By Chris Dunmire | Updated September 16, 2018
"The guiding thought has always been: how can we live a life that is inauthentic to our gifts? Impossible and out the question!" Diana Rivera
When I first connected with Diana Rivera through her writing about Ukraine artist Kseniya Simonova, I was so taken in not just by the way she expressed herself, but by the way she mirrored the beautiful artistic nature of another through her words. Diana's writing is powerful engaging in it is like boarding a vessel for an awe-inspiring journey across an ocean of wonder.
I admit, I was also intrigued by her work resume Diana 'teaches the art of Drama to children, arts integration to teachers and creative empowerment/success to individuals in the creative industry as a Creative Empowerment Coach ... and develops original content for children's TV, children's books and professionally for the theatre.'
That's some serious creative stuff to be involved in and it made me curious to learn more. So I was thrilled when Diana let me press her for more details in an interview over the holiday break when she had some time off work. Here's what she had to say...
Q: Diana, on your blog you state that you're "an entrepreneur, artist, creator, humanitarian, facilitator and creative empowerment life coach" and "befriend, admire and champion the fierce in mind and gentle in spirit who strive to be in full embodiment of their creative self." Tell me about the journey that led you to this place, and what it means to you on a daily level.
A: At any early age, I was surrounded by the creative activity of storytellers/technicians/artists and learned through the osmosis of practice and collaboration many things. I was one of many links forming a collaboration with a connective thread of creativity lacing the spaces between us. Without our imagination in step, our courageous hearts open and our willingness, we never would have created the magic we did. Over time, I began to link that chain to a greater social service: creativity expressed in the form of a painting to a story on film can allow the creator to touch the very core of humanity.
Developing a professional life in the arts always poses its challenges. You know from a visceral level the genuine need for creativity in your life and others, but how to create a life that melds your passions and finances. I have always encouraged my friends/colleagues to continue forth in the area of passion and talent by offering empowering conversation, connecting people, sending friend's grant notices, links to this and that. I have always thought 5-10 steps in the future for people. The guiding thought has always been: how can we live a life that is inauthentic to our gifts? Impossible and out the question!
I can definitely say that my desire to support the creative professionals of this world be it emerging, mid-level, etc. has grown exponentially into the formation of a coaching practice, facilitation and writing. On a daily basis I am open to inspiration in this arena from books, films, lectures and good old conversation. My mind and imagination is open to expansion and most importantly developing the authentic capacity in me to bring about my creative practice.
Q: How would someone know if they are living a life that is inauthentic to their gifts?
A: My experience leads me to believe that one is not being authentic to their gifts when they feel stress, unhappiness, dissonance with their life. The body-spirit connection is vital to the arts and when isn't being channeled, it creates other repercussions, even disease.
Q: What is a creative empowerment life coach?
A: I am certified as a Core Energy Life and Personal Development Coach. As my niche is creativity, I have used this title to best express the context of what I do. The content of the coaching practice is to work with creative professionals on a variety of aspects connected to their overall well-being, levels of empowerment and success, and to get them to be and do whatever it is they want. This could mean:
The content of the practice changes from client to client. I am working now on content for a 10-week program in Los Angeles that will utilize creative collaboration to advance one's creative project planning.
Q: How do you begin the process of working with a new client? Where can potential clients learn more about your coaching services?
A: I start with acquiring necessary information on my client's goals, values and blocks. The coaching begins and can carry on for a variety of weeks depending on what will serve the individual. The only end goal is the one my client sets for themselves. They can learn about my services on my Web site.
Q: What are some examples of approaches you might take with someone looking to "develop stronger bonds for collaboration"?
A: In any project, I create an anabolic team. This type of team refers to individuals or groups of individuals who can help bring positive collaboration to a work. I consider what is needed to fulfill the project, what skill sets I have and don't have, and who might best engage in the work.
Q: You also "develop original content for children's TV, children's books and professionally for the theatre." Can you tell me more about that?
A: I have been writing theatrically for years. I have developed individually and in collaboration with other writers an array of theatrical works many of which were inspired by the theatricality of vaudeville and cabaret. The last show I worked was the creative imagining of the character Betty Boop's origins.
In the classroom, I have created a variety of characters that I have taught creative Drama around. One of my characters I wrote into a children's book, along with 6 weeks of curriculum, and am in the process of publishing what I envision to be a series. As for the TV project, I have a proposal of a show that I am ready to pitch and am in the process of laying the ground work to make that happen! Exciting and timely!
Q: Wow, exciting and timely for sure! When you say you've "been writing theatrically for years," it brings to mind the artist's creative process. Can you tell me a little bit about yours?
A: A lot of my theatrical writing has been a result of a character that has found me and most times, I feel that they character's voice is speaking through me. I have had some unique situations occur with character development when I listened to the motive of the character and considered who she/he is in the environment she/he is in.
Q: Much of your creative energy goes into work destined to be performed in front of an audience. Creatives of all kinds (artists, writers, performers) have so much of their life's meaning and purpose sewn up in the forthcoming show. But tell me, after the curtain comes down and the audience goes home, who is Diana Rivera when she's standing alone in the wings?
A: An effervesent lover and philosopher of life, the human condition and nature. I'm a ponderer, a warrior, a sage in a younger person's body. My imagination is constantly musing over things and discovering new possibilities. I never feel stuck on one experience as I know how dynamic life is and continues to be.
Q: What advice would you like to impart to anyone considering journeying into a creative career like yours?
A: Bold yet flexible fearlessness to live your truth, every moment of every day. Be responsible, cover your bases but keep your heart wide open and imagination on fire. Create time to invent in your art form. Don't nag yourself for an answer, it's on its way.
Learn more about Diana Rivera at CreativeEmpowermentCoaching.com.
©2010 Chris Dunmire. All rights reserved.
Diana Rivera is a Performing Artist, Producer and Facilitator of drama, arts-integration in the classroom and creative empowerment coach. ...