7 Minutes or 7 Years

Two weeks ago, I taught a Create-A-Play class for a group of 6-10 year olds. The class had just 3 days, with a total of 7 1/2 hours of class, to create a play around the theme of Fractured Fairytales. Just the week before I had taught the same class to a slightly larger group of students, but it consisted of 30 hours of class. We were going for the same outcome: a short play we could share with parents.

So, needless to say, I expected this play made in 7 1/2 hours to be really short, and very simple in structure. Instead it turned out to have just as many scenes as the play we made in 30 hours, and a more complicated and detailed plot.

the plot!

When we were working on Dances Made To Order, one of my performers said something along the lines of “Well, it’s what Kristin says…you can make a dance in 7 minutes or 7 years.” These kids really showed me that this is true.  The time that they spent creating the play was incredibly focused, and they made decisions without flinching. Everyone was concerned about finishing and rehearsing the play, so nothing was overly considered.

I love process. And, this week I get to start the process of working on a movement score for a new play at the Red Eye, which I get 9 great weeks of rehearsal to work on this. Sometimes, though, I think process gets the best of us. If you have endless amounts of time to create a dance, write a book, or launch a business, you usually end up taking it. And, that time gives you more opportunities to second guess yourself, over-think, and generally get in your own way. I’m a proponent for limits. So many things I’ve made only happened because there was a deadline!

So, I’m taking a lesson from the kids, and writing some deadlines in my day planner. I could think about doing these things for another couple of years, or just decide when they’re going to happen now.

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