Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"I am glad to be a part".  But are they?  Butt in seat, smile on their faces.  So many folks think their job as an artist or an audience member or a board members or an employee is to "show up".  On time.  Do the work they are given.  

We are beyond that now.  Just getting to the audition, or thinking up a new idea isn't enough.  "We should do...." is not sufficient.  Your job now is to "surprise and delight and to change the agenda" as Seth Godin says.  To "escalate, reset expectations and make us delight that you are part of the team".  

A team member who moves things along.  Who proposes whacked out ideas.  Who connects others with important movers and shakers.  Who takes the ball and runs with it.  

It's not nearly enough just to "show up" any more.  

Friday, January 18, 2013

THIS is why he inspires me daily! Remember, he's writing mostly about business...yet he uses the term "art".  

With great power comes great irresponsibility- Seth Godin

It's possible that Peter Parker was uninformed.
Organizations tend to view "responsiblity" as doing the safe, proven and traditional tasks, because to do anything else is too risky. The more successful they become, the less inclined they are to explore the edges.
In fact, organizations with reach and leverage ought to be taking more risks, doing more generous work and creating bolder art. That's the most responsible thing they can do.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


I liked this one a lot. Although I don't like to call things "problems".  Just "Challenges".

And I like it when people in conversations with me bring up a challenge and right away offer a solution that they have thought of.  Students, board members, colleagues, business contacts, customers, husbands, friends.  

If you just leave it as "I have a problem with..." and you don't offer some thoughts on how to work on it....then you are just blowing air at me and being critical. (ps I tend to dig my heels in when someone does that to me by the way....so if you are ever wondering how to get me to do something or alter my course, be positive and offer other ideas if you don't like mine instead of just criticizing my idea. I tend to drive hard when I think I have a good idea but I will listen to other folks who are being positive and trying hard to make something work.)  

If you offer something then you actually do get credit for solving it in my book.  Even if the solution you offered isn't one we went with...you tried...so you get credit too.

For truly important problems- Seth Godin

You know something is important when you're willing to let 
someone else take the credit if that's what it takes to get it 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Youth Board President, Matt Sweeney

Our newly founded Youth Board has met twice (next meeting is this weekend) and last week we invited Matt Sweeney, Youth Board Prez to update our adult Board of Directors regarding the activities of the Youth Board.

He did a great job and sat in on the whole 2 hour meeting, getting to see the workings of a board of directors first hand.  See video below of part of his presentation. He updated us on the singing waiters portion of the CT Humane Society gig (in which he and two other teens sang before our big show for their gala at the tables for "tips" that went to the Humane Society as well).  Many of them went with us to the senior homes and also sang in the gigs for the Bijou and Lockwood Mathews Mansion and Museum.

The teens have also started their own blog www.nptbreakaleg.blogspot.com  in which they review or comment on performing arts shows, both professional and amateur that they have seen.  They submit a picture and video and must include one "interview" of another teen in attendance.  It's all from their "teen" experience.

This month they will also launch their newsletter "Break a Leg" that will highlight all the local schools and the shows that are coming up. If you know anyone who should be on that mailing list (it's great advertising for the schools) let us know at nptyouthboard@gmail.com

The Youth Board is so excited about being a part of the efforts of NPT that Matt wrote this on our Youth Board facebook page (created by them and just for youth board members).

The New Paradigm Theatre Youth Board works side-by-side with the NPT Board of Directors to ensure the longevity and creativity of the New Paradigm Theatre. It is a prime example of the fantastic mentoring program NPT has to offer, and is comprised of enthusiastic teens hoping to spread the knowledge and enthusiasm about the arts they encompass. 

President: Matt Sweeney
Vice-President: Nathan Clift
Secretary: Kelsey Llewellyn
Treasurer: Kevin DurkeeBoard Members: Shaina Arsenault, Shelby Vetare, Shay LaRusso

The Board of Directors also nominated and accept Lisa LaRusso and Lisa Durkee (parents) to be on our adult Advisory Board to help guide this group.

See video and pix of Matt at the board meeting below.

Monday, January 7, 2013


Brilliant from my favorite marketing genius- Seth Godin

Two kinds of mistakes

There is the mistake of overdoing the defense of the status quo, the error of investing too much time and energy in keep things as they are.
And then there is the mistake made while inventing the future, the error of small experiments gone bad.
We are almost never hurt by the second kind of mistake and yet we persist in making the first kind, again and again.

Friday, January 4, 2013


Continuing last week's entry on being RELENTLESS, I thought SUSTAINABILITY was also a good word to keep in mind.   As an actor, producer, or any type of business that requires "craft" this paragraph is well worth reading.  I get an enewsmagazine called Fear.less.  

This paragraph from their recent edition really worked for me and I hope it will for you too!

"Sustainability over lightning-fast. I started in the online world five years ago and cringed at who I thought I'd have to become - constantly engaged, with roadrunner stamina. I wanted to keep up, but I didn't think I could. In trying to exist here however, I saw I had a combination of presence and quiet that actually worked for my audience. I sustained and did so successfully. I realized I didn't want speed, after all. What I really wanted was sustainability to set my own pace, live with ease, and lay a solid foundation. This desire outgrew all the rest and I started to see myself as a craftsman, wanting to build with timelessness, quality. Systems became beautiful, not tedious. An architect knows each stone contributes to the masterpiece as much as the final stone laid. His work stands on years of toil. He has respect for the process, for the time it takes to build something magnificent. I architect my life and since I'm building something magnificent, I want to have respect for the process. This is the first time I've ever thought this way."

As a final note from me, it's so tempting to want it yesterday.  I KNOW! I do.  But that is when you use fun cliches like "Rome wasn't built in a day".  In a fast paced-video game-MTV-Reality show world we see ideas presented at a fast pace.  Think about this though, the ideas that started MTV, video games, and some shows, took time to figure out and work through and develop.  

So:  ACTORS- find a way to pay your bills that allows you to continue developing your craft and to stick with it until you are where you want to be with your career.  Don't just give it five years. THEATRES- ask yourselves how you can think in much larger terms about how you will enroll those in the community intimately with your mission. Not just sell tickets to your shows. 

And then develop a long term plan to get there.  Patiently and thoroughly working a bit each day. It's funny.  The Internet seems so fast and it's tempting to think that the process for excellence has sped up as well.  It hasn't.