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Creativity and the Performing Artist - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128040515, 9780128041086

Creativity and the Performing Artist

1st Edition

Behind the Mask

Authors: Paula Thomson S. Jaque
eBook ISBN: 9780128041086
Hardcover ISBN: 9780128040515
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 30th December 2016
Page Count: 500
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Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Author Biographies
  • Acknowledgments
  • Section I: Creativity Theory and Performing Artists
    • 1. Understanding creativity in the performing arts
      • Abstract
      • Definitions and expert evaluations
      • Integrative models
      • Heuristic assessment: three-dimensional and geneplore models
      • Componential model of creativity
      • The Darwinian evolutionary theory of creativity
      • Investment and propulsion theory
      • Distributed creativity theory
      • Social network theory and small world groups
      • Systems model
      • Complexity theory and creativity classification system
      • Summary
      • Concluding remarks
    • 2. Domains in the performing arts
      • Abstract
      • Introduction: domain-general and domain-specific creativity
      • Interpreters, generators, and intermediaries
      • Performing arts domains/fields
      • Dance
      • Media arts
      • Music
      • Opera
      • Theater
      • Performing artists working outside the five primary NEA fields
      • Performance art
      • Summary
      • Concluding remarks
    • 3. The person: Talent and performing artists
      • Abstract
      • Talent or giftedness
      • Pyramid of talent development model and three-ring model
      • Multiple intelligences
      • Theory of positive disintegration
      • The five overexcitabilities
      • Talent-development mega-model
      • Summary
      • Concluding remarks
    • 4. Creative experiences
      • Abstract
      • Introduction
      • Interpreters and the creative process
      • Rehearsal and the creative process
      • Performing a character
      • Performing noncharacter works
      • Experiencing the creative process
      • Summary
      • Concluding remarks
    • 5. Imagination and fantasy
      • Abstract
      • Imagination
      • Fantasy and fantasy proneness
      • Employing imagination and fantasy
      • Summary
      • Concluding remarks
  • Section II: Biological Manifestations of Creativity in Performing Artists
    • 6. Neurobiology, creativity, and performing artists
      • Abstract
      • The brain
      • Functional neural networks
      • Measuring brain activity
      • Generative and evaluative modes of creativity
      • Cognitive processes: divergent, convergent, insight, and working memory
      • Neuroaesthetics and performing arts
      • Mirror neurons and creativity in the performing arts
      • The body and creativity: real-time creative action
      • Neurofeedback training and the performing artist
      • Summary
      • Concluding remarks
    • 7. Physiology and creativity
      • Abstract
      • Introduction
      • Physiology and creative stress: a dynamic process
      • Cardiac and respiratory systems and performance
      • Autonomic nervous system
      • Heart rate variability and creativity
      • Emotional expressivity and autonomic nervous system physiology
      • Physiological performance demands
      • Musculoskeletal systems and kinesthetic creativity
      • Fitness and performers
      • Enhancing physiological conditioning
      • Summary
      • Concluding remarks
    • 8. Flow and neurophysiological responses
      • Abstract
      • Introduction
      • Embodied flow, genetic heritability, and flow proneness
      • Neuroscience and flow experiences
      • Neurochemistry and flow experiences
      • Physiology and flow experiences
      • Neurophysiological approaches to enhance flow experiences
      • Summary
      • Concluding remarks
  • Section III: Development of the Performing Artist
    • 9. Early development
      • Abstract
      • Introduction
      • Erik Erikson’s psychosocial model of development
      • Prenatal development and epigenetics
      • Trust versus mistrust
      • Autonomy versus shame and doubt
      • Initiative versus guilt
      • Industry versus inferiority
      • Group identity versus alienation
      • Individual identity versus identity confusion
      • Creativity development through the lens of other theorists
      • Summary
      • Concluding remarks
    • 10. Play and theory of mind
      • Abstract
      • Introduction
      • Social development and educational support
      • Performing arts: worldplay and other talents
      • Play benefits in the performing arts
      • Theory of mind
      • Neurobiology and theory of mind
      • Performing artists and theory of mind
      • Summary
      • Concluding remarks
