The Creative ‘P’s

Drew Lane returns to AussieTheatre with a column on getting things done.

PersistenceRecently, I think I’ve stumbled across something that might actually hit home for some people. I guess that it’s about the roadblocks that we face as creative beings, between trying to produce what our hearts and souls drive us to create and living life in general. So here goes: what we do as creative beings really comes down to 3 P’s – Passion, Persistence, and Patience.

See, I believe the reason we do what we do is because we are passionate about it. Passion is the thing that drives us forward, propels us into situations that would normally frighten us, and makes us braver than we ever thought we could be. Passion helps us to be eloquent when we need to be, silent when required, awake when we’re normally exhausted, and stronger beyond our normal ability. Passion makes us run towards a goal, never worrying about the problems or pitfalls or blockages or every single step of the path. We don’t care about the path. We care about the end result. We’re running. Fast. Powerfully. Passionately.

But there is a time when passion fades. It might be because we become tired, disheartened, roadblocked, or just lose our way. We turn around and discover that – somehow – we’re not quite where we’d thought we be. It’s not like we’re entirely stranded, but we’re treading water; not moving forward, not gaining any ground, but drifting backwards, slowly and surely.  Passion has got us this far, but now something else has to kick in. That’s where passion has to shift into persistence. And it’s not an easy gear change. It’s like dragging an old car from first into third without using the clutch. It’s a grind; a body shuddering thunk that seems to make our whole creative life jerk forward. But as hard as the shift from passion to persistence is, it’s the key to making us move forward again. When we persist, we realise that this “creative thing” we do is actually a bit of hard work.

[pull_left]It’s the sweat and tears, the aches and pains, the internal struggle that other people may not ever see. It’s not the glamourous life we always imagined. It’s the work[/pull_left]

It’s the sweat and tears, the aches and pains, the internal struggle that other people may not ever see. It’s not the glamourous life we always imagined. It’s the work.

And in the middle of it all is one more key element – patience. Patience is something that I reckon we’re not very good at. As creative types, we want to break through whatever is stopping us and just arrive at our destination.  It’s like beaming from “Go” to “Woah” Star Trek like, without having to wait or participate in the journey. That’s what we want.  Unfortunately, we can’t.  Between the passion and the persistence, we have to have patience.  There are times we are going to have to wait: wait for inspiration, wait for an artist, wait for a venue, wait for a contract, wait for a signature, wait for a moment, wait for the right people to come along. Creatively, we don’t like to wait. We want to make it happen. But we can’t. Not always. And often, the best material doesn’t come about when we just barrel through the creative divide. That where we have to be patient; be ready, have plans in place, have other aspects of what we’re doing prepared, and just be patient in the knowledge that through passion and persistence, our patience will pay off.

Over the last 12 months, I’ve been working toward something that I am truly passionate about. But in that process, I’ve had to be persistent and – above all – patient. And it’s all paid off. Now, the next part of the journey is about to begin; and I’m about to hit the creative “P’s” all over again. The passion is kicking in, and I know that somewhere down the line the passion will shift and the persistence will have to kick in. And at that point, I’m going to need all the patience I can muster.

But in the end, this is the creative journey that I want to make, so make it I shall.

Until next time,

Blog ya later!


Image by alberber3 

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Andrew “Drew” Lane was born in Melbourne, and began playing piano at the age of four. At age 15, he began to write his own material, and was also introduced to musical theatre via shows such as Starlight Express, Les Miserables and Time. From that moment on, Drew was actively involved in musical theatre at a rehearsal pianist, musical director, or on stage performer. In 1992, Drew composed his first musical for high school, Back Streets, and in 1994, Drew was accepted into the Ballarat Academy of Performing Arts, where he honed his skills, not only as a composer, but also as a performer. Gaining valuable experience on stage and behind the scenes helped him to realise his next musical, Atlantis. A workshop production was staged for the Ballarat Opera Festival in 1996 and gained rave reviews. In the following years, Drew took up teaching but was also able to regularly composer and stage his own productions including Eva’s Wish (1997, Anacortes, WA, USA), Revelations (1998, Touring, Victoria, Australia), and Toys (1999, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia). In 2010, Drew's musical Marking Life was chosen to be part of the Festival of Broadway, hosted by the University of Tasmania, and was performed for Steven Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin). A prolific composer, Drew hopes to be able to take his musicals to Off-Broadway or the West End, and believes that his best writing is yet to come. He is presently completing his Master’s degree in Performing Arts, and has several new musicals presently in development. Drew is proud to be a regular contributor to and looks forward to hearing from all of his readers!

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