Pressures of Time

Anne Bogart writes, in and then, you act (NY: Routledge, 2007):

At Columbia University … during the first year of training we insist that the directors cast, design, and stage two full productions per week with very little technical support.

Let that description sink in.

Usually, by the third week the directors feel drained and desperate. Their customary menagerie of director tricks is, by now, used up. Under the pressure of the intense schedule and the inherent difficulties and obstacles of putting up work in such an environment, the directors finally buckle down and start to work in the present moment, responding with the necessary courage to the task at hand, using whatever wit, muscles, courage, and skill they can conjure. They learn to slow down inside and to make room for innovation inside of a very finite objective time pressure (139).

In what capacities or arenas have you learned to accept the pressure of the present moment as a means to transform your relationship to the work, rather than an obstacle to its completion or success?

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One thought on “Pressures of Time

  1. (Kaitlyn)- When I first began acting, I was terrible at changing my blocking/reactions in a scene when something did not go as planned. One I started college, I learned just how important it is to be open to new stimulus around you which can affect a scene. The pressure of being hyperaware of your environment does create pressure and yet makes it possible to adapt to any situation one is thrown into. Once I learn to accept the pressure as necessary, I find that my relationship with the text becomes more real because I am not focused on how perfectly I remember my lines or my blocking (though both are still important), but rather that I am being truthful to my character and to the circumstances surrounding her. To me, playing this truth is key to a successful character, scene, and show.
    In terms of research, this can concept can apply as well. While researching and writing, things are bound to come up- new documents that don’t support or even directly contradict your thesis, inability to access a certain document, deadlines that creep up on you, etc… But by accepting these roadblocks, these pressures, it allows you to power through and get creative. It allows for a new viewpoint you would not of considered if everything went smoothly. Sometimes, that pressure is what makes something great.

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