Saturday, November 12, 2011

Do It Yourself

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.

General George Patton
Hello Marty
"Direct the play, not the players." (Bate)

I knew a man who had been a Lieutenant in the U. S. Army during the Korean War in which he saw action. His immediate commanding officer was a man all the troops admired and respected That Major's orders were always couched in firm but respectful words. He would say things like "It would please me very much if you and your men took that hill." My friend said that remark was an order that meant that taking the hill was an absolute necessity. He said his men were amazingly innovative about it. If taking the hill was an impossibility they would figure out a way to do it.

As an actor, the best directors I ever knew were those who had the same respectful attitude. There were many directors who somehow felt they had the right to tell actors how to act. That unwarranted arrogance made most actors lose respect for the director and perform well in spite of him. But a good director was one who sought out the best qualities in his actors and addressed us with the knowledge that we knew what we were doing. One of the best directors I know would say "Find a different motivation for that scene" and then leave it up to me to do so.

An actor will make a choice and act on it. If a director wants a different choice he should say so and leave it up to the actor. He shouldn't tell the actor how to play the part or criticize him for the choice he made. Some directors are so stupid (I can name names, but I won't) who don't even know that what they are seeing is an actor's choice.

If directors only knew how much damage they do to actors, the production and themselves by their arrogance they would probably deny it.

There are some actors who seem to need to be told what to do. But they don't last long in the profession, just as such a soldier wouldn't last long on the hills of Korea.

I have come across the same circumstance in the world of music. For two years I was involved in raising money for the New York Philharmonic, which is one of the world's greatest orchestras and that is a formidable reputation for an orchestra to have and one that holds little meaning for one who doesn't really know from first hand what a symphy orchestra is and does. The Philharmonic has had a variety of conductors over the years and some of them evidently were more interested in teaching musicians how to play than in playing the music. A bass violinist said the orchestra was so good it could play any piece you put down in front of it, even the most complicated and difficult modern work. That orchestra can play anything. It doesn't need to be told how to do it.

In short I hope you have a boss, if you have one, who trusts that you know your job and doesn't try to tell you how to do it.

DB - The Vagabond
Never Give Up

This is easy.

A farmer's son loads some pumpkins in his pick up truck and goes out to deliver them to various markets around town.

At the first market he delivers half of the pumpkins in his truck plus half a pumpkin.
At the second market he leaves half of the pumpkins he has in his truck plus half a pumpkin.
At the third market he gives them half of the pumpkins he has plus half a pumpkin.
At the forth market he delivers half of the pumpkins he has left plus half a pumpkin.
Then he drives his truck back to the farm to get more pumpkins because he's run out of them.
How many pumpkins did he have in the truck to begin with?

I await your clever answer.

This is not a contest.

What event over the past year changed your life, a lot or a little?

Autumn is moving along.
Only 6 answers so far.

I eagerly await your answers.

1 comment:

Big Mark 243 said...

See that is the key... if the leader has confidence in himself, he will have confidence in those beneath him...(or so I believe)

Let the well trained do their job... when that happens, magic can occur..!