So, you say you want a resolution.
For me, developing a New Year’s resolution always proves problematic. On one hand, a good resolution needs to be something that will improve my life and/or the lives of others. On the other, it also needs to be something – albeit with some effort – that is obtainable. There’s a balance. There are, of course, standbys, those things many of us consider as one year winds down and another begins. I’ll exercise more. I’ll eat less. I’ll eliminate this bad habit or that. All, of course, are good choices and all, most certainly, noble endeavors. But I think I want something else, something more … creative.
And so, with that in mind, I recently tapped some of the more creative people I know – members of Augusta’s creative community. Now, I did not ask this group of local artists, performers and administrators what my resolution would be. I thought that was probably cheating. But I did ask them what theirs were, hoping to draw a little inspiration, once again, from those who inspire me. The answers were, as I expected, sometimes surprising, always smart and all fueled by the belief that the cultural community sits at the cusp of real greatness. Here’s what a few of them had to say:
Marty Elliot, General Manager, The Miller Theater: My resolution is summed up into one word “encourage.” I resolve to devote conscious energy into encouraging others especially those who are working on their creative selves. In doing so, I will reduce any tendency to be critical and strive to see the very best in everyone and to learn the lessons they have for me.
Russell Joel Brown, Performer/Teacher, SAIL Charter School: I seek to be more intentional in my relationship to myself and my goals; in my relationship to my craft (the deepening and learning is NOT finished!); and to my community. It is always my hope that in my reflecting for myself in performance, I can help others to reflect in their experience of the performance.
The greatest of my intentions is to help unify the Augusta community. If we, as a community, focus on coming together for the common good, there is little that we cannot accomplish. We must be intentional in our efforts, though. It will happen not by happenstance, not only by legislation, not by hopes, not by blind faith, but by targeted action for a common goal.
Charles Scavullo, Executive Director, Imperial Theater: I have never really been very good at making or keeping resolutions. Survival, happiness and personal growth are on-going drivers for me. Our options as I see it, would be to let life pass by or “happen” and either not get involved with what’s occurring or to do so only on a minimal level. The other and more preferable option is to take advantage of the opportunities that life presents which allows someone to investigate, experience and learn, becoming a bigger part of society. Following the path of the latter option allows one to build on the past in order to enjoy the future.
Ron Jones, Founder, Columbia County Ballet: It is my commitment as an artist to have something of value to say. Without this there is no reason to expect an audience to spend time with you. It is further my commitment that as an artist there needs to be a level of craft developed through which to deliver the message whether it be something of weight or merely entertainment.
Having something of value to say and the skill to say it in an engaging way is what guides me in producing art and what I encourage our students to embrace in their work.
Chris Bird, General Manager, Augusta Entertainment Complex: Personally, I want to be more patient. Professionally, my goals are to increase revenues and reduce the bottom line deficit so that every year is the best fiscal year ever. These help everyone involved illustrate the need for a new arena and other big picture trends for Augusta.
How do I apply the above to my creative self? Darn good question. I try not to look at a resolution as a trait or goal I’m not good at, but an area that I know can grow but takes time to improve.