Theater For The Future

The Art in the Business of Theater – Collaboration Tools and Technology and the Storefront Theater Movement
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Creative Transparency in Action

May 30, 2008 By: Nick Keenan Category: Uncategorized

Laura at Trailing Spouse Blues tuned me into this article which is just a wonderful working example of the theory at the core of this blog: that an open sharing of information leads to a “bigger pie” – more influx of thought, funding, and participation in theater, which leads to a reinvigorated and strengthened theater community.

When you share your knowledge you strengthen your industry and gain unexpected rewards.

I’m certainly not suggesting Coke publish the secret formula on their web site. But for a creative person sharing knowledge, especially business knowledge, will help the community has a whole.

The more knowledge amateurs, students or beginners have the greater their ability to make quality decisions. People can’t be forced to follow best practices or charge a professional rate for their work. But, more often it’s a lack of knowledge and experience that leads to such poor decision-making.

It’s hard to let go of the knowledge that we think is at the heart of our success. The note-taking system I detailed in the last post is an example of something that I do to help keep me as organized a sound designer as possible. I think it makes me better able to cope with the demands of a sound designer – where you must overlap many shows at a time in order to pay bills. At those times, it’s important to remember that our knowledge – which is the sum total of our history of choices, experience and conclusions of that experience – is both valuable to a newcomer, but it is also build and really only works for our brain. People can take your open-source knowledge and they necessarily will reshape it to their purposes. Virally, new thoughts and solutions will be created that you wouldn’t have dreamed possible. At the same time, those new thoughts wouldn’t have been possible without the seed of your own knowledge.

Sharing your best practices extends the collaborative ethos of theater into your business, not the other way around. It doesn’t guarantee the success (or domination) of a particular individual or a particular company, because it doesn’t guarantee ‘credit’ – it strengthens the entire industry first.

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