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.

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