Christopher Clark on Directing

Last night I attended the monthly Creative Collaborative meetup here in Provo UT, featuring one of my favorite humans Chris Clark.

Chris is a theater director, as well as a producer, writer, and actor. His remarks were very poignant and I wanted to share a few takeaways.

What was amazing was how universal his points were. Rather than specific technical ways to become a better theater director, they came across more as universal truths.

You Are Not The [Movie]. You Are Just There To Help It Along.

Removing that expectation of “you have to do everything” and that this movie,¬†project, or whatever, is part of your identity will allow you to be more focused on what you’re actually there for – your creative contribution to the project and to the world.

You Can’t Have Everything

Chris even mentioned that if you can get 60% of what you want, you’re doing pretty well. Lower your expectations, allow yourself to be flexible¬†and work with others to find something even better than what you originally wanted.

Speak Clearly. Speak Briefly.

I’ve been trying to work on brevity for what seems like years. It was nice to hear that someone else–Chris, no less–valued that quality as well. It makes it easier when you are in the position of leadership to be able to speak to those your working with in this way. They are skills worth spending time improving on.

The [Set] Will Take Its Cues From You

This was a comment on the importance of controlling your emotions. If you show up tired, lazy, and impatient, the crew is going to be affected by it. It’s hard, but it’s part of the job – you have to be on all the time.

There was so much more, but these were the ones I needed to hear the most. If you ever get a chance to see one of the plays that Chris directed, make sure you do. I’ve seen a number of them and they are always so incredibly creative, out of the box, and new that I always feel like I failed when I don’t make it out to see them.

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