Lynn McCune: Artist Spotlight
In the spirit of bringing creativity everyday life, I want to start interviewing creative people I know. First off, my good friend Lynn McCune. She is an actress/musician in NYC making a living off her creativity and talent. I asked her a few questions about creativity, find out what she had to say below:
JustStayCurious: Can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?
Lynn McCune: Well, I’m a product of a Physics Professor/Engineer Dad and an English Teacher/Singer Mom, so I feel blessed to be able to think both Concrete/Sequentially and Abstract/Randomly. While my Mom is the Artsy one, I do think some of my “creativity” comes from the Engineering abiIities I inherited from my Dad! I started singing probably before I began to speak, and as a child enjoyed making up songs, re-enacting scenes from movies I’d seen, playing dress-up and make-believe…and now even as a grown-up I’m continuing to do just that, and I get paid for it! How cool is that?!!
JSC: What does creativity mean to you?
Lynn McCune: I guess for me creativity means imagination. Not just seeing the fact of what’s in front of you, but seeing what might be.
JSC: Have you always worked in the creative industry?
Lynn McCune: I “worked” in offices on and off from the Summer after my Junior Year in High School till I was 33, but always did theatre in the evenings, and sang on the side. When I went to college at Mount Holyoke, I knew I wanted to be a Theatre Major. The first Summer off, I went back to office work, but the next few Summers were spent with the Mount Holyoke College Summer Theatre. One of my later office jobs was writing and producing in-house training videos for an insurance company, so there was some creativity in that day-job, as well!
JSC: During the times that you had to take survival jobs, how did you keep creativity active in your life?
Lynn McCune: I did community theater, and also used creativity at my job when possible. At my last office job, I was on the entertainment committee for the monthly parties we held to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, new employees, employees leaving, etc. I wrote and performed song parodies for each employee.
JSC: Why is everyday creative living important?
Lynn McCune: I think creativity empowers us to make changes in our world for the better. It’s a way to stand out, be different, and make a difference.
JSC: What advice would you have for someone who wants to add creativity into their daily lives?
Lynn McCune: This is such a hard question to answer! It would help if I knew where they are now and what they feel their obstructions are. Some people aren’t in a position to make suggestions to their boss on how to improve procedures at work. But at home, you know that saying, “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”? I’ve invented some things to help me in my everyday chores, and that could be a way for someone to begin if they aren’t inclined to write, paint, etc. I also get a lot out of movies, books, TV shows, but I also have an Empathetic nature which others may not have. One silly inspiration for me is the Tinkerbell movies from Disney. Seriously. I didn’t realize it till I was in my 30’s and saw the Disney version of Peter Pan for the first time…I’d always seen Tink introducting the Disney Movie of the Week on Sunday nights growing up, and thought she had an hourglass figure. And I wanted one, too. When I finally saw the movie, and saw her get stuck in the drawer’s keyhole because her hips were too big, I actually thought to myself, “I’m OK!! Her hips are bigger than her bust, too!!” That was when I realized my body image was totally based on a cartoon character. BUT, when I started watching her movies, I found our similarities went beyond our both being petite blondes. We both Tinker. We both love Found Things. And we both love to Create. I adore the Tinkerbell movies, so even your readers aren’t petite blonde, I hope they’ll check them out :)
JSC: What do you think of the people who say that they aren’t creative?
Lynn McCune: Creativity involves imagination. If you’ve ever looked at a cloud formation and seen something other than a cloud, you have the capacity for creativity! If you haven’t, that doesn’t mean you can’t, just give it a try! Creativity is more than arts, crafts, and performance, although those are probably the best outlets. It’s about seeing beyond reality, facts, “what is,” and envisioning “what could be.” One example for me is when I moved into my studio apartment. I knew I had way more stuff than could fit, but I made a little diagram of the room, cut out little pieces of post-it notes in the shapes of my furniture, and created a way to fit everything in. It involved putting dressers and garment racks perpendicular to the long wall, creating three sub-rooms. I now have a bedroom, dressingroom, and office in a space that most people use as one livingroom/bedroom. This question actually reminds me of when I thought I couldn’t do “Improv.” I used to think it meant coming up with something funny to say in any situation, which I totally cannot do. The fact is, Improv is simply being given a set of parameters, and behaving the way you would if you were in that situation. If something funny happens, that’s cool, but the entertainment comes from your commitment to situation. To anyone who thinks they aren’t creative, I would say that you probably, as I did with the idea of Improv, have an incorrect definition of Creativity.
JSC: How has creativity enriched your life?
Lynn McCune: I think creativity is a great problem-solving tool. We all have obstacles in our lives, and with a creative mind we can invent ways to deal with those obstacles.