“Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”—Kurt Vonnegut
Creative capital is my jam. I wrote about it in Thank & Grow Rich. My latest book, Art and Soul, covers nothing else.
Unlike financial capital, creative capital is virtually unlimited. It has no floor, no ceiling. And every last one of us has total access.
We don’t need money to get started, or certain conditions to be in place. We access our creative capital because it’s there, because it’s who we are.
I read a cool story about James Franco yesterday. He hosted Saturday Night Live last week, was just nominated for a Golden Globe for his new movie, The Disaster Artist. It’s about filmmaker, Tommy Wiseau, who is willing to do whatever it takes to access his creative capital.
Like the filmmaker in the movie, Franco let nothing stop him from pursuing his art. It didn’t matter that he had no money, no acting roles, no degree. He didn’t even have a car when he moved to Los Angeles to attend a hole-in-the-wall acting school. And, because he’d been fired from two previous jobs, he couldn’t even get a job waiting tables. That didn’t stop him. He was determined to follow his dream.
He finally landed a job at the one McDonald’s near the ratty apartment he shared with two friends.
And guess what? He practiced his art there.
“I was given the late shift drive-thru position. I wore a purple visor and purple polo shirts and took orders over a headset,” he says. “But soon I started putting on fake accents with the customers to practice for scenes in acting class.”
He tried Italian, British, Irish, Russian, Southern.
“People actually found them persuasive. I was asked to give Italian lessons to a cute young woman who thought I was from Pisa,” he says. “And I went on several dates as a thick-tongued kid from Bed-Stuy, even though my only brush with the actual place had been through watching “Do the Right Thing.”
Within a few months, Franco’s determination to mine his creative capital won him a commercial for Pizza Hut. He has been working in the business ever since.
The point is, there really is NO EXCUSE for not answering the door when the muses say, “Knock. knock.” You don’t need money. You don’t need the right equipment. You don’t even need talent, as Franco’s character Wiseau clearing demonstrated with his movie, Room.
Creativity is the province of all of us.
So roll up your sleeves. Get started today.
Pam Grout is the author of 19 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality and the just-released, Art & Soul,Reloaded: A Year-Long Apprenticeship to Summon the Muses and Ignite Your Daring, Audacious, Creative Side.