There are many examples of creative people who are multitalented and able to engage in a wide range of creative expressions. But many face challenges that can get in the way.
Tina Fey is a writer, comedian, screenwriter, actor, a previous host of the Golden Globes telecast, and producer.
Tina Fey “attended Upper Darby High School, where she was an honor student, a member of the choir, drama club, and tennis team, and co-editor of the school’s newspaper, The Acorn. She also anonymously wrote the newspaper’s satirical column, The Colonel. Fey enrolled at the University of Virginia, where she studied play-writing and acting. She graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in drama.” [Wikipedia]
The Mommy Track’d blog enthuses, “Tina Fey must have the secret. It’s not easy to juggle a high-flying career, a marriage and a three-year-old daughter all at once. But Fey’s doing it and doing it pretty well.”
Read more quotes in post: Motherhood and creative work – an excerpt from my main book.
In her wry and funny book Bossypants she relates an amusing anecdote you might relate to – I do:
“Great. I looked at the two identical bottles of rug detergent on the back porch. One was new and returnable. One was six months old and half empty. But which was which? I couldn’t tell! They were opaque. I knew that word because I was in the Gifted Program, but it didn’t help me in that split second… I would never be placed in the Common Sense Program.”
From post: Tina Fey: A presentation of her giftedness and talents by Nicole Burda.
The post refers to the book Growing Up Gifted: Developing the Potential of Children at School and at Home by Barbara Clark.
Achievement and self-realization aren’t assured
A high level of achievement and fulfillment is not automatic or assured for all gifted and talented adults.
Probably most high ability, multitalented people struggle with multiple inner and outer concerns that can slow or stop achievement.
Author Marylou Kelly Streznewski says in her book Gifted Grownups, “For too long society has believed that if you aren’t president of General Motors, you aren’t gifted. If the estimates of the researchers are correct, and between 3% and 5% of the population is gifted, then we are talking about several million people.
“What the interviews [in the book] revealed was that a gifted person of multiple talents may not be as fortunate as a multitalented Bill Bradley (Rhodes scholar, basketball star, senator, author). He or she may be struggling through a series of false starts into careers and college majors, trying desperately to find the one that clicks.”
‘Confidence is 10 per cent hard work and 90 per cent delusion.’
From 14 Tina Fey Quotes That Are Just So Very Wise by Kiara Keane, marieclaire.co.uk.
Realizing you are exceptional
A therapist and head of a private adult school, Mary Rocamora has found “Simply knowing one is gifted often opens a floodgate of energy. Clients who came to therapy with established gifted identities were characteristically passionate, intense, and unafraid to unleash the shadow side of their personality.”
From her article Counseling Issues with Recognized and Unrecognized Gifted Adults – which is, she notes, “based on my own experience over the last 13 years counseling multi-talented performers, writers, metaphysicians, and people who were clearly gifted in self-transformation. I have worked extensively with two types of gifted clients: those who knew they were gifted and were highly self-actualizing in their field, and those whose giftedness was unrecognized, masked, under-utilized, or thwarted in some way.”
One way to learn more about your real talents is to find and engage your passions.
Chris and Janet Attwood write on their site The Passion Test: “People who are passionate work harder, do better work and more motivated than those who aren’t. Needless to say they also enjoy their work more.
“Who do you think has the greatest opportunity to prosper when times are tough? The person who hates their work and has to drag themselves to work every day, or the person who loves what they’re doing and can hardly wait to get to it?”
The photo is Gordon Parks (1912-2006), often referred to as a renaissance man: film work, poetry, photography, music, novels, and more.
In their articles on the Scanner personality and Renaissance Souls, Barbara Sher and Margaret Lobenstine write about “bringing a passionate attention” to a variety of interests, simultaneously or serially.
Multitalented doesn’t mean you have to do it all at once, all the time.
And there are many factors that can encourage or inhibit talents.
In her article Common Misconceptions About the Gifted, Mary Rocamora notes “the term ‘gifted’ refers to individuals who, in addition to high intelligence, share personality traits such as perfectionism, introversion, intensity, sensitivity, idealism, and overexcitability.
She writes, “As Abraham Maslow noted, giftedness can manifest in a myriad of ways, although we don’t typically reward our gifted auto mechanics and gifted homemakers. Another misconception is that ability automatically leads to high achievement, that compelling talent will overcome all obstacles.
“As children, many of us heard inspiring stories about eminent men and women who did just that. However, the reality is that there are both circumstantial and psychological factors that can adversely affect the actualization of the gifted.
“Poverty, ethnicity, opportunity, lack of understanding about the nature of giftedness in the family, and being female are circumstances that can impede talent development.”
Ellen Winner, PhD says, “We cannot assume a link between early giftedness, no matter how extreme, and adult eminence. The factors that predict the course of a life are multiple and interacting. Over and above level of ability, important roles are played by personality, motivation, the family environment, opportunity, and chance.”
From her book: Gifted Children : Myths and Realities.
In addition to his work as an actor in movies (Witness, The Lord of the Rings, A History of Violence, and many others), Viggo Mortensen is a writer, musician, poet, photographer and painter with exhibitions at art galleries around the world.
He founded independent publishing house Perceval Press with partner Pilar Perez to publish his books and CDs, plus works of other lesser-known authors, including a book speaking out against the war in Iraq.
From my post Viggo Mortensen: “Why just one thing?”
One of his quotes I really like: “Photography, painting or poetry – those are just extensions of me, how I perceive things, they are my way of communicating.”
That is among many other quotes from multitalented writers, actors and other creative people, as well as creativity researchers and psychologists, that I have included in my book Developing Multiple Talents: The personal side of creative expression.
That link goes to the book site, which includes excerpts and longer articles, such as:
Also see my listing of Books for the Creative Mind.
There are many other examples of people who can inspire us, showing that we can overcome obstacles and contribute our talents to this great journey of life.