Archive for the A Note to Directors Category

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.

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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.

I Bet This Never Happens at Disney

Posted in A Note to Directors, Creativity, Disentangling Thoughts on Theatre, Got Me Thinkin', Nuts & Bolts Stuff, Thoughts on Leadership on July 9, 2018 by RobALott

When things go wrong in other shows at other venues, often the cast or crew will say to me, “I bet stuff like this never happens at Disney.”

The thing is, things go wrong on stages everywhere. Props fail. Quick changes are missed. Scenery malfunctions. It happens.

And it happens at Disney every day.

Every. Day.

Maybe the difference is, and the not so snappy answer is, that we have a whole bunch of plans and contingencies for when things go wrong. And when they go wrong, which they will, we don’t point them out and continuously refer back to the broken element for the audience to see and be reminded.

Do these things happen at Disney?

Yes.

It’s the response and reaction, however, that might be what’s different.

The Trick Of Magic

Posted in A Note to Directors, Creativity, Disentangling Thoughts on Theatre, Got Me Thinkin', Nuts & Bolts Stuff, Thoughts on Leadership on June 25, 2018 by RobALott

The trick of a good magic trick is not a trick at all, but rather the result of study, practice, rehearsal, and perfecting the gimmick in a way that goes unnoticed. Once one has seen how the trick is accomplished, the illusion loses its luster.

Actually, this is true of all performance. The hard part—the study, the practice, the rehearsal, the perfecting, the part that makes the entertaining impressive—should go unnoticed.

Once we’ve learned and perfected how it’s done, it should be easy. But to our audience, it should be magic.