    • 11. Attachment, parenting, and childhood adversity
      • Abstract
      • Introduction
      • Infant and adult organized attachment classifications
      • Parenting styles, attachment, and creativity
      • Performing artists, parenting, and attachment patterns
      • Musicians
      • Actors
      • Dancers
      • Adverse childhood experiences, disorganized attachment, and performing artists
      • Summary
      • Concluding remarks
    • 12. Personality and motivation
      • Abstract
      • Personality
      • Motivation
      • Summary
      • Concluding remarks
    • 13. Training the performing artist
      • Abstract
      • Introduction
      • Training creativity
      • Deliberate practice and other factors leading to expertise
      • Training practices within domain-specific fields
      • Summary
      • Concluding remarks
  • Section IV: Emotion: Regulation, Resilience, and Pathology
    • 14. Self-regulation, emotion, and resilience
      • Abstract
      • Self-regulation
      • Organize–disorganize–reorganize: the role of self-regulation in the creative process
      • Temperament
      • Temperament, attachment, and self-regulation
      • Stimulus hunger: temperament, overexcitability, and flow
      • Coping strategies under stress
      • Emotion regulation
      • Resilience
      • Summary
      • Concluding remarks
    • 15. Mood and creativity in the performing artist
      • Abstract
      • Introduction
      • Mood and creativity
      • Physiology, neurobiology, and mood
      • Empathy, passion, rumination, and mood
      • Mood in music, dance, and acting
      • Summary
      • Concluding remarks
    • 16. Unresolved mourning and posttraumatic stress disorder in performing artists
      • Abstract
      • Introduction
      • What are posttraumatic stress disorder and unresolved mourning?
      • Trauma, trauma reminders, and performance: effects on physiological and neurobiological systems
      • Effects of chronic stress
      • Trauma and self-harm
      • Shame and performing artists
      • Performing artists: PTSD, unresolved mourning, and shame
      • Trauma and resilience
      • Recall of trauma: testimony theater/theater of witness
      • Working with performing artists with PTSD
      • Summary
      • Concluding remarks
    • 17. Performing artists and psychopathology
      • Abstract
      • Introduction
      • Vulnerability, resilience, and stereotypes of mental illness
      • Psychotic disorders: schizophrenia, schizotypy, and bipolar disorder
      • Dissociation, maladaptive daydreaming, and excessive fantasy proneness
      • Anxiety and performers
      • Depression
      • Joint hypermobility and psychopathology
      • Obsessive-compulsive disorders, eating disorders, body image, and perfectionism
      • Chronic pain, insomnia, substance abuse, and suicidality
      • Treating psychopathology in performing arts
      • Summary
      • Concluding remarks
  • Section V: Professional Reality of a Performing Artist
    • 18. Careers in the performing arts
      • Abstract
      • Protean careers and job satisfaction
      • Resilience and career success
      • Serendipity in a performing arts career
      • Unions, guilds, and working conditions
      • Environmental challenges in the workplace
      • Performing arts entrepreneurship
      • Careers and anxiety
      • Diversity and stereotypes
      • Challenges and abuse in a performing arts career
      • Aging, retirement, and career endings
      • Summary
      • Concluding remarks
    • 19. Injuries and rehabilitation
      • Abstract
      • Introduction
      • Injury and the effects on creativity
      • Injury safety policies and workers’ compensation
      • Injury prevalence and severity
      • Pain appraisal and coping
      • Hypermobility condition and injury vulnerability
      • Overuse, overtraining, and fatigue
      • Unique injury profiles in performing artists
      • Injury patterns in specific performing arts domains
      • Rehabilitation practices
      • Summary
      • Concluding remarks
    • 20. Health concerns and burnout
      • Abstract
      • Introduction
      • Hypermobility condition, dysautonomia, and health concerns
      • Cumulative wear and tear, hearing loss, and health problems
      • Scoliosis, dystonia, and neurological disorders
      • Respiratory and cardiovascular disease
      • Skin disorders
      • Vocal disorders
      • Genitourinary conditions
      • Pregnancy and endocrine control related to menstrual cycles
      • Malignancies and cancer
      • Liver-related diseases, hepatitis, and infectious diseases
      • Inflammatory and autoimmune diseases
      • Somatoform disorders and health care
      • Burnout
      • Treatment and wellbeing
      • Summary
      • Concluding remarks
  • Conclusion/Epilogue
    • Creativity and performing arts: constraints and future recommendations
    • Epilogue
  • References
    • Websites
  • Index


