Creativity Today

A Different Way to Live Life

Forget Buenos Aires: Evita Takes New York!

This post is an article I wrote that was originally published in The Hewitt Times. See below for the creative challenge. 

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As a present for having to get my four wisdom teeth removed over winter break, my mother took me to see the Broadway show Evita, a revival of the original 1978 Broadway production. The show tells the story of Eva Peron – lovingly nicknamed Evita – the former First Lady of Argentina, who rose from being a poor girl living in a small town to being one of the most significant people in Argentina.

My Evita playbill.
My Evita playbill.

I was especially excited to see the show because its composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber, happens to be my favorite composer of all time. He is brilliant for so many reasons. His creative mind and fabulous ear for music enables him to compose remarkable pieces. In addition, Webber uses the repetition of melodies in his different pieces to subconsciously instill in the audience member an association between a melody and an event or feeling. This is especially prevalent in Evita (as well as in The Phantom of the Opera, one of my favorite shows). For example, in the opening scene, which portrays the end of the story, as Argentinians are mourning the death of Evita, the melody playing intermittently throughout the mourners’ song (called “Requiem” – skip to 1:45) is the same melody of the song Evita sings at the very end of the show (called “Lament”), as she is dying. Additionally, small aspects of this melody occur throughout the song Evita sings as she is preparing for a European tour (called “Rainbow High” – skip to 0:24) after she becomes the First Lady, which foreshadows Evita’s sickness (which the audience first becomes aware of during her European tour). Interspersing the same melody at three crucial points in Evita’s life (and death) keeps the melody in the audience’s mind as an association with and a signal of Evita’s illness and death.

The musical aspects of the show were brought to life by Argentinian star Elena Roger as Evita. As soon as I heard her distinct voice, I immediately fell in love with her (and, of course, as soon as I got home I downloaded the entire Evita soundtrack and watched countless videos of Elena singing on YouTube). Additionally, her attitude while playing Evita was spot-on; it felt like I was watching the real Evita going through her life.

The real Evita Peron. Credit: commons.wikimedia.org.
The real Evita Peron. Credit: commons.wikimedia.org.

In addition to the music, the presentation of the show was superb. The costumes were eye-catching, engaging, and, in the case of several of Evita’s dresses, beautiful. The set was charming. The dancing, choreographed by Tony award-winning choreographer Rob Ashford, was magnificent, and it truly captured the emotions of each song.

Evita at the Marquis Theatre. Credit: commons.wikimedia.org.
Evita at the Marquis Theatre. Credit: commons.wikimedia.org.

All of these elements combined lead Evita to tie with Phantom as #1 on my list of the top Broadway shows I have ever seen. However, much to my chagrin, Evita is having its final performance on Saturday, January 26, and I encourage everyone to see the show before it closes. The show covers many interests (history, musical theater, Latin America, just to name a few), so it is certain to appeal to every type of person.

I just have one request to those who plan to see Evita: buy an extra ticket and take me with you!

Creative challenge:

This leads me to this week’s creative challenge: find a show, movie, or book that you particularly enjoyed and write an article about it! Hopefully, you’ll find, like I did, that the experience of writing about something you love and articulating the reasons why you appreciate it makes you love it even more.

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Have you seen Evita, either as a show or as a movie? If so, what was your favorite scene or song and why? And do you agree with me regarding the brilliance of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music in the show? Comment below to discuss.

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Creativity is Key

I’m on a mission.

What is my mission, you ask?

My mission is to bring creativity into everyday life.

How can I do this?

One way: by changing the way we procrastinate.

As of now, procrastination has a negative connotation. Dictionary.com defines it as “the act or habit of procrastinating, or putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention.”

Although it is seen as bad, procrastination is inevitable; we all find ourselves doing it. When we’re writing papers for work or for school, we slowly (or quickly) drift off to Facebook, or another internet site that captivates our attention more than the work we’re supposed to be doing does.

Some of My Doodles

But what if, instead of spending time on things that draw our mind away from our imagination, we spent it on the exact opposite?

Try to count how many minutes you spend procrastinating each day. It’s probably a lot (it’s okay – you can admit it – you’re not alone!). Now imagine what would happen if you spent that time working on a hobby or discovering a new one.

If you like to write, procrastinate by writing. Who knows, you might end up with a novel. If you like art, draw a picture, paint a painting, or sculpt a sculpture. Or, if you want to multitask and do some of your work at the same time, simply doodle (if you observe me throughout the day, you’ll notice that I am an avid doodler). Just be creative in any way possible.

Being creative opens up your mind to the possibilities in the world and allows you to look at the world through a more imaginative lens. Creativity and imagination are two of the most prevalent words in my life. I frequently describe myself using those words and they are the two of the parts of my identity that I have the most pride in. I love that I am able to sit down and write a story or draw a picture (with my favorite medium, oil pastels) and be happy (and amazed) with the result. To be fair, at the beginning, I was not the most amazing writer or artist (no one is – even those who have a knack for it), but, several years ago, I began to find time within my day to practice these hobbies, and I have since greatly improved. As a little girl, I was told “practice makes perfect,” and although no one is perfect (and I most certainly have not, and never will, completely change how I procrastinate), practice certainly makes better.

A Recent Oil Pastel Drawing

Too many people have told me they have no time to be creative. They say they have too much schoolwork or too many responsibilities, and taking time out of their busy schedules to work on a hobby is not conducive to their lives. Their work takes precedence over everything else.

And while I agree that everyone has a lot of work to do, a simple change in the common procrastination habits is all that is necessary to allow work and play to happily exist side by side.

And that is where I come in.

On this blog, I will post new suggestions of creative activities to do in different situations, such as while procrastinating. These activities will get the imaginative side of your mind running and encourage (and hopefully inspire) you to make creativity a priority in your life.

Creative challenge:

Here is your first creative challenge: Start (and maintain!) a blog about anything in the entire universe that interests you. Whenever you have an extra few minutes, use them to write a post.

Have fun!!

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How much do you value creativity in your life? Comment below to discuss.

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