The Art of Coloring

Recently I was able to do one of my favorite things in the world.  I got to spend some time with my nieces and nephews.  It’s always a blast and the energy just blows away any bad juju you have going on in your world.  I would never say dinner was a relaxing experience-more like a food triage system of trying to get nutrients into ever moving mouths and keeping butts in the seats.  But it is enormously entertaining.

After dinner one  nephew, who has recently discovered he likes coloring, brought out a huge Star Wars cartoon coloring book, you know the kind that is about 18 inches by 30 inches.  We had our choice between a box of markers, thankfully washable, and a bucket of crayons.  He and I started coloring together, mostly him, but soon his sister had to get in on the action and the attention (I have no idea where she gets that from) and I was nosed out of the picture, literally.  It was kind of hard to get my southpaw in to do any work with 2 kids sitting on my lap and the third one trying to climb up and join them.  There was much jostling for real estate between the two.  Eventually it settled down, the toddler moved off to another flight of fancy and I was able to get in a few strokes of color.  We were staying in the lines but the cool thing was we were also drawing new lines within the bigger spaces.  Colors weren’t locked into specific parts but instead were all over the board.  The big gloved hand had about 20 different colors and patterns on it.  He was promptly christened Rainbow Plo Koon.  It was beautiful in its own uniqueness.

Kids have such an amazing way of seeing things.  They don’t see the rules, the way we’ve always done something, the way it should be done or the logical progression of a picture.  They just put the color down without a thought and are quite happy with the result.  They enjoy the process of coloring and really don’t care about the outcome at all.  Auditioning and performance should be this way and it’s something I strive for every time I step in front of the camera or the mic.  Letting go of all the thoughts and the head drama seems like it would be an easy thing to accomplish but this isn’t always the case.  Next time I’ll thing of Mr. Rainbow, enjoy the process and not worry about the end result.

Kid Magic

I have to be the luckiest aunt in the universe.  I am blessed with some great nieces and nephews and I’m not just saying that because they are going to have to help Aunt Pam wipe the drool off her face when she’s older and more senile than she is today.  I’ve a good mixture of genders and ages so I really get a cross section of the stages in a child’s life.  They’re all still young so there’s lots of learning and exploring to experience.  Whenever I feel stuck in a rut or down about something, I phone one of my siblings and ask for some kid time.  Let me tell you, it’s one of the greatest gifts I give to myself.  Getting down on the floor and playing make believe with some sticks and cardboard and miscellanea and coming up with a very plausible story out of it all is the best way to unlock one’s creative juices.  I even learn stuff from them.  I mean real stuff.  One of them who’s just started reading chapter books, informed me that Teddy Roosevelt was president from 1901-1909 and when pressed about accuracy, pulled out the book and pointed to the section of text where it could be found.  Remember I need irrefutable facts to believe a statement.  But I can guarantee I’ll never forget the years of TR’s presidency ever!  Kids don’t care if an audition went south or the car is acting up or whatever else ails you in the day.  Kids are immediate in every sense of the word.  Keeping me in the present and active in the conversation, not worrying about stuff that really doesn’t matter at the moment, can’t be resolved by fretting  and most likely is just mind taffy anyway.  It’s a super power they have and they don’t even know it.  But if  you look real close, you might see a few of them in capes zooming around.  I’ll be right behind them trying to shake the cobwebs off my cape.