Creativity and the Performing Artist: Behind the Mask synthesizes and integrates research in the field of creativity and the performing arts. Within the performing arts there are multiple specific domains of expertise, with domain-specific demands. This book examines the psychological nature of creativity in the performing arts. The book is organized into five sections. Section I discusses different forms of performing arts, the domains and talents of performers, and the experience of creativity within performing artists. Section II explores the neurobiology of physiology of creativity and flow. Section III covers the developmental trajectory of performing artists, including early attachment, parenting, play theories, personality, motivation, and training. Section IV examines emotional regulation and psychopathology in performing artists. Section V closes with issues of burnout, injury, and rehabilitation in performing artists.

Key Features

  • Discusses domain specificity within the performing arts
  • Encompasses dance, theatre, music, and comedy performance art
  • Reviews the biology behind performance, from thinking to movement
  • Identifies how an artist develops over time, from childhood through adult training
  • Summarizes the effect of personality, mood, and psychopathology on performance
  • Explores career concerns of performing artists, from injury to burn out


Researchers in creativity in cognitive and personality psychology. Secondary audience for researchers in performing arts


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2017
30th December 2016
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:
Hardcover ISBN:

Ratings and Reviews

About the Authors

Paula Thomson

Paula Thomson, PsyD, is a professor at California State University, Northridge, professor emeritus in the Department of Theatre at York University in Toronto, and adjunct faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute. For over thirty years, she has worked professionally as a dancer, choreographer and artistic director in dance, theatre and opera. She has worked internationally as a guest artist in organizations such as Stratford Shakespearean Festival, Canadian Opera Company, OperaWorks, University of Cape Town, University of Limerick, Banff School of Fine Arts, Ithaca College, Canadian Stage Company, and Julliard School of Music. As an author she has contributed numerous chapters in edited books including the Encyclopedia of Creativity. Together with co-author, Victoria Jaque, they direct the psychophysiological laboratory and conduct research on the effects of stress on performing artists and athletes. Their research has appeared in major peer-reviewed journals including Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts, Creativity Research Journal, Imagination, Cognition and Personality, Attachment and Human Development, Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, Death Studies, Journal of Dance Medicine and Science. She works as a Clinical Psychologist in private practice in Los Angeles. Her clinical expertise includes working with complex trauma, disorganized attachment, dissociation, and performance anxiety. In 2013, she was named one of the top 20 female professors in California.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Kinesiology, California State University, Northridge, CA, USA

S. Jaque

S. Victoria Jaque earned her PhD in Exercise Science from the University of Southern California, and is the graduate coordinator in both the Department of Kinesiology and Assisted Technology Studies and Human Services. An Exercise Physiologist, she has conducted research in a variety of areas including the study of anabolic agents during resistance training in populations with sarcopenia, and characteristics supporting performance in Master Athletes. Over the past decade, she has investigated the factors influencing the development of peak bone mass in humans and rodents, addressing whether the endocrine changes associated with maturation create an internal environment that potentiates the influence of dynamic loading on the development of peak bone mass. She also studies how the autonomic nervous system responds to physiologic and psychological stressors in performing artists. Beyond the publications with Paula Thomson, she is a published author in the field of exercise physiology. She is the recipient of many grants and fellowships at California State University, Northridge.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Kinesiology, California State University, Northridge, CA, USA