Oh, the Creative things I’m going to get to during this weird spring break once I take a nap. And process the global pandemic. And learn that I still exist even without a work schedule in the foreseeable future. And nap. I refuse, however, to time excerpts of things for use in hand washing. The Jeopardy Think Music will do for me.
As things grow stranger and more distressing, I’d like to give the last few days their Creative Context.
Friday the 13th is forever tied to a series of films. I’m not a suspense and gore person, but I appreciate the art of scaring people with things they actually know are aren’t real. Let’s also remember that it’s the hallowed moniker of the monarch of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, King Friday XIII. The man rules one of the creative capitals of my childhood, a place named, by the hallowed Mr. Rogers, for the imaginative impulse.
Saturday, 3/14, was PI day. Shout out to Archimedes of Syracuse. Wicked awesome thing to figure out, my friend. Math is an elegant creativity with deep tap roots into the universe, although that does not mean I have to enjoy trig. The discovery of mathematical and number-related stuff has inspired some fine plays, including Breaking the Code, Arcadia, and The Women Who Mapped the Stars.
I once asked my friend the Math Professor how his department celebrates. We all have a slice of pie, he told me. Here’s to the dough-crimpers and everyone who makes creative crusts and fascinating fillings. Here’s to our own Omni Parker House Hotel, birthplace of the Boston Cream Pie, which isn’t really a pie, but which is very good. And to all the comedy creatives who knew what else a pie could do, and took one in the face to make us laugh.
Back to plays. Sunday was the Ides of March, about which Shakespeare had some words to say through the mouths of emperors and conspirators. The “line” on social media for 2020 is that if your whole group stabs Julius Caesar together, you’re not social distancing.
If your only experience of this play is reading it in high school and having to “translate” it into “our English”, then I’m just bloody sorry for you. You should see it set in a dystopian shadow-city in mob costumes or something. Speaking of bloody, I worked as crew once on a production of this play that included most of the cast dipping their hands into Caesar’s blood and then dashing about. So here’s the creative secret to removing dried, syrupy fake blood spatter off an entire multi-level stage while setting up for the next act. Puddles. Squeeze some water onto those red puppies and walk away. By the time you get back, they’ll have dissolved, and you can wipe up easily.
Everyone be well. There are lots of creative folks, whether they make stage entrances, make music, or mix your cocktails, who are exiled from their work and incomes right now. Let’s all do our best to care for and support one another.