Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Pay Attention to the Rule Breakers

Posted in A Note to Directors, Creativity, Got Me Thinkin', Thoughts on Leadership, Uncategorized on September 25, 2017 by RobALott

They tend to become the leaders.

(Sorry rule followers.)

Advertisements

Run Your Race

Posted in Got Me Thinkin', Thoughts on Leadership, Uncategorized on February 13, 2017 by RobALott

This past January I ran my fourth Marathon. That’s 26.2 miles. 

I paid a notable amount of money to run these races. Not only for the races themselves but for the shoes and other equipment required. 

It was a well planned course with a guarantee of a medal at the end. 

I got to run with a lot of people and be cheered along the way. 

A great experience, indeed. One I have argued everyone can and should do. 

Here’s the thing, though…

The medal does not make me a Marathoner. The money spent certainly does not make me a Marathoner. 

Only the running of the 26.2 miles makes me a Marathoner. 

With much less excitement and much less cheering, I could have quietly gotten up early on a Sunday morning and run my own race on a course of my choosing. It would have certainly been less crowded, and surely lacking all the pomp and pageantry. 

And still, although without a medal, I could call myself a Marathoner. 

***

Friends,

Education and learning is available to all of us. 

It’s not too expensive. It only takes discipline and a desire to accomplish. 

If you are reading this, you have everything you need at your fingertips to learn more about something you want to learn more about—to continue your education. 

You won’t get a medal or certificate of completion at the end, but here’s what I’ve learned: If you are great at what you do, nobody asks for proof that you properly learned how to do it. 

Run your race.

It’s Who We Are. It’s What We Do. 

Posted in Uncategorized on June 12, 2016 by RobALott

“There’s no people like show people. We smile when we are low.”

For many of us in Orlando, our job is to take our audience’s mind off their world and the world’s events. 

It is a noble profession. 
Let’s do it well today.

Be Very Wary of this Untruth

Posted in Uncategorized on September 21, 2015 by RobALott

I auditioned for a Christmas gig a number of years ago with a quartet of guys I had been singing with for a little under a year.  We were a new quartet and didn’t have many holidays tunes ready to go, except the songs we auditioned with.  Well, we got the gig and immediately started learning a solid ten to twelve Christmas tunes to have ready for our strolling act.  One of the songs was a beautiful, but challenging arrangement of O Holy Night.  We worked, and we worked, and we worked on this piece. It had some super tight harmonies, a number of important key changes that drove the song, and it challenged all of our ranges.  This was going to be our big closer for every set.  Surely, it would bring an unrivaled round of applause and a tear to everyone’s eye.

Do you know which song in our repertoire received the largest response?

Jingle Bells.

Be wary of the untruth that the thing you worked on the hardest and rehearsed the longest will also be the thing your audience will appreciate and enjoy the most.

Back to the Basics

Posted in A Note to Directors, Disentangling Thoughts on Theatre, Got Me Thinkin', Nuts & Bolts Stuff, Quotes, Uncategorized on November 10, 2014 by RobALott

There’s a famous story of Coach Vince Lombardi addressing his team after an inexcusable loss, holding up a familiar object he said, “Gentlemen, today we go back to the basics. This, is a football.” He then proceeded to run a practice focused on drilling the fundamentals.

What would you say are the fundamentals of working in the theatre? What are the absolute essentials, the irreducible minimums someone needs to know before stepping into a theater and onto a stage?

I asked this question to a number of artists, actors, and directors. Here are some of their answers:

“Annunciate.”

“Show up on time, be prepared, and be polite to everyone.”

“Make yourself heard.”

“Keep the darn ego out on the street.”

“Be present in the moment. Listen. Really listen to what is happening .”

“Listening. Listening to the director, choreographer, music director, stage manager, and crew. Listen to your fellow actors on stage. Listen to the audience. And then shut up, so you can listen.”

“Be willing and eager to collaborate. Nothing is achieved by an individual—only the collective work of everyone assembled to create the art.”

