Monday, September 9, 2013

"Do their notes first"

This lesson/rule comes from Sarah Hughey, a friend and fantastic lighting designer who I have worked with on numerous productions.

The rule is simple; When you are working on a show, especially during tech, you will likely have a long list of notes you would like to complete. On that list, you will have notes that you took yourself for things that you would like to work on/improve, and notes from the director, actors, and maybe other designers and collaborators. When it comes time to start crossing the notes off your list, always take care of notes given to you by others before the notes you took on your own.

The reason for the rule should be obvious. If a director or other designer sees the same problem several nights in a row, after a note has been given, it begins to make you look bad. People can get a bad impression regardless of how many other notes have been completed. You want to be the person who completes notes quickly and efficiently, and who never has to be asked twice.

As obvious as the rule seems when typed out, I was terrible at this before Sarah explicitly explained it as one of her personal rules. It can be very easy, especially when the notes others give you are small or simple, to push them to the bottom of the list in favor of larger or more complex notes that will take more focus.

Now, I have begun to employ the rule (sometimes needing to say it out loud to remind myself).  I take care of the notes from others first, especially if they are simple. And when I am unable to complete the notes from others by the next rehearsal, I make a point to let them know how progress stands on that specific task, and when they should expect to see it completed (often this involves waiting on shipping, or waiting for the weekend until a store is open on Monday).

No comments:

Post a Comment