Last night I had the great pleasure of taking my son and daughter to watch our local secondary school’s version of the musical Grease. It had been a while since I had seen a school performance (perhaps the last was when I was actually in one), but what a treat it was. The set up was fantastic with excellent staging, lights, microphones, music band, video screens and more.
As I sat watching the musical, I was both humbled by this group’s acting and singing abilities, but also taken down a trip on memory lane. During my secondary school (high school) days I took leading parts in numerous school productions such as Blood Brothers, West Side Story, Caucasian Chalk Circle, Butterfly (a play I co-wrote, co-directed and performed in) and more, and can vividly remember the buzz leading up to the performance nights and how the reaction from the audience spurred one on to even greater heights in performance. I later went on to audition for major acting institutions (I won’t name them) and got accepted into a few only to fully realise and accept the fact that tuition fees were beyond possibilities. During those times, I had not the means or knowledge to pursue alternative avenues and neither was there the internal and external support to do so. But alas, I have no regrets in finally taking a degree in creative writing and media combined with journalism.
Getting back to the performance… experiencing the creativity of other’s really touches deeply into one’s spirit and motivates one to further explore their own creative talents and interests. Like Hiromi Uehara, I find inspiration from anything and anyone without reservations and boundaries, and the student’s that took part (and all those involved in making this performance possible) in the Grease Musical at Stoke Newington Secondary School have inspired me and sent my creative waves buzzing freely.
There truly is no price on creativity and I would urge everyone to seek it from the most unlikely and unknown sources, as you might be surprised.
B. L. Crisp