Thursday, September 25, 2008

Crucial Conversations

Meme stolen from Julie’s journal

1.Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 42.
3. Find the first full sentence.
4. Post the text of the next seven sentences in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.

When we (the authors) are in the middle of an on-site workshop and we suggest there are alternatives to Sucker’s Choices, someone invariably says: “Maybe you can speak honestly and still be heard in other organizations, but if you try it here, you’ll be eaten alive!” Or the flip side: “You’ve got to know when to fold if you want to survive here for another day.” Then in a hail of “I’ll say” and “Here, here!” many nod in agreement.

At first we thought that maybe there *were* places where dialogue couldn’t survive. But then we learned to ask, “Are you saying there isn’t *anyone* you know who is able to hold a high-risk conversation in a way that solves problems *and* builds relationship? There usually is.

Start with heart.

-from Crucial Conversations, Tools for Talking When The Stakes Are High

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change

We opened last night to a sold out house, but not a sold out crowd. It was FANTASTIC nonetheless. The cast had a good time, the audience had a good time, and a standing ovation was had... and I don't see those in Austin crowds very often.

I could say the usual, this cast has worked their butts off (and they have) they have given themselves over to the project (and they have) and they are ALL strong -- all capable -- all having their very important moments (scenes in fact) on stage. They were terrific. We were at high levels in rehearsal and it just went to another one last night.

And then there was the reviewer in the front row. Writing away on a pad in an intimate venue. That's ok -- really! We LOVE getting press. It's a little awkward for the cast though. Opening night enjoyment gives way to, "What was she writing there?" "what did I do and what are her notes about this time?" I'm sure that became the focus of backstage conversation last night instead of the pure joy of getting this wonderful show in front of an audience. And who was that reviewer? We had two seats set aside for the Statesman, but they went unclaimed. What if it was an ACC student doing an assignment? And if so -- I'd like to see her paper on it! This time of year lots of ACC students are given this assignment. Oh sheesh... all that energy the cast spent wondering what was going on with the reviewer -- who may have been a student doing a homework assignment.

That's a good primary lesson in not worrying about who is in the audience and just doing your best and having a good time doing it.

Their energy was outstanding, there's not a weak link in the bunch, and I am very pleased. Let's see if the reviewer enjoyed herself too. I guarantee the review won't be as bad as this. We've "done the work" Ouch. Wow.

In the meantime, I've found time to post a blog entry, lounge around the house this morning, and enjoy some quality time with the SB. NiiiIIIIce. Come see the show!

Here's the cast a few weeks ago working on a filmed scene: