Archive for January, 2015

It’s Never the Line Itself

Posted in A Note to Directors, Nuts & Bolts Stuff on January 26, 2015 by RobALott

It’s never the line itself that gets the laugh.

It’s never the line itself that gets the gasp.

It’s never the line itself that gets the chill, or the cheer, or the tear.

It will always be the intent of the character saying the line that will draw out the audience reaction.

Here’s what I know about your performance: The audience is responding exactly to what you have lead them to believe about your character and your character’s intent.

If your lines are not getting the reactions and responses you desire from your audience, chances are your character and your character’s intent have not been made clear.

Go back, and rediscover the “why” behind the “what”. The desired evoked emotion will land if you start there.

Why I Read

Posted in A Note to Directors, Got Me Thinkin', Nuts & Bolts Stuff, Thoughts on Leadership on January 12, 2015 by RobALott

It’s not because I love it.

Reading itself is not relaxing to me. It’s work. It’s focused and intentional work.

The reason I read is simple.

It’s my competitive advantage.

I heard once that if I read five books on any one subject, I would be an expert on said subject.

(Note, that’s actually not true at all. The truth is, or at least it’s been my experience, that the more I read on a subject, the more I learn I don’t know about it.)

However, the insight I have gained from the books I have read, and the ability to view a problem from all sides and see more than one potential outcome, that, is my competitive advantage.

I believe reading is a terribly inefficient form of communication. In a fast paced world of Blinkist, keynote speeches, 140 character points, and eighteen minute (or less) TED Talks, reading has got to be the the most inefficient way to consume content.

But maybe…

that’s the point.

When I read, I have to take my time. I have to focus. I can’t multitask. I must pay attention and hear the voice in my head tell me something I didn’t already know.

And then,

I can know it.

And after I have seen it written and heard it read, then I have the words to articulate it and export these new thoughts and ideas to others.

It’s my competitive advantage.

That’s the secret and that’s the truth of why I read.

Do you read?

Why do you read?

What’s your competitive advantage?

Why I Write

Posted in A Note to Directors, Creativity, Disentangling Thoughts on Theatre, Got Me Thinkin', Thoughts on Leadership on January 5, 2015 by RobALott

I continue to see a growing gap between leadership and creativity in the arts and theatre.

In some cases,

the creatives are being asked to lead. So they jump in with absolute passion and ambition but with little to no training, and they crash hard.

While the trained leaders are being asked to be creative, so they surround themselves with creative people without knowing how to get the best out of them, thus they lose influence and gain enemies.

In other cases,

the creative artist resists their role as leader for fear of it impeding their style, fear of needing to say “no”, and fear of appearing power hungry and un-collaborative.

While the established leader resists their responsibility to be creative due to a history of plans not being solid and certain, a history of collaboration being expensive and too time consuming yielding little to no results, and a history of feeling like nothing is being completed. So they resign themselves to doing things the way they’ve always been done, thus doing away with creativity altogether.

Leadership and creativity have a difficult time meeting in the gap. And they often become frustrated with each other thinking it’s the other’s responsibility to build a bridge.

However, on the occasion when the two intersect it is a sweet spot for great work to happen.

Creativity needs great leadership.

And leadership needs great creativity.

What if we agreed to eliminate the gap? What if we saw leadership and creativity not as adversaries, but as partners in a well functioning intersection?

This is why I write.

I don’t know all there is to know about leadership and creativity, but I promise to continue to share all that I am learning. I don’t assume I could ever fill your cup, but I will always strive to empty mine.