creativity first

Creativity - it has its roots in the Latin verb ‘to make’ creo - to create. Initial uses were spiritual, as in ‘divine creation’ but during the Enlightenment it became used more frequently in the field of art theory. By the 19th century its use was more diverse, relating to artistic endeavours such as writing. Creativity was still seen, however, as some kind of discretionary spiritual life force. Around the middle of the twentieth century, Creativity began to gain traction as a a concept of existence. In 1959, US Admiral Hyman Rickover predicted “a future dependent on creative brains”. Education, he said, promoted conformity. Through my talks with thousands of actors I noticed a recurring theme - actors tended to reject a conformist life preferring to focus on creativity.

Is it hyperbole to say we are heading towards a second Enlightenment? Look around; YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat - new mediums for creativity arise daily. We are all creating now, curating and documenting our lives. We are learning that creativity is not a discretionary spiritual force, a rare gift for a few people - creativity is within all of us, it is a natural state. In the words of Sir Ken Robinson, creativity is “as important in education as literacy and we should treat it with the same status.”

Actors are brimming with creativity. I want to work with artists who excite me, who are passionate about creativity and eager to explore it. I want to work with multi-platform artists who are taking their creativity to the next level and exploring all mediums. I want to nurture, develop and inspire creativity. This is JBR Creative Management.

once upon a high road...

The Kilburn High Road of the 1970s and 80s was the cultural epicentre of my universe. My social life consisted of Catholic Youth Clubs and Church Discos. I was different to the point of…pretentious. I wore a deerstalker hat from Harrods to my first no-Uniform Day. My form teacher, Mr. Johnston, paid me 10p to take it off.

Miss Clare O’Toole, my Year 3 teacher and Sister Mary Joseph the headmistress, shared two things;  a love of live theatre and a guilty pleasure in the TV series Fame. Between the two of them they have a lot to answer for. Miss O’Toole introduced me, in the space of a year, to ballet, musicals, theatre, circus, Shakespeare and performing itself. For which I never thanked her.

On Saturday mornings our family would take our usual walk up the Kilburn High Road. We paid in cheques at the small TSB, bought pic’n’mix at the Woolworths, picked up whatever we needed for the deep freeze in Beejam, bought our large crusty loaf at Paul Tregesers and Dad would pick up a copy of The Stage in WHSmiths. We’d sometimes watch a film in the gorgeous Art Deco State cinema but more often than not we’d continue to walk up to the Galtymore where Mum & Dad might chat to friends, before we headed back down, just as the pubs were opening and the High Road was beginning to bustle with activity. I'd nod to kids from school while their parents shopped the Caribbean food stalls, or supped a stout in one of the many Irish pubs.

Just by Blanks music shop, where I bought my first selection of sheet music (The Sound of Music songbook, obvs), a building I'd passed a hundred times but never noticed before, had hung a sign outside - The Tricycle Theatre. Even when we moved away from Kilburn to Willesden - or Gladstone Park as my Mother insisted we call it, my sister and I still returned to the Tricycle theatre again and again.

My sister was a founding member of the Tricycle Youth Theatre and I joined the more junior kids group. My sister worked Front of House and through her I saw so many incredible productions over the years.

Whatever I’d found, I was hooked on it. I wrote plays, directed plays, I joined choirs, I wrote to the Government about the importance of teaching music in schools, I spent seven years as a principal boy soprano at English National Opera, I sang at the Royal Festival Hall, the Royal Albert Hall and on Radio 4, I studied Film, TV and Theatre at Bristol. I returned to London and became, variously and in no particular order, an actor, a marketing manager, a stage-door keeper, a journalist, a teacher, a publican, a magazine Editor, a drag-queen, a student, a producer, a writer, a life coach and an agent.