Sunday, December 1, 2019

Creative Surprise!

Say open to possibilities -- the ones that surprise you may please you the most.

-- doug smith

Friday, November 1, 2019

Picture This: Renewable History

The course title looked so interesting that she could not resist. Renewable History. What if she COULD go back in time? What would she change? What would she fix?

Would she go right for the really big stuff (President Kennedy don't go to Dallas!) or simply fix the relationships she'd messed up. And, oh, she'd messed up a few.

Maybe it was her attention span. She'd stay interested. She get passionate. She'd be all about the all over of everything connected with her partner and then...and then her partner would do something so annoying she just couldn't believe it. A misplaced fart. A dirty toothbrush. A wet toilet seat. A scratch on the car.  That was the picture. She could never picture herself staying with anyone forever, even though she always said that she would.

Isn't that what they wanted to hear?

Like that dinner at that Mexican restaurant in Louisville. She liked it really spicy. Her partner was a spice wimp. He couldn't take the tears. Wasn't that always the case? He couldn't take the tears.

She could take the tears. She could let it rip. She could tear up a relationship like it was nobody's business -- and wasn't it just HER business anyway?

Five minutes, she thought. Five more minute of this and I'm out of here.

Renewable History. Hmm. She thought. Maybe Tennis 101 is a better choice...

-- doug smith


1. Pick a random image
2. Write, inspired by that image, for five minutes and then stop.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Creativity Prescription

A useful question: what would be an even more creative way to make this better?

Remember, everything can always be improved. Creativity is your best prescription.

-- doug smith

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Picture This: The Other Side of The Wall

She stood staring in the mirror. How did she get here? What was that sound coming from inside the wall? And why were the paper towels under the paper towels?

She moved the paper towels. She turned off the faucet. No make-up to fix and her hair was fine pulled up in a pony tale. Now, about that noise.

Ever try to hear what noise is coming from the wall when someone in the room keeps flushing the toilet? She'd need to leave the room. She'd need to be on the other side of that wall. She left the room.

The sound of her footsteps clicks down the hall. The toilet flushes again.

From the other side of the wall she can hear a very tiny voice whisper, "The paper towels were not yours to move..."

She does not hear the disturbing sound from inside the wall. She does hear the toilet flush. Again.

"Enough of this," she sighs. "Time to get to work."

-- doug smith

Picture This:

1. Find a random image (truly random, do not select the picture.)
2. Write for 5 minutes with that picture as your inspiration. Stop.

Inspiration from Steppenwolf

I found this while looking for something else and it reminded me of how much of an influence this wild piece of improvised music had on me when I was young. It goes all the way back to 1967, and legend has it that the improvisation was necessitated by the late arrival of the lead singer, John Kaye.

I remember listening to it over and over as a kid in high school. It (or a similar recording) was featured on a double live Steppenwolf album. I love the subtle build and the almost spooky transition into the song "The Pusher." This still sounds great to me, and the early improvisations have influenced my own musical improvisation.

Check it out.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Creativity Is Hard Work

Wouldn't it be great if there was a magic formula you could use to make you as creative as you wanted to be whenever you wanted to be creative?

Press the button! Turn it on!

There is no magic wand, button, or switch. There is no magic.

There is discipline. There is practice. There is exploration and discovery. But, no, no magic.

Creativity is hard work, not magic.

Let's get busy.

-- doug smith

Monday, September 23, 2019

Dig Deeper

"When do you stop creating?"
"You don't."

The gold is deeper. The song grows in rows of understanding. The time keeps ticking but the ideas will not run out as long as you prime the pump, practice relentlessly, and keep creating.

Creativity prods us to dig deeper than we've ever dug before.

Keep digging.

-- doug smith

Keep Creating

Stay creative as long as it takes. It takes longer than you think.

-- doug smith

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Improv Music: back stage at the new moon theatre

back stage at the new moon theatre - the bizarre ensemble, from the album even numbers.

Improv Music: Sushi Accelerated

Improv / experimental music from the bizarre ensemble, featuring judi madigan.

here comes the line - by doug smith
Here Comes The Line - doug smith

into the dimension - doug smith
Into The Dimension - doug smith

Improv Music: Tempest Maximus

Music from the bizarre ensemble.

doug smith

the bizarre ensemble - doug smith

Picture This: Mixed Up

She was easily mixed up. Working in the kitchen, she would sometimes misplace the ingredients. It riled her up, and yet it also gave her a kind of energy.

"Have you seem my Thyme?"
"We're all out of thyme."
"Not true."
"Then, where is it?"
"It's here, I've just misplaced it. And you're not helping."
"Are you serious? I'm looking everywhere. Maybe if you'd alphabetize your spices and herbs."
"Herbs and spices."
"You're the one who wants them alphabetized."
"Did you find your thyme yet?"

Out of time.

It was her biggest fear, and he pushed her over that edge. Or, did he?

Picture This:
1. Find a random image (truly, close your eyes!)
2. Write for two minutes, inspired by that image.

Living Creatively

One of the best things about improv is that it stimulates your creativity. The subtle feeling of not knowing what you will do or what will happen next seems to open a door to the muse and allow technicolor waves of insights to leak thru. Those insights aren't always funny. They are not meant to be. Those insights are not always brilliant. Those are the odds. The insights ARE meant to generate more insights and more fumbles, practices, missteps, dreams, and drops.

Drops and dreams. Dreams and drops. The creative process is messy.

Living creatively is your specialty. Go for it.

-- doug smith


You are a creative artist. Your practice is up to you. Practice!

You get to choose which practice, which discipline, which genre -- but then practice! No matter how naturally it all comes to you (and yay for you that it does!) it all still takes practice. Deep levels of commitment, repetition, iteration, refinement, and memory. Practice!

-- doug smith

This Is You

Creativity is your natural state of being. Be there.

-- doug smith

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Scene Starter: Same Room

Scene starter for two or more people:

Sometimes I look at you and wonder what you're doing in the same room with me...

No dialogue for the first 30 seconds.