Archive for the A Note to Directors Category

Pacing

Posted in A Note to Directors, Disentangling Thoughts on Theatre, Got Me Thinkin', Nuts & Bolts Stuff on December 17, 2018 by RobALott

It’s the audience, actually, who decides and dictates the pacing of the show.

Listen to them.

They’ll always be honest about where they’d like us to speed up and slow down.

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As If in the Presence Of a Master

Posted in A Note to Directors, Creativity, Got Me Thinkin', Thoughts on Leadership on October 22, 2018 by RobALott

“Play always as if in the presence of a master.” -Robert Schumann

Many of you reading this have the opportunity to perform for thousands of people every day.

What if we performed with the assumption that every audience has at least one person who’s an expert in every aspect of our show, including expertise in our performance?

Because here’s the thing: If our house seats a thousand people, the assumption that one of those audience members would be an expert in any and every area of our show is not a far off one.

(By the way… If we get their thing right, they’ll assume we got the other things right too.)

Do Something About It

Posted in A Note to Directors, Disentangling Thoughts on Theatre, Got Me Thinkin', Nuts & Bolts Stuff on October 15, 2018 by RobALott

When a reader spots a typo in a book, they tend to shift their focus, even if only for a few pages, to looking for more of them.

When an error in continuity occurs in a film, the viewer who caught it can’t help but become distracted and begin looking for more.

While some mistakes can’t be kept from an audience’s view, the live stage has the most remaining potential to cover up the gaffs and eliminate the distraction.

While sometimes it’s fun to be in the audience when something goes awry, our audiences don’t care to spend the rest of the performance looking for our next mistake.

Fix it.

Cover it.

Address it.

Include it.

But our job can never be to ignore it.

Because the truth is, our audience is desperate for us to do something about it.

It’s Ok to Question

Posted in A Note to Directors, Disentangling Thoughts on Theatre, Got Me Thinkin', Nuts & Bolts Stuff, Thoughts on Leadership on October 1, 2018 by RobALott

Be respectful.

Be thoughtful.

Mind your timing and choose an appropriate location.

But do know, it is ok and sometimes necessary to question our leaders.

Beware The Optional Demand

Posted in A Note to Directors, Creativity, Got Me Thinkin', Thoughts on Leadership on August 13, 2018 by RobALott

Leaders, Bosses, Directors, Anyone at the Top of the Org Chart:

Far too often, possibly unknowingly, your ideas are heard by your team as absolute directives. That flippant thought you threw out in a meeting becomes the new three-year strategy of the company.

(Hopefully not that extreme, but quite possibly!)

More realistically:

“Why is that in the show?”

“You wanted it.”

“I did?”

“Yes. At the creative meeting last month you said there should be flamingos.”

Figure out how to communicate when you are brainstorming, spitballing, ideating along with everyone else—that your ideas are in the pot with everyone else’s and are not meant to override anyone else’s.

Live!

Posted in A Note to Directors, Creativity, Disentangling Thoughts on Theatre, Got Me Thinkin', Nuts & Bolts Stuff on July 30, 2018 by RobALott

The more slides, the more video, the more pre-recorded announcements—the more quickly your audience will become disengaged.

Yes, pre-recorded elements help maintain control of the final product. But don’t buy into the myth that pre-recorded equals prepared. Real preparedness—effective preparedness—is a willingness and readiness to go live.

The audience signed up and showed up for “live”. Whenever possible, however possible, go live.

Completely Acceptable Behavior

Posted in A Note to Directors, Creativity, Got Me Thinkin', Thoughts on Leadership on July 16, 2018 by RobALott

Surround yourself with wise people. Ask them questions and listen to their answers. Learn their answers and commit them to memory.

Then, when you are presented with tough questions and difficult situations, borrow, copy, steal, and furiously plagiarize their actions and answers.

This is completely acceptable behavior.