"I think of the security of cages. How violence, cruelty, oppression, become a kind of home, a familiar pattern, a cage, in which we know how to operate and define ourselves …"
- Eve Ensler, Insecure at Last
Good night, folks.If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
If you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
The amateur's launch meeting is fun, brimming with possibility and excitement. Everything is possible. Goals are meant to be exceeded. Not only will the difficult parts go well, but this team, this extraordinary team, will be able to create something magical.
Possibility is in the air, and it would be foolish to do anything but fuel it. After all, you don't get many days as pure as this one.
The professional's launch meeting is useful. It takes advantage of the clean sheet of paper to address the difficult issues before egos get in the way. Hard questions get asked, questions like:Those three bullet points will save you considerable trouble, if you're starting a new company. As Seth says, you need the amateur's enthusiasm and big think, but you will be lost without a realistic approach. Failing to hammer out such details before you file that fictitious business name will eventually lead to years of not talking to people you once considered cohorts. Again, speaking from experience.
- What are the six things most likely to go wrong?
- What will lead us to go over budget? Over schedule?
- How will we communicate with one another when things are going well, and how will we change that pattern when someone in the room (anyone in the room) realizes that something is stuck?
There is always a new season in hand and we are too busy to ask the only vital question which measures the whole structure. Why theatre at all? What for? Is it an anachronism, a superannuated oddity, surviving like an old monument or a quaint custom? Why do we applaud, and what? Has the stage a real place in our lives? What function can it have? What could it serve? What could it explore? What are its special properties?