The Need for Make Believe: #Disney #Magic #Wonder #Imagination


Buzzfeed just did an article, if you can call it that, on a mother from Florida who lives near Disney World and makes adorable costumes for her three-year-old daughter, Lane. It wasn’t too much of an article, but it did mention the fact that the costumes were insanely cute and accurate. They also mentioned that, the Huffington Post did actually write an article about the talented mother/daughter duo in a bit more detail. However, I want to expand upon a comment in the Huffington Post article because, as a writer and an actor, I believe it is important.

The Rouches originally decided to purchase Disney World annual passes to give their daughter, whom Jennifer describes as “quite shy,” something fun to do with her parents while surrounded by other kids. “We wanted her to not be crippled by shyness, so we took her to a place where a kid could feel happy and safe to dream and play and be themselves or anyone they want to be.”

I believe it is important for kids, and adults alike, to not lose their sense of play and wonder. I think imagination and creativity are two of the most important qualities that we possess as human beings along with compassion. Like the mother says, having a sense of play can help someone break out of their shell. She is giving her daughter the gift of being a little kid, of play and imagination. She doesn’t seem to be engrossed in playing on an iPad at three, she seems to be enjoying what is actually around her.

When I was a little girl, I too loved princesses and superheroes. Yes, my mother would make my Halloween costume (I was Wonder Woman when I was five,) and no, I am sad to report, I have never been to Disney World. Yet, my mother taught me this: Always have a sense of wonder; A sense of play. Be willing to try something new. Create. In recent months, I’ve learned that I have my greatest sense of play, wonder and imagination through improvisation. I have found my happy place.

Nowadays, our society seems fixated on something tangible with very little thought being paid to imagination. Movies have been reformulated for a money-making “reboot.” Musicals have been revived, recycled from movies, and predictable. Plays, well, that’s another story all together. And don’t get me started on TV shows, especially of the “reality” kind. But, I think there is still time. I’m not saying creativity is dead. Believe me, it still exists.  There is still a place for creativity and imagination, and a sense of play. We just need to tap into that as adults. Also, I want to eventually go Disney World, and I’m slightly jealous of Jennifer Rouch and her wicked good seamstress skills.

You can follow Lane and Jennifer Rouch’s costumed adventures on Instagram and Tumblr.

The Need for Finding Your “Artist’s Way”

A long time ago, back before the age of Twitter and Instagram, while Facebook was still in its infancy,  I took a creativity course in college. Yes, a creativity course. In that course, we used several books, one of which was Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. Considered a “self-help” book to aide people with artistic creative recovery, it helps them make a spiritual connection with their creativity. I have always thought that there was an innate spiritual connection to creativity anyways. The book just helps people unleash their inner creative child. Those of us in the arts, especially acting, have a deep connection to our inner child. It’s a 12 week course that I did, twice in a row because I used the book at Circle In the Square Theatre School. Each time helped me notice something different about my relationship to my creativity.

Recently, I have been referencing it more frequently, writing down ideas in a journal in the morning, and having artist dates by doing something that makes me happy creatively. I have been working on more monologues, writing more blog posts, working on writing my play, and staying creative because I am scared of losing my passion. Even if you are not in a creative field, I think it’s important to have an outlet. I recommend the book to anyone, no matter what their profession is. If you liked to draw as a kid, do it now. If you liked to play the guitar, pick it up again and strum. Do what makes you truly happy. Art in any form, can be therapeutic. It can help you find your way.

What Makes You Feel Alive? Set Your #Soul on #Fire

Photo credit, Kevin Callahan, 2014,
Photo credit, Kevin Callahan, 2014

What sets your soul on fire? What makes you feel like you like there is nothing else in the world that you’d rather be doing with your life? Who do you want to say “Thank You” to? Do you need to remind someone that you are there for them? Do you need to tell someone that you love them? Call them up. Let them hear your voice. Write down things you love. Write down things you want to achieve. Sing your favorite song. Belt it out. Take a walk, take pictures, unleash your creativity. CREATE. Creating can save someone’s life. Creativity can help you help others. Send your art out into the world. Set your soul on fire. Shine your light. Be amazing. Be yourself.