2010 Creative Careers Interviews : JoAnn Bromley Interview
Creative Careers in the Arts Interviews
'Ask Mama!' Performer
By Molly Anderson-Childers
JoAnn Bromley, creative powerhouse and the mastermind behind the one-woman show, "Ask Mama," is our guest this month. Ms. Bromley earned a Bachelor of Arts in theatre performance, and is currently enrolled in a graduate expressive arts program at Salve Regina. JoAnn has acted, directed, and taught throughout New England and New York. She is a born artist, exploring all mediums including, but never limited to collage, mural painting, polymer clay, and jewelry making. She has studied under such great teachers as Doreen Virtue, Sonja Choquette, SARK, and Loretta LaRoche, to name a few. She's also a teacher in her own right, offering classes and dishing out a healthy portion of down-to-earth advice onstage, in the guise of her character, "Mama."
Q: Welcome to Creativity Portal! Can you tell our readers a little more about your upcoming classes?
A: My classes are an eclectic mix featuring art, theater and/or spirit. My mission is to encourage everyone to tap into their creativity, especially those who don't believe that they are creative. We are born creators the more you do it, the more accessible it becomes to your thought process. My favorite thing is to incorporate play into all activities. I don't even like to use the term "art" because it seems to inhibit most people.
All expression is needed and it is the process that I believe is most revealing. I believe that during the act of any creating we are connected to our purest source.
My class, "Spirit Awakening Water-color Collage," came about through divine inspiration. I came across Marianne Williamson's quote, "Our deepest Fear" and thought I need to be reminded of this everyday so I thought I'd paint a picture and then write the quote across the work. I purchased a huge canvas, and began to paint with acrylics. l didn't like it, so I washed over that and started again. I didn't like this painting either, so I put it aside.
In the days after I kept getting prompts to go buy watercolors. I had never worked with watercolors, and didn't know anything about using them! I bought a box of watercolors and a pad and I began to play with the colors and the brushes and the water, and created a variety of paintings. Then I was moved to rip them all up not out of frustration, but as a method ripping the pictures in a variety of sizes. I decided to collage on my canvas, and I tell you I was awe struck. I loved the art work so much that I hated putting the quote over it but I did. I was so moved by the process that I realized this is a perfect way to get people to create without limiting themselves by what they imagine the end product should be. It's a great way to play, because when you have to do so many pictures you begin truly letting go and letting the subconscious take over, and that is a beautiful thing.
Q: What is your most popular class?
A: "Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting" is the most popular. This class has certainly evolved since its inception. Reading this book profoundly changed my way of thinking, and I immediately wanted to teach a class based on it. With the author's blessing I began, and the more I taught, the more I discovered the resistance to imaginations big and bold and wild, and the timidity in dreaming and wishing. I realized that people need to get back their childlike playful artistic instincts. The classes are still based on the basic tenets of the book, but I further explore using every possible medium and expression to shake up the dormant cravings that lie within us all.
Q: Any practical advice from "Mama" for our readers who are stuck, blocked or experiencing a bad case of the winter doldrums?
A: Get off your A%#! Go outside, even if it's only for five minutes, and get some sun. You need to change the way you go about things try something different, eat something different, smell something different. Wake up your senses and I assure you that ideas aplenty will flow when you get outta your own way. Break away from the usual and stretch your abilities, your possibilities. Do something that scares you something that gives you pause.
Q: Any words of advice for fledgling creative souls hoping to see their names in the bright lights of the marquee?
A: I live my life like a Weeble do you remember those toys? "Weebles wobble but they don't fall down." That is what I am. I wobble, sometimes more than seems right, but it just gives me more strength to get up and reinvent. I think everyone should have their name on a marquee at least once, and you can make it happen whether it's the local library or Madison Square Garden. You have that in you you know you do, because you feel it. Think big, think creatively and think compassionately.
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