“Learn to be comfortably uncomfortable in the vulnerability it takes to be truly and simply present.”

“Always know why you are telling the story.”

“Don’t worry about being interesting. The material is interesting enough. Your responsibility is to be interested.”

“Be prepared.”

“React honestly within the character to what your fellow actors are giving you. Listen, be bold, and trust.”

“Listen. Breathe. Speak clearly.”

“Know the story you are telling and your part in it.”

“Make sure your fly is up before your entrance.”

“Commitment. Take the stage because you have to, because nothing else will do.”

“Know your call time. Get off book as quickly as possible. Don’t be a jerk.”

“Play for the sake of playing, but not to win.”

“You should probably learn the whole upstage/downstage, stage right/stage left thing at some point.”

“The audience wants you to succeed.”

“Preparation and work ethic. Read and research, stretch and warm up, stay hydrated. Preparing the mind and body to focus its energy is vital. Be prepared to work hard because it’s not easy. It takes dedication and guts…and lots of coffee.”

Did any of these ring true to you?

What do you think? What are the fundamentals of the theatre?

Separation of Talent and Ego (Post from the Past Edition)

Posted in Uncategorized on October 6, 2014 by RobALott

I’m on vacation this week! Hooray!

So, I’ve gone into the archives and pulled up a most shared and favorited post from the past.

Maybe you’re a new-to-me reader and you missed this one. Maybe you read it, and shared it, and liked it the first time. Either way, I hope you enjoy this post while I sip my Corona and go off the grid for the next few days.

I think egos have gotten a bad rap.

I don’t know that we will ever be able to separate talent from ego. Not when we are asking people to put their heart, soul, and every emotion they’ve ever had on display for our entertainment and enjoyment. An ego is the required tool for the artist that plans to command attention.

We all have egos. It’s not a bad thing.

Your ego is what made you step into the audition room.

(Is this making you uncomfortable? Relax. It’ll be over soon.)

Of course we’ve all witnessed the ego that got out of control. The ego that wrote checks the talent couldn’t cash. We all know that guy. But, I’m not talking about that guy.

I’m talking about you. You, with the healthy ego masquerading as confidence. The ego that gets things done. The ego that took you years to build. The ego that makes others pay attention when you walk into the room. That ego. Your ego.

It’s not all bad. A lot of it is good. You need it. Keep it in check, and you’ll be fine.

Why am I so pro ego?

Because ego makes art. Without an ego, no one would have the confidence to believe their art is important enough to put out there.

Protect your ego, and protect the egos of the artists around you.

A Note to Directors (and this is just my opinion, but it’s true): We all want the best show possible. And within that show, we want the best performances possible. So yes, give all the direction, and feedback, and notes that you feel you need to give. But at some point in the rehearsal process, you need to give your performers back their confidence. Give them back their confidence so they can step onto the stage and deliver the performance you’ve asked and led them to give.

It’s Not Always About You…

Posted in Uncategorized on September 22, 2014 by RobALott

…most of the time, it’s about me.

Recently I received some feedback that some of my posts are overly ranty and opinionated and can come off as preachy.

I get that.

Really, I do.

Here’s the thing though:

When my name and picture appears next to a quote, or a link, or a thought, it’s not because I want you to share the same opinion, or that I’m suggesting how you should live your life, but rather it’s an integrity mechanism that keeps me personally honest and on track.

I’m an idealist. When given the option, I always want to choose trust, positivity, and improvement. But, there are moments, and days, and seasons, that my words and actions don’t reflect that. So, I share my values and beliefs regularly and publicly so that when my life does not add up and mirror all that I have said, those who are closest to me can call me on it.

Please understand, I am not asking you to agree with all that I post.

Typically, when I share something, it’s because I found it interesting, it’s an opinion with which I agree, it made me laugh, or it’s just how I feel.

It’s not always about you. Most of the time, it’s about me.