On doing what you're doing
To do what you're doing
In theatre school our mime instructor, Daniel would critique our silent improvisations on stage.
In reference to someone dusting a table he asked:
Are you doing what you’re doing to do what you’re doing, or are you doing what you’re doing to get you somewhere?
I loved this question. In his critique, he asked if the table were really dusty and if so, how did that impact what the performer wanted to convey to the audience. They were merely dusting.
Did their ‘dusting’ have a direction or intention?
Did their ‘dusting’ have a distinct weight, rhythm or duration?
If their dusting were remarkable in some way, it may have driven the drama. But dusting for the sake of dusting, rubbing a table mindlessly because you couldn’t think of anything better to do would be like a drummer deciding to just randomly bang things with sticks. That might make some sort of performance art, but it certainly isn’t music.
In response to the instructor’s critique, instead of embedding the work with intention or som…