By Lynna G

My name is Lynna Goldhar Smith, or Lynna-G for short. I am a multi-disciplinary artist--I draw, paint, write, and direct live theatre whenever I can. I believe in filling my life with as much creative expression as possible and I encourage others to do the same. I am often told that I do art in too many ways to be sensible but it's just the way I roll.

Coaching and Mentoring Youth through the Arts

I have had the pleasure for the past 35 years of coaching  and mentoring hundreds of young actors and performers, many who have gone on to successful careers in the  performing arts.

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I also coach young people in Personal Development Programs that use a multi-disciplinary approach to build creativity,  improve written and spoken  communication skills, and  enhance self confidence in young people.

Arts education is not only for kids who want careers in the visual and performing arts. Studies measuring creative visualization, critical thinking, problem solving and reasoning, reveal that when arts education is added to the educational mix, improvement is accelerated.  The  arts have been shown to help students  develop habits of sustained focus,  increase their  powers of observation, and enhance their ability to think and make good decisions.

With my multi-disciplinary- arts based approach students develop powerful communication skills,  learn to organize and communicate their ideas clearly,   develop their imaginative expression,  improve their creative writing abilities, and acquire the confidence needed for success.

Some of the skills we practice are public speaking, story-telling, writing poetry, comedy, and the art of debate.

My  students learn to build  powerful public speaking presentations, write and tell stories, and gain the self confidence to  interact with peers and adults with ease.

They also learn useful social skills including necessary emotional intelligence skills that will last a life time and help them be successful in all they do.

As a professional visual and performing artist I have a wealth of skills and experiences to draw from.  I am also a certified Life skills coach and educator– a  certified practitioner of various forms of educational, therapeutic and life enhancing creative modalities and over 30 years teaching and facilitating in educational and community settings.

My Fine Arts Education includes a Master of Fine Arts  from California Institute of the Arts -and I am a graduate of Vancouver’s prestigious acting school Studio 58.

If you would like to know about my one on one private coaching sessions tailored to meet the individual needs of each student please contact me at 604-505-3804 or email me at:On the canal purple

 

 

Struggle and the Creative Process

The creative process includes accepting mistakes and learning to trust that they can lead to a surprise, an insight, a deeper understanding, or even a better idea than the one you started with.

But they can be accompanied by horrible self doubt and anxiety.

We have to learn to proceed despite these terrible feelings.

I have learned that nothing is going wrong when things don’t go right –in art and in life for that matter. I have learned to keep going in spite of feeling horrible and awkward and incompetent and afraid.

It’s a struggle sometimes but it’s worth it. Struggle is part of the process.

It was a hard lesson to learn and one I have to keep re-visiting.

Struggling with the work used to upset me so much that I couldn’t  continue the work.  I would procrastinate or give up all together.  I didn’t know that struggling, making mistakes, doing badly at something, challenges the brain to accommodate the challenge. The brain actually grows with the concentrated effort. Trying and trying again and feeling frustrated and starting over builds the pathways that we need to eventually do whatever it is.  Playing guitar? Writing a book? Learning to juggle? Draw? Speak a new language. The brain needs to work hard to get smarter.

Many of us are terrified of failure. And so we don’t try. We don’t push past our comfort zones. We hide. We procrastinate.  We  do anything to avoid it.

But failure is one of those necessary parts of creative development.Our failures teach us more than our successes. We have to learn from them.  It’s like that wonderful quote from Samuel Beckett?  “Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter.  Try again. Fail again. Fail Better”  

Some people try to wait until they are not afraid of failing. But I think we can skip this step, because I don’t think it’s possible to lose this fear.  We have to continue with fear as a constant companion sometimes.

As painful a lesson as this is to learn it is an essential one.

Make a thousand bad drawings and somewhere before you reach a thousand you will start noticing some pretty good drawings. The brain will use the struggle to grow the talent  or the  courage or whatever it is that you need.

Write a terrible first draft and you will write a better second one– or you won’t –but be aware that  the third may be fantastic so if you are thinking of giving up-don’t and  keep going. Keep struggling.

It’s part of the process.

 


On the Balcony-

 

So what’s new?

I am delighted that our Fringe show staring Beverley Elliott  and directed by me won for the 2016  Pick of the Fringe. I had such a wonderful time working on that show with a wonderful team of artists and the amazing Beverley Elliott.  The show has bookings for 2017 and 2018. This is a wonderful thing.

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We performed the Encore presentation at Performance Works for an incredibly enthusiastic audience and we are looking forward to an un and coming tour. More details about that coming soon.

You might know Beverley from the hit show Once upon a Time on ABC. She plays Granny. You can visit her website here

Last spring I directed a hit show written by Loretta Seto, called  Dirty Old Woman starring Susinn McFarlen at the Cultch.  We sold out every performance of the run and that was pretty exciting.

Right now I am  in writing mode. I am writing two original musicals one with Bill Costin and Dylan McNulty and one all by myself called Sally Lives Here. I performed Sally Lives Here a few years ago as a solo performance experiment directed by Sarah Rodgers and I have been developing it into a musical on and off for the past few years You can read about the solo show here. I have moved it up on my list of writing priorities so I will keep you posted.

If  you are interested in seeing my paintings drawings and other scribbles and doodles come visit here.

I  am one of the co-artistic directors of a playwright based theatre company called Wet Ink Collective.  If you would like to learn more about that you can visit us here

If you would like to contact me leave a note in the comments or you can find me at lgscreativeprojects@gmail.com or mslynna.g@gmail.com