I saw a one-person show earlier this summer that had a moment I can’t stop thinking about.
The performer had a bag of props on stage complete with money, comb, water bottle, and so on. They kept using the props for various reasons throughout the scene. So far, so good.
But then, they went to check the time. They glanced at their wrist and THEY WEREN’T WEARING A FREAKING WATCH.
Why have an entire bag of real props but not a real watch?
For the rest of the show I couldn’t stop thinking about that tiny moment. It just made no sense.
If you’re going to do something then go all the way. Have all the props, learn all the skills, finish the project.
This is a big pet peeve of mine.
It drives me crazy to see an artist who specializes in design but has a poorly designed website. Or a performer who has never actually studied theater.
A fellow performer told me recently that he didn’t believe in writing a script. He insisted that his performance would be “fresher without one” and that “saying the same words every time” wasn’t his style.
Face, meet palm.
When people make comments like that what I actually hear is “Writing a script is too much work.”
I don’t understand how you can expect people to buy tickets to see you if you haven’t put in the work to actually write a show. And I have no idea how you can expect people to buy into your performance if some of your props are imaginary and some of your props are real.
If you aren’t willing to put in the work then what’s the point? There’s more to what you do than the thing you’re doing. You have to learn all the minor skills that go into your craft. You have to pay attention to all aspects of what you do.
People will notice the little details…even if you don’t.