Friday, February 13, 2009

Facts Facing 2/13/09

Beware of the man who won't be bothered with details.

William Feather
Hello and welcome
"Aw, don't bug me about details. I can't be bothered with all those knicky knacky things. I'm a visionary artist. I just want to create!"

The only times in my career I ever had an argument with anyone it was always with a director or producer who was not familiar enough with the play to avoid making ignorant decisions. I admit to getting very angry, because a director is like an architect and builder of a production. If an architect doesn't concern himself with the details, the building will fall down. The director should never take on the responsibility of directing a play without a thorough knowledge of it. But that is, alas, too often the case. It is not an actor's job to teach the play to the director. I have been ridiculed too often for doing something that was in the script but which the director failed to notice.

"Don't annoy me with this stuff, I have more important things to do."

There are thousands of notes on the pages of a musical score. If a composer doesn't go carefully over those pages to make sure the notes are correct he's going to have an ugly mess which no one will listen to.

"You figure it out if you must, I don't have time."

Weaving, cooking, building, calculating, driving, teaching, nursing, painting, writing, the list is endless, Think of how important it is to get the right word in a letter, or other document. I worked part time as a proofreader for some major law firms in NYC and I was always finding strange errors in legal documents. There was the amusing one of the woman whose job it was to order electric light "blubs" for the company. Then there was the construction company that ordered 100 logs. If a proofreader hadn't caught an error they might have received 100 dogs.

"We've found that we don't need proofreaders at our firm because we have this wonderful system called 'Spell Check'" quoted from an attorney who was laughed back into his chair at a lawyers' conference.

Every proofreader knows that Spell Check can't tell the difference between "form" and "from" but it can get a lot worse. How about "bill" and "bilk"? "I'm bilking you for services rendered." And then there was the time when the word was "policies" the typist mistakenly typed "polikies" and Spell Check turned it into "polkas." (I have that one in my files.)

"Why are you wasting your time on that?"

In theatre and films there are fight choreographers and fight rehearsals because when the punches are thrown, the knives flash, the stabbing takes place and the blood flows, the actors have to wash up, come back and do it again, and no one gets hurt. All the details are carefully worked out and everyone involved knows exactly what to do.

"It's boring to go over all the details. I just want to play."

The next time you watch a football game (American football that is) if you ever do, don't watch the quarterback all the time, but if the silly TV directors let you, watch the offensive linemen. Those are the guys who set up the play.

For the want of a nail the shoe was lost, for the want of a shoe the horse was lost, for the want of the horse the rider was lost, for the want of the rider the message was lost, for the want of the message the battle was lost, for the want of the battle the war was lost.
Thank you for reading my journal.

Release a balloon of brightness somewhere today.
DB - The Vagabond


Beth said...

As "they" say, the devil in in the details!

Selchie said...

I just stopped by and very nice post. I agree I think it's the details that let you know you're living, keep you present and also the things that connect you with life.)

Happy day.


Big Mark 243 said...

Loved the fight analogy!! I think that when it is 'your pay grade' to know the details, FOR CERTAIN, you should know them. If you have people around you in a production, such as yourself, that you can go to, then do it.

a corgi said...

so totally agree with the part about proof reading; spell check does not cut it; need attention to details for sure! in my business, voice recognition is coming into play but they still need an editor to review the dictation the computer "transcribed" to make sure content is correct; the computer yet can't distinguish at times meanings implied

its a pleasure to read your journal DB! keep on writing


Karen said...

Most enjoyable read!

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

In today's electronic age of blogs, texting, e-mailing, we have lost the art of proofing our material and ensuring that what we want to convey is what is actually in the message. I think that is one of the reasons that I enjoy reading your entries so much :o)