Hello there. It's me. The minimalist.
I have gotten rid of books about acting, plays that no longer interest me, stacks of way-too-outdated headshots, a copy machine (yep), and a whole bunch of props and costumes that were all hanging around as unnecessary proof of some of my past creative work.
I still have four huge totes full of rehearsal notebooks for plays I directed sitting in our shed. Most of them, I co-wrote with my writing partner (and sometimes other writers, too). Oh, and we produced them, too. Theatre might be ephemeral, but these notebooks sure aren't.
Wanna see?! Look! There are at least six drafts of each script, gestural and character development notes from the actors' work, all my crazy-detailed blocking/choreography notations, lots of financial records, images that inspired me, cast contact lists, and sometimes box office tallies, too!
Can you see the 40 bazillion hours I put in?! Can you see the story emerge as we progressed from draft to draft?! Can you see what a freaking brilliant ensemble the cast and crew made?! And can you see how the lobby display leads into the playing space which leads into a reception where audience members had such cool observations about what they saw?!
Because that's what I see when I look at them.
Proof of all those things.
Proof that I was part of making something out of nothing.
Proof that I create theatre.
Sigh. But those suckers are heavy. (Please do not talk with my spouse about this. He has strong feelings from our last few moves.) And they're taking up a lot of room in the shed. And I'm not actually going to read through them again.
I have this lovely vision of my child someday being amazed by them, paging through them reverently. Yeah. Even if that were to happen, I'm not too excited by the eventual guilt/annoyance/distress she would likely feel about what to do with them next.
So. I'm confessing: I don't quite know how to let go of that proof of my creative life. Letting them go feels almost sacrilegious. Hm. When I figure out what to do, I'll report back.
In the meantime, tell me: What kind of creative proof are you hanging onto? Is it heavy, too?
This week, I'm exploring the idea that we don't need stuff to prove what we've done. This post is part of an ongoing series on creativity.