Ollie Mealing, creator of Control and Recoil, has worked his share of corporate events, parties and other performances, and is a consultant for Derren Brown. He’s also created a series of incredible performance videos that have amazed thousands of viewers. These are his thoughts about finding creative inspiration when in need of it.
Becoming a magician is primarily a solo venture. The extent of what you’re able to grasp is determined by how far you reach.
For that reason, when you’re not hitting your goal, it may not necessarily be due to lack of effort (although persistence is essential), it could simply be because of investing too much effort into the wrong actions. So with that in mind, the question we need to ask ourselves is what other actions are at our disposal.
The answer is an unlimited amount. Actions are the result of actively responding to inspiration, inspiration is the result of processing various stimuli and, in turn, being exposed to various stimuli is the result of you seeking it.
In order to expand your magic you need to expand your mind.
Imagine a pool of water: To remain fresh, it needs a constant steady flow of water entering it. The same imagery is applicable to your mind — a constant steady flow of inspiration is constructive towards discovering new possible actions.
You can only get as far as the tools you give yourself, without taking new actions and ADDING to what you have, you’ll struggle to progress. Consider a vehicle: Without topping off the fuel it can’t sustain infinite movement. Progression is always the result of addition, even if scrapping an action is necessary, the reason to do so is from the addition of a thought.
It’s a common sensation to feel that our ability to progress has hit a wall. I think this is related to the eventual trapping of ourselves into patterns or routines. These are comfortable, they give us an important sense of control (plug), but they limit the stimuli we’re exposed to, which creatively risks stunting our development/awareness of new actions.
I remember a Tony Robbins quote: “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”
So when all else seems redundant, the key to progression (in my mind) is variety, intent and application. Actively seek fresh stimuli, extract ideas from them and act upon as you deem necessary.
The rules you abide by dictate the game you play.