05 January 2006

Dissolving Artistic Problems

I ran across this posting via Seth Godin's blog (a blog referencing a blog referencing a blog. Wow.)

What caught my eye was this quote (also quoted by Godin):

"Sometimes I use this as an example when I'm at client sites. I tell them the moral of the story, too: 'If you can't change the little things in your methods, you'll never change the big things. Pick something, make it better. Don't worry if it is just a little thing. If you lather, rinse, and repeat that a few times, you will have made a big difference.'"

Sometimes in life, it's not a matter of resisting change, it's a matter of overwhelm. You just don't know where to start! Problems flame up, and next thing you know, you're staring at a Gordian Knot. In real life, you can't just cut out your problems in a Herculean fashion. Problems require solutions, not surgery. (It's very "American" to wait until problems mount up well into "Gordian Knot" territory and then go for the "quick fix." i.e.: gastrointestinal bypass surgery, war, etc.) It can be frustrating! The thing to do, I find, is to latch onto one thing you can fix, and fix it. Problems begin to solve.

I feel this way about directing. In rehearsal, just watching the performance before me, I may see nothing but problems that require fixing. I tend to latch onto one problem and solve the hell out of it. When the scene is run again, I notice other problems not even touched on have magically disappeared.

Is it any wonder that the derivation of "solution" is "solvere - to loosen?"

(If only I could take my own advice more often!)

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