I’m a huge 30 Rock and Tina Fey fan, so as soon as her new book “Bossypants” was on the shelves in Aus I raced to get it, and then read it cover to cover in one sitting. It’s brilliant. I laughed, laughed, laughed and learnt some great life lessons on the way. Tina shares the “Rules of Improv” all of which can be applied to your everyday life.

Here they are:

Rule # 1: Agree
[T]he Rule of Agreement reminds you to “respect what your partner has created” and to at least start from an open-minded place. Start with a YES and see where it takes you.
When you’re on stage performing, you need to go with whatever the other performer throws at you. You can’t stop the show, shoot an idea down and then spend several minutes coming up with something better. You need to make whatever is happening in the moment work. The same should be said for book discussions: be willing to throw ideas out there. When someone tries something, even if it’s comparing Snooki’s Shore Thing to Jane Eyre, go with it before you decide to move on. You might come out of it with new insight into both Jersey Shore and the Brontë sisters.

Rule #2: Yes, and…
YES, AND means don’t be afraid to contribute. It’s your responsibility to contribute. Always make sure you’re adding something to the discussion. Your initiations are worthwhile.

Rule #3: Make statements
Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles.

Rule #4: There are no mistakes
In improv, there are no mistakes, only beautiful happy accidents.

I find so many people to be hard and almost impossible to have a conversation with these days. People that shut down ideas, adventure and any sense of fun. People that give one word answers to questions and never ask you a question in return. BLERG!

So give the rules of improv a go! Be interesting, be positive and get involved!

 

Orange Conference  is on Right Now in Atlanta and there is a whole bunch of cool people there. Including my Big Bro,  Malcolm but sadly not including ME!! 

Those of us not there are following all the tweets and checking out the action on the orange backstage website

I’ve set my Bro the task of finding some of my twitter buddies and to try and to talk about Hillsong Kids BIG curriculum as much as he can, seeing as I’m not there to talk it up! (He’s actually from Melbourne and is part of the team at Careforce church and they’ve just used Hillsong Kids BIG).

So far he’s said hi to Jim Wideman for me and run into one of my fav’s Robyn Collins! See pic above. I think she’s one of the only people that read this little blog and as strange as it is we’re like long lost creatives who’ve found each other on the net. Ha! Her team is also using Hillsong Kids BIG right now and are writing some drama scripts to go along with the series. If you want to check them out I’m sure they’d be happy to share! http://www.dearheartists.wordpress.com

If you’re at Orange.. Have a blast! Wish I was there with you all. Maybe one day! Everyone needs to tell Dave Wakerley a.k.a the big cheese boss that I need to be sent to Orange 2012

Yesterday was my Birthday! We had a great party last night. I’ll post a bit more of a party planning at some stage with pics of the decorations, cakes, party set up and of course all the beautiful people!!

Thanks everyone for your Birthday wishes on facebook, twitter, text and email, calls (and for coming to the party). I have some pretty great friends!! Lotta love to you all.
K

Doesn’t this just make you want to cycle through the streets of paris with a baugette in the basket?

Let’s face it… sometimes you draw the short straw, you end up with the tough unwanted tasks, everything in one day goes wrong, you’re up the creek without a paddle. Sometimes it’s just the way it is. Too bad princess… don’t make excuses, make it right. It’s not about whose fault it is, or who should have done what so you didn’t have to etc… We all have a part to play. Be that spleen or toe that no one thinks is important but we can’t live without… AND ENJOY IT.

We can all do our best to grow teams, teach others, plan better etc. And even then if you are doing anything worthwhile and moving forward at any great speed you will STILL be finding yourself doing the yards no one else will. Cause that’s what innovation, excellence and influence is all about…and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

First blog post of 2011…
It’s been a busy January and there’s no slowing down around here… Can’t believe it’s already the 21st!

This year –
I’m going to take a holiday. I don’t know where or when but it will involve reading through the pile of books that are mounting up in my room.
I’m going to surprise myself with what I can achieve by Jan 2012
I’m going to learn a new skill (more than one I hope)
I’m going to start writing for no reason other than to enjoy it
I’m going to take more photos and learn what all the extra buttons on the digital SLR actually do
I’m going to have more fun
I’m going to make a mistake and accept it
I’m going to meet new friends
I’m going to invest into another person more than ever before
I’m going to forgive more quickly and more often
I’m going to laugh and make others laugh

Oh life’s going to be a slice of HEAVEN in 2011

At the close of 2010 I thought I’d share a few of the best things I did this year.

