If Grand Masters do it, so should you.
I like chess.
In fact, there was a time when I was a member of the Manhattan Chess Club. I even took lessons from this guy, who at one point in his incredible career beat Bobby Fischer. And yes, I’ll admit, one time I got beat by a 9 year old (in my defense, this kid was the Justin Bieber of the Chess Club, and had the IQ of a mini Stephen Hawking).
One of the first rules that I was taught as I learned the game was to write down every single move I made, and every single move my opponent made. And later that night, study it. Even if I won. What would have happened if I moved my queen the other way? Or sacrificed a bishop? Or taken a pawn? What if, what if, so I’d be better prepared next time.
It sounded like a great lesson for those looking to get better, like me. But then I went to my first major tournament, and watched as the top 1% in the chess world, the Grand Masters, did the same thing. After each calculated move, they wrote down their choice, and then their opponent’s. And they sometimes gave lectures about how the game went, and the “what ifs.”
The idea being that if you’re looking to make chess a part of your life for the long term, you should learn from every move you make, so you can make better ones in the future.
You see where I’m going, right?
If you’re looking to make the theater a part of your life for the long term, you should learn from every “move” you make, so you can make better ones in the future.
When I produce a show, I keep a diary of notes. I jot down what works, what doesn’t. This way, when I’m faced with a similar decision or a similar show, I’ll have a history book to look through to make sure that history does or does not repeat itself, whatever I so desire.
If you’re just in this biz to play a quick game, well, don’t worry about it . . . and maybe you’ll win and maybe you’ll lose.
But if you’re committed to a career, then keep track of every damn move you make, so you can learn how to make better ones.
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