Archive for April, 2016

Choose How You’ll Make Your Audience Work

Posted in A Note to Directors, Disentangling Thoughts on Theatre, Nuts & Bolts Stuff on April 25, 2016 by RobALott

There is a direct correlation between how well an audience can hear and see a show and their willingness to interact and engage with what’s happening on stage. 

Might I recommend, when given the choice, to favor brighter on stage and louder in the house.

(This is just my opinion, but it’s true.)

Rehearsal Etiquette and Rehearsal Technique 

Posted in A Note to Directors, Disentangling Thoughts on Theatre, Got Me Thinkin', Nuts & Bolts Stuff on April 18, 2016 by RobALott

I asked my Twitterverse and Facebook community for some thoughts on rehearsal etiquette as well as some tips and tricks for their rehearsal technique. 

  
Here’s what they had to say:

“Don’t talk while a director or choreographer is talking or teaching. Don’t use your cell phones during rehearsals. And don’t be late. Oh, and actors giving other actors notes. Don’t do that either.”

“Actors who act as if they have nothing new to learn. Don’t forget, there’s a reason you’re in rehearsal.”

Don’t be that guy. 

“When people walk in late with food or a drink from a drive-through. It means they had time to recognize they would be late, yet still stopped for a drink or food.”

“When a director assumes everyone knows his personal style/rules/expectations. That should be explained on day one.”

“Leadership should set clear structure and agenda and address variances immediately but respectfully.”

“Dislikes: Anyone who isn’t present. Directors who use actors as emotional punching bags. Disrespecting others’ craft. Actors treating crew with disregard and vice versa.

Likes: directors with a vision (really, it’s your job!) Actors who come prepared. Cast/crews who create a safe place for experimentation.”

“Pet peeve: When the rehearsals aren’t well planned. Is it possible to work on one scene without having everyone from another scene sitting there doing nothing? Schedule the rehearsals to respect people’s time.”

“As a performer, you are just that, a performer. Keep your mouth shut. It is not your place to tell others how they are doing, or what they should BE doing. Be supportive of each other. Let the director find the flaws.”

“One of my favorite directors from down south swears by ‘start five minutes late, let actors leave five minutes early.’ And truly, due to this, one is never waiting around at that theatre for an actor to arrive. That flexibility has always worked for the better.”

“Take the note. In very few instances will you need to explain your reasoning for doing it the way you did it. There are a lot of notes to be given; just take the note.”

***

I know I’ve been guilty of a few of these, both on the positive and negative, and both as an actor and director. 

While what we do is an art, there is definitely a science to being professional. 

Show up. Be prepared. Do the work. Maintain a good attitude. 

It’s as easy as that. 

The Books I Choose

Posted in Got Me Thinkin', Nuts & Bolts Stuff, Rob Recommends on April 11, 2016 by RobALott

The books I choose to read, more often than not, are totally a right time and right place endeavor. 

I’ve picked up books that had been highly recommended by readers I trust, and for whatever reason, it just didn’t resonate with me. 

I’m sure it was a good book. 
Unfortunately, it was just the wrong time for me. Or maybe I was in the wrong place in my life to appreciate it. 

Back on the shelf it goes. We’ll try again another day. 

I’ve given glowing recommendations of books to those I just knew would love them. Sadly, their reading of my recommendation fell flat. 

The book I was certain to be a hit fell at just the wrong time and the wrong place for them in their life. 

But then…

There are those glorious times when the stars align and all is right in my world, I am in the right place at the right time with my most recent book of choice. 

Too bad it doesn’t last long, as I can’t seem to put these books down and I’m finished with them far too quickly. 

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert is exactly what I’ve needed in this exact time, in this very place in my life. 

It just might be the right time and right place for you as well. Highly recommend.

Experience Vs. Expertise 

Posted in A Note to Directors, Creativity, Got Me Thinkin', Thoughts on Leadership on April 4, 2016 by RobALott

Experience is not the same as expertise. 
Experience is time in. 
Expertise is value added. 
Are you expecting to be treated like an expert simply because you put in your time? Sorry to tell you, experience does not an expert make. 
To be treated like and to be called an expert, you must add value to the experience of others. 
Create. Change the status quo. Make it better. 
Experts don’t just put the time in. Experts improve the experience.