Lockdown but won’t Shutdown ‘4 Tips to staying sane and creative in this time’ @mothecomedian @thebournedirection @tee_tellstales by Toyin Alase | READ NOW

If you’re anything like me, in the last few weeks you’ve probably seen your fair share of toilet paper kick-ups, press-ups and TikTok challenges. Your WhatsApp messages have been spammed with everyform of medical theory, concept and conspiracy by the random aunties and uncles of WhatsApp Medical School (yup, it’s fully a thing). And if you happen to live at home with family, by now you’re probably questioning whether they’re your real life ‘Opps’, or maybe your just hungry—— AGAIN!

Either way, I think we can agree these last few weeks have been a roller-coaster – we’ve had the highs of Instagram to keep us entertained for hours. The comedy: @mothecomedian with ‘QuarantineGames’. The fitness content creators: @Just_Geen and @Sanchez_brown. And, of course, the artistic content by our stars: Four 8’s latest short film I AM PILATE written by @thebournedirection & directed by @femioyeniran can be watched HERE. On the other hand, there have also been lows – this virus is real, people have died, jobs have been lost, theaters and cinemas have closed. As a creative you might wonder where you stand in all of this? Do creatives really matter? We do! And more than ever, we need to fight to remember and maintain that.

Here are a few practical tips to help you in this time:

    It’s in the honesty of truth where you uncover your passion; you uncover your why – I was asked the question, ‘what would take you away from your industry?’ And as much as I had enough answers for what could challenge me and create obstacles – I couldn’t fully find a reason why I would fully stop – meaning there was still a desire and a fight to be had.
    As creatives we are used to performing/producing, breaking down stories and making things happen! With our fingers dwindling our minds can go into overdrive – I find that it can often feel like several
    things are going on but by bullet-pointing them down I get more clarity on the specific issues. Alternatively, I voice-record a massive mind dump and listen back, hearing my prominent points. This
    gives you a second to actually HEAR YOURSELF and PAY ATTENTION… It’s funny how that’s one of then things we struggle to do.
    It doesn’t have to be massive, sometimes it’s that mindset that blocks us in the first place – I know this could feel drawn out, but give yourself a break – take yourself with a pinch of salt. Someone once
    said to me, ‘you CAN’T do everything, but you can do SOMETHING’ and this is where your creativity comes in:
    Actors/Director’s: We know you can’t be on stage or set right now, why not grab a couple old scripts and read together, learn a scene with friends online, film yourself and send it to each other.
    Writers: That 7-episode drama you’ve been sitting on, the motivation may be lacking now BUT how
    about the scene you HAVE completed? Get a few actors to read it out via video chat – allow feedback
    to inform your next sentence or overall narrative.
    Dancers/Movement Director’s: Create a dance together, use well known film soundscapes and
    soundtracks to narrate the story of the film with each other – share skills and techniques – study the
    movements of previous shows you want to be in (so much content online).
  1. REST
    Yes, it’s important to set structure, but also to take the time out. BE PRESENT! With yourself. With loved ones. Speak up when it feels too much. There’s so much info out there but filter what YOU
    NEED to know so you’re not overwhelmed. Split the days to tackle things one step at the time. E.g, Monday reading a script, Tuesday 1hr of a scene, etc. Some days are more productive than others but
    commit to feeding the creative appetite as much as possible.
    So much of our time as creatives is with our ideas and imaginations. Let’s not be afraid to use it! I know it can be scary to put yourself out there – but also know that doing nothing might leave you safe
    but won’t resolve that creative itch either. We need to set time to go after our wants, log off the Gram – you don’t need to watch another #DontRushChallange (love them really). REMEMBER what
    you spoke out loud, what you wanted to see and move and inch towards it. Find your peers, learn
    together, brainstorm, but don’t stop creating and don’t Shutdown!

Written by @tee_tellstales