(or “Why Making Something Out of Nothing is Good For Us”)
Imagination. Where would the world be without imagination? Every invention started as an idea that was first seen in the mind. Albert Einstein developed his theory of relativity purely in the realm of the imagination. And, not to forget, every single book came from the author’s ability to envision the story and convert it into words that play in the imagination of our minds.
So it is quite clear, I feel that our imagination is awesome.
Of course I could go into the reason why, imagination was down played in our lives. I can remember being at school and so wanting to write stories about Doctor Who or the strange and whimsical stories that filled my mind. But, the curriculum had no space for it. In his book, “The Element”, Sir Ken Robinson explains that our school system is still in the “steam age” and that creativity cannot be taught in logical way. That everyone has an individual way to learn that is not linear and involves thinking outside the box. This is a problem when it comes to tests and exams.
The problem with tests is that it generally seeks a single correct answer. So the only way that a child can develop is to conform to an ideal and give up on their imagination. Where the methods they use in tests can be measured, as their answers will either be “right” or “wrong”.
When the child reaches adulthood, their imagination has been clipped and they have the general theory that there is a “right” or “wrong” way to do things. And that was what it was like for me. I felt stuck and limited in a world that needed a “right” response.
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.
In the last few years, I have spent a lot of time reconnecting to my creative side and even learning to trust it. For me, I made a massive leap forward when I got involved with improv. Developing the inner improviser has been an empowering experience that has helped me let go of the rigid idea of “wrong” and “right” ideas (in fact, mistakes are a gift on the improv stage are a gateway to inspire scenes). And it has given my imagination the proper workout it deserves (which has been great for my confidence).
Magic constantly happens on an improv stage. Strangely, it is all to do with the lack of props or scenery. The empty stage can transform into a bedroom, or a small office in Croydon; or it can leap into other worlds of strange alien planets, or be on the outer limits of fairyland. The possibilities are infinite and (for me at least) mind blowing. It shows to me that we are not limited creatures doomed to a life of uninspiring linearity, but joyful individuals able to travel to worlds unlimited by our imagination.
Ladies and Gentlemen! I give you, “The Stage of Infinite Possibilities!” Go and give your imagination a good workout.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand”
Albert EinsteinWritten & Posted by Antony Noad