Weekly Rochester Events #299: See You in 2062
Thursday, September 30, 2004Darn ... I got to this point on Wednesday evening and couldn't think of anything I particularly wanted to write. I figured I'd review what I'd done during the week, and unfortunately, it's not all that interesting. Well, all the events I went to were pleasant — the as-always excellent Dream Engine at Paradigm Café (3118 E. Henrietta Rd., formerly Blue Sunday) the show at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) on Friday with Kelli Hicks, Hinkley, and The Actual Facts (who are a very good rock band, by the way) and the Found Magazine presentation at Bullwinkles Café (622 Lake Ave.) The most exciting bit was getting hit by that asshole in the white car at Beaufort and Wilmington (off South Clinton near Rooney's) ... the idiot cut me off fast and I clipped the back end of his car — they took off and all I got was a scratch on my hand, but I was rewarded with a chunk of white paint in the handlebar. (A rather interesting footnote to last week's suggestion.) I also stumbled, tripped, and fell into a rather severe argument with a friend of mine that led to some personal ugliness — internal and, less-so, external — which I won't get into because this isn't a blog. (Yeesh ... how many times do I have to tell you?)
So I went for a walk around the block and decided that I should give some free, unwarranted advice in typically choppy style. I guess it's not so choppy as it all revolves around the criticism and cynicism in this town when it comes to anything creative (well, actually anything, but I'm sticking with "creative" for now.) I thought I'd start spewing suggestions that I think will help fix that — especially after having been to The Burning Man Project (The Man, Black Rock City 2004, NV) where I got a taste of what it's like to exist in a community that's supportive of creativity.
My friend Sondra and I have been discussing this on-and-off for a year or so now: being critical during the creative process kills a lot of stuff before it is even started. Criticism is valid when it's invited (i.e. when a finished work is presented to the public) but it's just abusive when it's done beforehand. It's a tough trick to learn, but it's not so bad once you get the hang of it.
The gist of it is to only talk in terms of "yes, and" when someone is presenting you with a creative idea — and it could be anything from a song, to a forming a band, to creating a sculpture, to performing guerilla theater — the only thing you should tell someone while they're forming an idea should be either "yes" or "yes, and ..." It's exactly the same kind of support during improvisational theater (something they suggested in the Geva Comedy Improv classes.)
The trick is to avoid saying things like "no," "that wouldn't work," "yes, but ...," or "have you figured out how to ..." These are things that derail the formulation of an idea. Obviously, there are durable ideas that come along that are so fully-formed that even early criticism can not stop them, but the vast majority are just odd thoughts that may or may not ever get done, but if you want to provide an environment for them to flourish, then you should probably lay off of the negativity for a while.
The other side, though, is that the originator of an idea can pick and choose what advice is important to them. In the whole deal, they're the only ones allowed to say anything negative: they can say "no" to anyone's advice. For instance, if I were setting up some artist party and someone added, "yeah, and you could have rave DJ's there too," I could tell them I didn't want it to become a rave. If they were really supportive of my creative endeavor, they'd lay off of the rave stuff and focus on other elements to bolster and develop the idea further.
It all comes down to doing whatever you want. If you want to create things, go ahead. If you want to support creativity, start from these guidelines. And, obviously, if you want to keep killing off creativity, then be as critical as you can be.
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Internet Movie Database
On this day ... September 30
Store at CafePress
Buy some JayceLand junk at sky high prices!
Rochester Music Coalition
Rochester Goes Out (D&C)
Rochester Punk Rock
WGMC Jazz Calendar
Delusions of Adequacy
Mystery and Misery
Kids Out and About
Movie links courtesy The Internet Movie Database. Map links courtesy MapsOnUs. Some movie synopses courtesy UpcomingMovies.com
About the title ... Edmund Halley predicted the period of Halley's Comet 299 years ago in 1705. Haley's Comet will appear again near Earth in 2062.
This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including Monroe County and occasionally the Western New York region) from Thursday, September 30, 2004 thru Wednesday, October 6, 2004.
It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do.
The musical styles listed can include punk, emo, ska, swing, rock, rock-and-roll, alternative, metal, jazz, blues, noise band, experimental music, folk, acoustic, and "world-beat."
Events listed take place during the day, in the evenings, or as part of the city's nightlife as listed.
Copyright © 2004 Jason Olshefsky. All rights reserved.