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Do you sometimes get that too? On some days, usually a Thursday or a Friday, your brain just spits out… mustard…? Either our brains are all week’d out, our creativity banks having been emptied by the busy week. 

Writer’s block—or let’s make it more general and call it creativity block—plagues everybody. It’s a problem even the smartest and most creative of us need to deal with. 

In our quest to to become better people—and better workers, hi boss!—we thought we’d ask some of the most creative people we encounter for advice. This’ll be a running theme here in MB Life, like a haven for the uninspired, the blocked, and the lazy. (You’re welcome.) 

First on our list of comedian Gabe Mercado, he of the unforgettable advertising tagline: “OK ka ba tiyan?” Gabe is recognized as an outstanding improviser in the improvisational theater scene. He founded the improv group, Silly People’s Improv Theather (SPIT) back in 2002, which is gearing up for the 3rd installment of its festival, The Manila Improv Festival, to be held at the PETA Theater Center in March.

And because Improv forces participants to think on their feet, and not just continue the scenario but to make it better, we thought he’d have great pieces of advice for creativity boosters.

1. Accept and build

Through the virtue of accepting and building things, you can achieve something. He said that as an improviser and an actor, you need to accept the fact given by your co-actor and build more elements to it. An actor should accept the suggestions of his/her colleagues.

Kahit ayaw mo yung scene you have to find something good and delightful to it. Kahit hirap na hirap ka na, pero na build na ng co-actor mo na ito yung character mo, kailangan mo na i-accept yun and at the same time, mag-build pa ng more elements. It’s an accepting and building culture,” he said.

2. Be average

Sometimes, people want that everything they create to be a home run—sapul, pasok, pak! Gabe however says, allowing yourself to be average can lead to a successful work. Don’t overthink your job—or the task at hand.

“First draft pa lang gusto mo, award-winning. Sure, that might be a good point of view but if you want every single sentence to be like that, you’ll get completely out of track. If we could have a writing peg, Hemingway is a good example. He has very simple sentences and yet the collection of those averages makes a brilliant genius.”

3. Be kind to yourself

Having compassion for yourself is the key to have an effective work. Separating the act of curating from creating is a must for Gabe.

“Genius comes from collaborating with a partner or even with yourself is important. As long you’re not compromising your core values, principles and beliefs, take a more accept and building attitude in your life. From the very simplest thing, you need to be compassionate. It will become your own way in trying to see the good side in everything. Just create and create and create.”

 

Photo by Madel Crudo

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