Time For A Creative Boost!
Summer is the perfect time to prepare for the busy Fall/Winter season by recharging your group's creativity. To remind us of ways to keep a kingdom perspective in a hectic ministry, Drama Ministry talked to one of our contributors, Alice Bass (you can check out her scripts here at Drama Ministry). Alice is also leading people through her book, The Creative Life: A Workbook for Unearthing the Christian Imagination.
DM: What led you to write The Creative Life?
I wanted a book which gave people the tools to dig into God's Word and experience his creative life in their own creativity. As a drama ministry coordinator, I found that there wasn't material for me to use in our team meetings. I could lead our actors through a Bible study or a drama class, but there was nothing that combined the two. My hope was to give ministry leaders a manual and a Bible study for why we are creative and how to use our gifts for God's purpose and glory.
DM: What are some of the ways you re-connect your team with their creativity?
Digging into the scripture is the way to feed your creativity. It is so cool! A lot of the time we think our imagination is a place that is off-limits to ourselves and to God. But he is the author and perfector of our faith, and he authored our creative gifts. Since we are in his image, we are creative too. Only by soaking our brains in the scripture do we get to experience the fullness of our own imaginations. In each chapter of the book I have an 'imagine' exercise where I lead you through a passage of scripture. For drama, I think leading your group through imagining one of the parables would be great. Especially during that very first meeting back from vacation - go through the parable of the talents by having people close their eyes. Read the parable aloud and then go back through it prayerfully and imagine the master, what he's wearing, the tone of his voice, etc. Then go to the three servants and imagine what it felt like to hold the talents, to bury your one talent, to invest your five talents, etc. That should lead to some great discussion for your drama team about their own talents.
DM: What do you think is the most important thing for drama ministry leaders to work on with their team?
The one rule that my high school drama teacher drilled into my head is that 'Acting is Re-acting'. It took me a year to ask her what it meant! But once I understood that acting was more than just memorizing my part and that my job was to use my lines as a response to what the other person was saying, I never forgot that rule. Listening is the key to acting and really listening is the hardest thing for us to do in real life, much less onstage!
DM: What is your favorite exercise?
I love the listening exercise called 'Counting to Ten'. It really makes you listen to not only who is talking but to the silence in between. You break up into two groups, with a monitor in each group. Then each group counts to ten, with no order, no one in charge and if two people talk at once, you go back to the number one. The air is so charged with people trying to listen! I love it.
DM: What do you plan to do your first meeting back from vacation?
That first meeting is essential for setting the tone of the rest of the year. I think I'm going to take my own advice and focus on unifying the team and remembering our purpose by beginning with some Bible study. Then I always try to do exercises that are outside the immediate sketch needs so that we can work on listening or character development without having to think about performing. Then it's on to rehearsal for the next Sunday sketch.
Alice Bass is Author Development Manager with HigherLife Development Services. She is also an actress, writer and creative consultant living in Florida and can currently be seen with the Epcot Acting Company at Walt Disney World. She has performed in professional theaters across the US. She is a graduate of Rollins College.