Archive for January, 2010

Openings

January 29, 2010

It’s very energizing to open a show. You’ve memorized, rehearsed, tried various tactics, laughed, been frustrated, worried that the show will stink, and been proud of yourself and those around you.

Then suddenly a whole bunch of people are there. In the theater. Waiting to see what story you’re going to tell. You don’t know how they’ll react. Will they like it? Will they even follow it? Will they laugh? Will they be moved?

Fortunately, at opening you often have family and friends watching, rooting for you, willing you to succeed. It’s when theatre proves itself once again to be a community, or more to the point, a communal event.

I just love theatre. The making of it. The sharing of it. The openings.

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Take it easy.

January 26, 2010

I had a great conversation today with a colleague about how we live too fast.

He’s reading a book by Carl Honore called In Praise of Slowness.  It reminded me of something I heard or read somewhere a number of years back about how our brains take in information most effectively at about 2.5 miles per hour.  Literally a walking pace.  We’re not made/adapted (let’s not get into a philosophical discussion about our origins here) to absorb information as quickly as we force ourselves to.

When driving, we read signs, make decisions, likely listen to the radio, probably talk on the phone (tsk, tsk), and think about the next place we’re supposed to be or task we need to get done.  We unwind at the end of the day by watching TV which actually stimulates our brain more than relaxes it.  I heard about a study that shows we don’t spend enough time in silence.  (I’m riffing here, you can look this stuff up if you want citations)

And we wonder why we’re tired.  We need more coffee.  We feel less productive some days.

What’s our deal with being busy?  If we see someone meander down the hall rather than full out, head down, looking worried, we think, “They don’t have enough to do.”  We “produce” more, higher quality output (widgets, communication, whatever) when we take our time and are deliberate!  When we’re intentional.  I love that word these days.  Intentional.

I don’t know why we think busy=productive but I’m going to chew on it when I get some down time.

I should write a letter…

January 20, 2010

I’ve never been great about writing letters.  I don’t mean personal letters but I’ve always been lousy about those as well.

I’m talking about letters of thanks, praise, or complaint to a bank, restaurant, or store after the service has been notably on either side of the norm.  It’s after those experiences when I say to my wife, “I should write a letter.”  And I compose the letters.  Beautifully.  I just don’t write the dang things.   By the time I get the gumption to put pen to paper, I’ve lost my fervor.  The moment’s gone.

And pen and paper are the necessary tools for the task.  An email or web post would be too coarse where a handwritten note has style.  It shows I cared enough to sit down, spend the time, and thoughtfully put my comments on that thick piece of writing paper that has a little texture to it.  Only this can convey the gravity or sincerity of my mind.  It’s personal.

Or it would be if I wrote it.