Archive for October, 2014

What If…

Posted in A Note to Directors, Got Me Thinkin', Thoughts on Leadership on October 31, 2014 by RobALott

What if we all lowered our expectations on what we think is owed to us,

and instead,

raised our expectations on what we have to give?

Just, what if…

There’s a Reason the Circus is Thrilling

Posted in A Note to Directors, Creativity, Thoughts on Leadership on October 13, 2014 by RobALott

And it’s not because it’s safe.

Calculated? Yes.

Rehearsed and polished? Yes.

But definitely not safe.

I’m not suggesting that you add a high wire act or a lion to your art. (Unless that’s exactly what your art calls for.) But I would ask, “Where’s the risk?”

Where’s the thing you are unsure of? The thing you are unsure will work? The thing that’s keeping you up at night?

I had a teacher in high school that tried to include a “No Way” moment in every lesson. As in, “No way did he just do that!” or “No way did that just happen!” or “No way did that just work!”

Sometimes it didn’t work. But we sure were paying attention!

Safe has never resulted in thrills. Not for your audience, and certainly not for you.

(Originally posted on April 1, 2013)

Separation of Talent and Ego (Post from the Past Edition)

Posted in Uncategorized on October 6, 2014 by RobALott

I’m on vacation this week! Hooray!

So, I’ve gone into the archives and pulled up a most shared and favorited post from the past.

Maybe you’re a new-to-me reader and you missed this one. Maybe you read it, and shared it, and liked it the first time. Either way, I hope you enjoy this post while I sip my Corona and go off the grid for the next few days.

I think egos have gotten a bad rap.

I don’t know that we will ever be able to separate talent from ego. Not when we are asking people to put their heart, soul, and every emotion they’ve ever had on display for our entertainment and enjoyment. An ego is the required tool for the artist that plans to command attention.

We all have egos. It’s not a bad thing.

Your ego is what made you step into the audition room.

(Is this making you uncomfortable? Relax. It’ll be over soon.)

Of course we’ve all witnessed the ego that got out of control. The ego that wrote checks the talent couldn’t cash. We all know that guy. But, I’m not talking about that guy.

I’m talking about you. You, with the healthy ego masquerading as confidence. The ego that gets things done. The ego that took you years to build. The ego that makes others pay attention when you walk into the room. That ego. Your ego.

It’s not all bad. A lot of it is good. You need it. Keep it in check, and you’ll be fine.

Why am I so pro ego?

Because ego makes art. Without an ego, no one would have the confidence to believe their art is important enough to put out there.

Protect your ego, and protect the egos of the artists around you.

A Note to Directors (and this is just my opinion, but it’s true): We all want the best show possible. And within that show, we want the best performances possible. So yes, give all the direction, and feedback, and notes that you feel you need to give. But at some point in the rehearsal process, you need to give your performers back their confidence. Give them back their confidence so they can step onto the stage and deliver the performance you’ve asked and led them to give.


Posted in Creativity, Quotes on October 3, 2014 by RobALott

“To Whom it May Inspire,

I, like many of you artists out there, constantly shift between two states. The first (and far more preferable of the two) is white-hot, ‘in the zone’, seat-of-the-pants, firing on all cylinders creative mode. This is when you lay your pen down and ideas pour out like wine from a royal chalice! This happens about 3% of the time. The other 97% of the time I am in the frustrated, struggling, office-corner-full-of-crumpled-up-paper mode. The important thing is to slog diligently through this quagmire of discouragement and despair. Put on some audio commentary and listen to the stories of professionals who have been making films for decades going through the same slings and arrows of outrageous production problems. In a word: PERSIST. PERSIST on telling your story. PERSIST on reaching your audience. PERSIST on staying true to your vision.” -Austin Madison