lot of. As Sophie mentions, it's very easy to let my thoughts wander while my hands are doing something else. I teeter back and forth on how "productive" "daydreaming" (at least in my case) really is. I'm attracted to all the positive implications in this article, that letting the mind travel in an uninhibited fashion encourages imagination and creativity. But how does that exhibit itself in my decisions, actions, and speech? I feel like it's similar to that that age-old adage about making a decision via coin toss: you don't know what you want until that breath of hesitation when the coin is in the air, and you suddenly know what outcome you're hoping for. In a weird way, I think this applies here. I could spend hours focussed marinating on a problem or dilemma, or essay. And it's not until I back away from it or "daydream" that my thoughts stumble upon something tangent that relate to the idea I was seeking.
I also think it's interesting how Andrew pointed out that the term "daydream" has a negative connotation, and the origin of the term. It's a fascinating correlation.
I also found it interesting that in his studies he linked imagination to delayed gratification. I wonder how such results would differ in another time, because we live in such an instant-gratification oriented society.
I think the next step in this research goes back to the perpetual argument of nature vs. nurture. Who is naturally inclined to daydream, and who is encouraged? Or, the other direction in which I would be curious to see this develop would be these studies linking to the personalities of the extrovert v. the introvert. 

Student #5 has left a new comment on your post "The Psychology of Horror Movies: A Scientist and a...":
I don't know if I completely agree with the article. I think it missed a key aspect of horror movies, which is being afraid of what you cannot see. We learned how in comic books, there is a gap in between each picture frame, and our eyes/mind fill in those gaps with the in between. It's the same with movies, our minds fill in what we cannot see. In the clip of The Tingler, most of what we saw were people screaming at nothing. Our minds filled in what we could not see and told ourselves that there is something physically frightening. I personally think this gives off a better scare because we are not shown a physical being. I think our minds can create worse creatures than any makeup artist. The horror images that we subconsciously create in our minds will also be the scariest images to us since we know what actually frightens us. Even in Jaws, the music does play a huge role in making a horror movie, but again, the shark is mostly hidden underwater and it preys on unsuspecting vacationers and audiences. When we physically see the shark, I was a little disappointed because my mind had created a scarier image. I thought Becki's comment was very interesting in the way that she "pretends" she is the character. This says a lot about human identity, and starts the question, "Why do we always want to change our identity?" We see a lot of people pretending to be something they are not in life, and I'm wondering if this is because we get excited about change. Life can be repetitive and boring, but when we mix it up a bit, it becomes more interesting and more enjoyable. By both changing our identities and diving into unreal situations (the horror movie), our lives become more interesting and enjoyable. 

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