"...And Make It Real Creative!": The Creative Tap Room: Last Call

and-make-it-real-creative-logo-3By Trent Rentsch

It’s been quite a party. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to get a bunch of my Creative friends together for an informal discussion of Creativity, and the result has been better than I ever dreamed. Regardless of their location, regardless of their mode of expression, all shared a common passion for the Creative process and where it comes from. Sadly, like all great parties, this one must come to an end. As I see our Server headed to the table, “Last call” most certainly on her lips, I imagine what other Creative legends, living and passed on, might have added to the conversation…

Someone taps on my shoulder. I turn, and I’m face to face with Stephen FREEKIN’ King. ““If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”

“Ma-makes sense,” I babble, “But… where does your Creativity come from, if I can ask?”

Mr. King replies, “People want to know why I do this, why I write such gross stuff. I like to tell them I have the heart of a small boy.” He grins. “And I keep it in a jar on my desk.”

That’s when I notice the piano in the corner, and the amazing jazz being played on it. Is it possible… nah, can’t be…

Sir Duke Ellington laughs and yells over at the table. “I began by tinkering around with some old tunes I knew. Then, just to try something different, I set to putting some music to the rhythm that I used in jerking ice-cream sodas at the Poodle Dog. I fooled around with the tune more and more until at last, lo and behold, I had completed my first piece of finished music. ”

Imagine, Creative genius, inspired by ice-cream sodas. If that doesn’t prove that inspiration can come from anywhere…

The guy with the big glasses and the sketchpad pipes up, “As you become acquainted with a character you are creating, you add parts of yourself that are pertinent to that character.” He turns the pad around to show us all his drawing of Bugs Bunny, hunched over a drawing table, and I realize Chuck Jones has joined the party. It seems that the director of Looney Tunes most memorable works believes (believed?) in putting yourself in your Creations. I know I’ve always thought that it was the humanity of Bugs, Daffy and the gang that set them apart.

“Everything is raw material,” explains the graceful dancer flowing across the floor to Duke’s music. “Everything is relevant. Everything is usable. Everything feeds into my creativity. But without proper preparation, I cannot see it, retain it, and use it.” I know I’ve seen her before… right, Twyla Tharp. Arguably the greatest dancer choreographer the world has ever known. I’ve read her first book. She’s a big believer in Creativity through sweat and hard work.

The sober man in the black suit has a different view. “My method is different. I do not rush into actual work. When I get a new idea, I start at once building it up in my imagination, and make improvements and operate the device in my mind. When I have gone so far as to embody everything in my invention, every possible improvement I can think of, and when I see no fault anywhere, I put into concrete form the final product of my brain.” Creative visualization, powerful stuff. One can only imagine how different the world would be today if the powers that were had allowed Nikola Tesla to supply free electricity to the world…

Suddenly, the projector starts rolling, and a distinguished gentleman in a trench coat on the screen begins speaking Italian. And, somehow, I understand every word…

“What is an artist? A provincial who finds himself somewhere between a physical reality and a metaphysical one…. It’s this in-between that I’m calling a province, this frontier country between the tangible world and the intangible one -- which is really the realm of the artist.”

With that, Fellini turns, yells, “ACTION,” and an actor in rumpled army fatigues steps into the picture. Alan “Hawkeye” Alda smiles and speaks, “The Creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.”

The screen fades to black. In fact, everything fades to black… except for that voice…

“Trent! Trent, Honey, wake up! They’re closing up, it’s time to go!” I open my eyes and see my wife grinning down at me. “I thought you said you could never have too much fun. Good thing I’m driving!”

We are alone in the taproom. “But, wait… what happened to everybody? I wanted you to meet Stephen King, and Duke, and…

“You were OUT! You know what single malt scotch does to you! And Honey, you’ve GOT to lay off that book of quotations. The things you were mumbling…”

“So everybody left? I didn’t get a chance to talk about where MY Creativity comes from?”

She smiled her indulgent smile as she helped me to my feet. “Another time, Honey. Another time.”