Jack of all trades syndrome

Nearly all the multi-tasking ‘polymaths’ I speak to have moments of feeling overwhelmed……occasionally worried that they risk spreading themselves too thinly and being labelled a ‘Jack of all Trades, master of None’.

I have watched a polymath friend of mine become visibly more stressed over the past few weeks, as she struggles to juggle an acting career with the demands of simultaneously producing several theatre shows at once, as well as trying to make sure she keeps a roof over her head by temping. It’s a common problem, especially for those of us who are not blessed with the financial resources to dedicate ourselves full-time to creative pursuits. What I’ve learnt from meeting and researching many creatives who opt for a polymathic approach, is that we each have our ‘breaking point’ and we must learn to recognise what it is for us. Continue reading


Meet multi-tasking actor Katie Lyons

Katie is an actor, currently appearing in BBC3’s new comedy series Bluestone 42. She is also a writer, private tutor, work-shop leader and (sometimes) producer.

Was it a conscious decision to become a ‘polymath’, or something that happened organically over time? I think it’s in my nature…I’ve always wanted to do lots of things. It’s that, combined with the need to survive. After an initial run of work when I first started acting, I was working as a waitress in a hospital, and I ended up not getting a call from my agent for 3 months. I just found it really frustrating…feeling like you’re not in control of it, and so I think that what’s driven me to be a ‘polymath’.

What was your first leap into polymathy? My friend Morgan and I wrote and produced a show for the Edinburgh festival, and after that we were fortunate enough to get onto a BBC scheme called ‘comedy college’ and that was probably when I started saying ‘actually, I can write..I am a writer’. We produced all our Edinburgh shows ourselves out of necessity, but the one year we did end up going with a production company, was the one year we lost money!

Which have been your favourite experiences? Do you prefer just acting or do you like to be more creatively involved? I think I would creatively be frustrated if acting was all I did…. Continue reading


The Creative Chameleon blog is a place to explore polymathy within the arts….to discuss the rewards, problems and pitfalls of being a multi-tasking artist.

In the field of theatre & film, there is a growing trend of performers and artists seeking to take control of their careers by producing their own work, setting up their own enterprises, or finding multiple outlets for creative expression.

The Creative Chameleon is an online community and resource centre for the modern day ‘Renaissance Soul’.