Never Too Old To Play
By Cate Russell-Cole
If you think play can’t get you anywhere in the world, then have a look at the achievements of Mythbuster Adam Savage. Play has led Adam to a deep interest in science and a rewarding, somewhat lucrative career. http://www.adamsavage.com/
Adam describes his career this way: “I’ve been building my own toys since I was five or six, and have worked in the special effects industry, both film and commercial, for the past eight years or so. I have also worked as an animator, graphic designer, rigger, stage and interior designer, carpenter, scenic painter, welder, actor, writer, and television host… As a collector of skills, I’ve worked in metal, glass, plastics, neon, injection molding, vacu-forming, pneumatics, hydraulics, electronics, casting and moulding, welding, brazing, machining, lathing, wood, animatronics and robots.
“I’ve worked on over a hundred TV commercials, a dozen or so feature films, and am currently hosting the show Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel. I’ve worked on Star Wars Episodes I and II, Space Cowboys, Galaxy Quest, Terminator III, the Matrix sequels, and A.I. among others. I’ve done R&D for toy companies, acted in commercials and films, and done props and sets for Coca-Cola, Dow Corning, Hershey’s, Lexus, and a host of New York and San Francisco theater companies. I’m also a sculptor, of mixed media assemblage, who’s had my work represented in over forty shows in San Francisco, New York and (of all places) Charleston, West Virginia.
“If I can get inspired, I can imagine it. If I can imagine it, I can create it.” They key is to believe.
Imagination is something people believe they lose, or don’t need as they get older. Nothing could be further from the truth. The function of imagination in our lives changes as we transition from childhood to adulthood. Instead of imagining ourselves as firefighters or princesses, we start to visualize how we will handle the events and challenges we face in everyday life. For example, have you every daydreamed about how you’d like to get back at the boss, or about the kind of car or perfect lifestyle you’d like? That is still utilizing your imagination.
So, as a responsible adult, whether or not you still want to be a fireman or a princess, how do you make the most of your imagination? The most obvious technique is daydreaming. Sitting or lying in a comfortable place, and lazily turning things over in your mind is a wonderful start. It also is a valuable use of wasted commuter or waiting time. The other technique, and the most abandoned by adults, is play. The role of play doesn’t really change in adulthood. It still prepares us to deal with real life situations, reduces stress, teaches us new skills, and encourages us to put new things together in new ways. What does change as adults, is the type of toys we play with.
As adults we like to build. Home architecture and garden planning software, D.I.Y. projects, landscaping: this can be a form of creative play. We like model trains and planes, spaceships and sailing ships. There are many television shows and magazines promoting our love of crafts, home decorating and cooking. Messing around with a blank page or a blank canvas can be play. Anything you enjoy which you can experiment with can be play. The difference between serious work and play is only your attitude and approach to it.
This article is Copyright Cate Russell-Cole 2012. It may only be reproduced, with my permission, for non commercial purposes only. My name and Copyright must remain intact.