Stop Collaborate & Listen

Stop Collaborate & Listen

The performing arts are a collaborative art form and there are only 2 ways it works; when one person is perfect, and that person wrangles up a bunch of ordinary people to be their puppets whose only job is to follow orders to the letter so they don’t screw up that perfect person’s perfect vision. The other way it works is when several imperfect people form a coalition of rivals. Each one fighting for their unique vision but never really getting exactly what they want. Their ideas only being considered when it’s not just their idea but the majority weighted idea. A weighted scale must be used as opposed to popular because not everyone has the same abilities and those with more knowledge, experience, and proven ability should hold more sway than a novice. However, even someone with no experience may have some insight and so everyone’s ideas must be considered. If you have more clout don’t become close minded and disregard the fresh perspectives of others because of your ego. We serve the work. It must never be about credit, or preconceptions, or ownership. There is no MINE in collaborative expression. The work comes from us, is a part of us, but it does not belong to us, we belong to it, and it belongs to the world. The coalition protects the work from the individual. We must respect that, we must honor that. Fight tooth and nail for your ideas but if your idea does not achieve weighted consensus, let it die. Collaboration is painful, it’s difficult, you will feel ignored, you will feel brilliant, you will feel anger, you will feel joy, you will feel fear, you will have faith, you will feel admiration, and you will feel resentment but you must embrace this process because every success happens because you got your way and also because you didn’t.
Art Reveals

Art Reveals

Art is not about convincing others to agree with a moral or philosophical agenda. Art is not about telling people what is right or what is wrong, artists do not judge, artists are not politicians nor preachers. Art, as my mentor Rob Mellow always says, ” reveals.” Specifically, something about the human experience through your own.

The best way to think of it is we must behaviorally disrobe. Reveal every aspect of our personality. You may have heard it referred to as range. Every character reveals something about humanity, more specifically, about our relationships to people, places, and things. Humans are all killers, rapists, liars, coveters, thieves, lovers, protectors, healers, sacrificers what determines our behavior is our relationship with that person, place, or thing.

Training is where we learn how to reveal. Where we develop and maintain sensitivity. Where we practice being our true selves. Where we learn to strip off the finery and years of social engineering. If we do not develop the strength and the sensitivity to live our truth, we can only be false. If we do not learn to strip off the armor, we will never understand ourselves, we will only know what we want others to see. If we do not understand ourselves, we won’t be able to understand the characters.  If we cannot learn to be, then we cannot become.

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