Several loose ideas that have been swirling for years may be taking some type of cohesive shape. Not sure, but I think so.
First, the swirlies:
- What are we going to do with all the chairs in the new office? Desk chairs, the padded kind that spin. The previous tenant didn’t want to take them all, so now we have far more than we need. We’ve been mulling what to do with them.
- The new office features a good-sized open area, where chairs could go (if you had extra ones, for example), with a big white board in the middle of it.
- The new office works hard Mon-Fri, but sits fairly quiet on Saturdays.
- When it comes to the creative thing, I don’t feel like I know all that much. But I do feel like there are things I know now that I wish I knew then. And there are plenty of mistakes I’ve made that maybe others could learn from. And sometimes, it can be good to share what we have, as meager as it may be. Maybe there would be some value to trying to share whatever we have with those on the earlier end of their creative journey, not so that they can accomplish what we’ve accomplished, but so that they can go hopefully far beyond. Plus, I happen to know people who know things. Maybe I could persuade some of them to come share what they know.
Lightstone has always been about trying to use our creative talents for good things. Not that every creative work has to be “churchy.” I mean, I don’t want that guy, the old guy who longs for the good ol’ days and who moans that nothing good has come out since Singing in the Rain, but I’m finding that many things that I’ve always held to be good and true are becoming more and more rare. It seems the world is turning meaner by the week. It would be easy to get jaded and throw in the towel. However, I believe that there are some among us who have been blessed with creative talents that, if developed, could produce work that would lift and inspire us, even as they entertain us, even as much of the entertainment world seeks to push the envelope more desperately in extreme directions in an effort to get noticed. But those talents among us could be lost or perhaps not achieve what they otherwise might have without some nurturing and encouragement.
- There is value in bringing like-minded souls together for support, for creative input, and for keeping an eye out for opportunities for one another. Once those ties have been established, such souls can give a hand to each other many times over the course of their careers, allowing them to potentially achieve more than each trying to manage alone.
- Some creative talents take years of cultivation to arrive at a level that can make an impact. The law of the harvest teaches us that we have to plant the apple seed many years before we can enjoy the apples, which dissuades most from even planting. Let’s be willing to start planting.
Where the Swirlies May Be Heading
It’s an idea we’ve talked about many times over the years, but maybe the time has come: Lightstone Academy, or maybe Lightstone Preparatory Academy, or Lightstone Institute, or Lightstone Conservatory of the Arts, or Lightstone Preparatory Conservatory of the Arts Institute, or Lightstone Something — you get the idea (but probably not going with “Lightstone Something”).
Current thoughts. Subject to change, but throwing these out there to see if anything sticks. For the first class: Writing 101 (maybe a specific slant, such as screenwriting and/or playwrighting; might see if I can persuade Ken to do the next session on the mysterious art of producing). In my limited experience, writing courses or groups that I’ve encountered have tended to gravitate toward the darker, edgier or more extreme sides of the craft, which is fine, if that’s your thing. But maybe there is room for a different kind of writing course/group, one that is going to explore ways that we can lift, even as we entertain.
The 10s. Mulling the idea of limiting enrollment to a 10-student cohort, probably all about the same stage of their development or life (right now, thinking high school age or thereabouts for this first session, anyway), for 10 Saturday mornings (beginning sometime after the new year), starting at 10 a.m. Two-hour sessions, including a mix of lecture, sharing work and developing our constructive feedback techniques, writing exercises, guest presentations, etc. Probably have some type of a nominal fee, just to make sure group members are committed, but partially waivable if circumstances require. And yes, there’d be homework (if you’re a writer, you’ll have homework the rest of your life, get used to it).
Maybe we could eventually entertain the idea of distance learning. But for starters, probably just focus on seeing if there is sufficient interest locally (our office is in downtown Provo). Maybe later we could offer a version that would be not for high schoolers, but for those who are a little further along in life, whether exploring their creative side for the first time or revisiting them after a period of focusing on other things.
I don’t know if there are 10 people out there in that general age group who would be interested. But I figure the first step is throwing it out there. Interested? Suggestions? Willing to be a guest presenter? Drop me a line or post something below.
Just curious to see if we do have something to do with those extra chairs?