1. Discovered that I had it in me to be a full time creative.
Not just be a person that squeezed moments if creativity into an admin and task based life. This has changed me so much. How I approach things, the appreciation I have for people in creative industries or roles and that i purposefully take the time to cultivate creativity. And to my soul it has done well. Selah

2. Had a Hitchcock movie festival.
So it was a movie festival just for me, no one else was invited. Although others have taken the idea, done the same and we’ve had a great time discussing the films. If you’re thinking of doing the same- here’s my advice: watch any bonus features on the DVD, interviews with the actors and research each film. I learnt so much about the art of story telling and film making techniques.
Here’s the Hitchcock films I liked the most:
Charade, rear window, north by northwest, vertigo, the birds, marnie, psycho (and others- this could be a whole blog post of it’s own).

3. Took lunch breaks.
I was the kind of person that if there was any sort if deadline I would work through lunch to meet it. I would hate to have anyone waiting on me for something to be finished. Once I thought I would rebel and make someone wait while I got lunch. I went to the shops and there I see everyone else working on something “urgent” getting lunch!!! So now I take lunch breaks everyday (almost) and i’m much happier for it, and no one has even noticed the difference.

4. Collected Vinyl and got a record player.
I’d always wanted to do this but never indulged in the idea. But turns out it has been a really fun journey and I use my record player quite a bit so it’s been well worth the time.
Most of my record collection has been from thrift stores for $1 each and I’ve found some classics! Bing Crosby, Shirley Bassey, Diana Ross, lots of musicals etc.
After a long day I love to sit out on the balcony of my room and listen to some music to relax. And to my soul it has done well. It’s my happy place.

5. Grew my hair really long.
You probably don’t care about this AT ALL but it’s MY list, so too bad for you. I’ve had short, just above shoulder length hair for years. This year I grew it out and it’s awesome.

Happy New Year to everyone and I pray 2011 will be full of joy, laughter and dreams come true.

K

In my current adventures in typography and it’s history I came across this movie in the making….
Ooh how interesting… I can’t wait to see it!

And you can get onto their website and kickstarter project to help the movie get over the line.
http://linotypefilm.com


Let’s face it, life is busy and when you work lots and have a long to do list, it’s easy to get stressed and overwhelmed. The first thing to go is usually your grace and love for others.

So today I drew a heart on my hand… At times I wasn’t lovely and full of grace so I would look down at the heart on my hand and remind myself that what I do is all for love. My hands work, typing away, filming, editing, designing, lifting and even vacuuming ALL FOR LOVE. It’s about God and people and being an exhausted grump is not really about love at all. I did ok today, not perfect (who is??) but sorta ok. Tomorrow is another chance… I should draw a bigger heart eh?

LOVE

IMG_3594

A great Highlight we have been doing at Hillsong Kids for the last few years has been taking kids photos with Santa. Let me just say upfront that we have no issues with Santa being at church at Christmas time, in fact we LOVE IT!! So if your ministry is ok with it, Santa Photos can be a real win.
Parents can use their own cameras or we take the photos, get them printed during the week and have them available for parents to collect the following weekend.

Here’s my checklist:
– Santa Suit
– Person to be Santa
– Decorated Tree and Presents
– Santa Throne (or awesome chair for Santa to sit on)
– Small chairs for parents to sit on in the photo if their children won’t stay in the picture alone)
– Camera and tripod
– Photographer (I’m using a young budding photographer, who can be enthusiastic, skilled and best of all FREE)
– Santa Helpers to write down families details and give out collection tickets
– Clipboard and details page
– Collection Tickets
– Candy canes for Santa to give out

(I have included a PDF with this post with the details page and collection tickets I’ve made)
Click on this link for the artwork:
Santa photos 2010

STEP 1: Decorate your set with Christmas Tree, Santa’s chair, wrapped presents and make sure the lighting is warm and bright. (I usually do this the night before)
STEP 2: On the day, set up your tripod and camera at the right distance to nicely frame your pictures. Place some masking tape on the ground to mark the position. I take my Santa Photos in portrait.
STEP 3: Once your team and Santa are in place have parents write their name and contact number on the sheet, Santa’s helper writes a quick description of the child (e.g. Blond hair, Spong Bob shirt, red shorts) and writes a number on the page and a number on a photo collection ticket to give to the parent.
STEP 4: Child sits with Santa and smiles!! (well we hope they smile.. I could start a whole other blog of funny pics where the child has exploded with tears upon seeing Santa… too funny..Ha!)
STEP 5: Snap the pic, Santa gives child a candy cane and then it’s the next child’s turn.

During the week you can take the photos to be printed, sort them in order, place each photo in an envelope with the photo number and the surname written on it.
The next weekend have the Photos ready at your designated Santa Photo Collection point.

It’s lots of Fun, creates a great atmosphere and can be a highlight for your weekend programs.

Merry Christmas!!