Archive for January, 2018

Trust Your Sense of Humor

Posted in Creativity, Disentangling Thoughts on Theatre, Got Me Thinkin' on January 29, 2018 by RobALott

Don’t try to get a laugh from your audience. Instead, give your audience an opportunity to laugh.

Deliver the punchline in the way you find funny.

Be careful not to fall into the trap of delivering the line the way you think the audience will find funny. They’ll sense your over-eager pleading for a laugh and shut it down.

It is actually your sense of humor the audience will key into and get behind.

Trust it.

Not All Audiences Are Created Equal

Posted in A Note to Directors, Disentangling Thoughts on Theatre, Got Me Thinkin' on January 22, 2018 by RobALott

What worked last show may not work this show.

What always kills may, this time, fall flat.

We must take into account all that an audience has dealt with just before the curtain goes up:

The weather.

The news of the day.

The traffic.

The time of day.

Even the day of the week.

All these things affect an audience’s response and engagement.

Every show must be performed solely and specifically for that independent audience.

If not, you might as well be the Country Bear Jamboree.

I Perform For…

Posted in Disentangling Thoughts on Theatre, Got Me Thinkin', Nuts & Bolts Stuff on January 15, 2018 by RobALott

“I perform for me.”

Then you should buy yourself a really nice video camera.

“I perform for my cast.”

Then you should invest in a really nice rehearsal space.

“I perform for the audience.”

Oh, then you should get yourself a checking account.

Empty Shelf Challenge: 2017

Posted in Rob Recommends on January 8, 2018 by RobALott

I once heard that if you read for just twenty minutes a day, at the end of a year you will have read twenty 200-page books.

This, coupled with Jon Acuff’s Empty Shelf Challenge in which he challenges us to clear a shelf on our bookcases and fill it with finished books throughout the year.

My goal: Re-fill the shelf.

My plan: Read for twenty minutes a day.

Here is my virtual re-filled shelf from 2017.


Who’s The Leader Of The Club by Jim Korkis

The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Whiskey Know-It-All by Richard Betts

Procrastinate On Purpose by Rory Vaden

Jim Henson The Biography by Brian Jay Jones

The Secret Life of the American Musical by Jack Viertel

Leading Change by John P. Kotter

Death By Meeting by Patrick Lencioni

Blue Man World

You Can Do This by Tricia Lott Williford


In Such Good Company by Carol Burnett


How’s Your Soul? by Judah Smith


Who’s Afraid of Song of the South? by Jim Korkis


One Question by Ken Coleman


On Writing Well by William Zinsser


The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson


The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni


Disney U by Doug Lipp


In a Pit With a Lion On a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson


Improvisation for the Theatre by Viola Spolin


Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller

The Road Back to You by Ian Cron

Finish by Jon Acuff

Audition by Michael Shurtleff

The Tony Award by Isabelle Stephens

Acting in Television Commercials by Squire Fridell

Learning Leadership by Kouzes and Posner

The Small Theatre Handbook by Joann Green