A Team Is Only As Good…

Posted in Disentangling Thoughts on Theatre, Got Me Thinkin' on August 5, 2019 by RobALott

“A team is only as good as its weakest member.“

Wrong.

A team is only as good as its ability to compensate for its weakest member.

We will all be weak in a skill or a subject for a moment, or a day, or a season.

It’s a team’s ability to rally, support, and have the back of its members when they are struggling that determines its strength.

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For the First Timers

Posted in A Note to Directors, Creativity, Disentangling Thoughts on Theatre, Got Me Thinkin', Nuts & Bolts Stuff on July 29, 2019 by RobALott

Do the show for the First Timers in the audience.

First Timers become Returners.

Returners are trying to get that feeling back that they had when they were First Timers.

Comedy: We Have a Choice

Posted in Creativity, Got Me Thinkin', Nuts & Bolts Stuff, Thoughts on Leadership on July 22, 2019 by RobALott

I do believe comedy is harder today than it was yesterday. And being funny tomorrow will be harder than it is today.

What audiences found funny yesterday can literally become offensive and unfunny over night.

As comedians, we have a choice:

We can continue fighting for what was once thought funny. We can claim the bit as classic and thus, timelessly funny. We can declare audiences to be overly sensitive. We can wave the flags of comedic theory and fight to educate audiences on why the bit should still be funny.

Or…

We can continue to look for what’s going to be funny tomorrow. We can challenge ourselves to find the funny, not only for today, but also tomorrow.

The first option is created.

It worked yesterday. It’ll probably work today. But it may not work tomorrow.

The second is creative.

It’s experimental. It may not work today, but keep tweaking. It just might work tomorrow.

Sorry, I Have to Give You This Note

Posted in A Note to Directors, Got Me Thinkin', Thoughts on Leadership on May 27, 2019 by RobALott

“Sorry, I have to give you this note.”

No you don’t.

Is the note helpful?

Is the note coming, not from a place of position or power but rather from a place of partnership? Then give the note.

Otherwise, no. Think twice. You do not have to give the note.

(Rule of thumb: A good note rarely starts with an apology.)

The Audience Plays Their Part

Posted in A Note to Directors, Disentangling Thoughts on Theatre, Got Me Thinkin', Rob Recommends on April 22, 2019 by RobALott

In his book, Born Standing Up, Steve Martin talks about his learned ability to listen to an audience and adjust his timing. He could hear the intake of air just before a sneeze or a cough. He’d see someone shift in their chair just before noisily pushing it out from their table. He’d hear and see these things, and he’d wait to say the punch line, or he’d get the punch line in just before the audience interruption. He learned to ride the wave of laughter and applause, listening to it, responding to it, waiting for it, and just after its peak, continuing on to maintain flow and energy.

The audience is playing their part in our performance. And just like an unnecessary character has no place on the stage, the audience can tell if we don’t need them to do our show. They can tell pretty quickly if we are just covering the material or getting through the show. And they, rightly so, will check out and stop playing their part altogether.

The same way we give fellow actors the time and space they need to play their part, and the same way we would never steamroll a fellow actor onstage, we should never steamroll an audience’s laugher and applause, and we must allow them the time and space to be who they are — a live audience.

But If on a Good Day

Posted in Uncategorized on April 15, 2019 by RobALott

Don’t quit on a bad day.

But if, on a good day, you still want to quit…

…pay attention to that.

The Generous Act

Posted in A Note to Directors, Got Me Thinkin', Thoughts on Leadership on April 8, 2019 by RobALott

Sometimes, a generous act is to listen to a story you’ve already heard. Sometimes, it’s to laugh at the joke you already know. Sometimes, it’s to act surprised even though you knew it was coming. And sometimes, it’s to let something go, assume they didn’t mean it, and to simply move on.

Choosing generosity is sometimes the most generous thing you can do.