Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tips for [creating theater]

A few months back, the Guardian published an article presenting a list of tips for writers from an astounding selection of authors. As one would expect, most of the tips are writer-specific, but many of them are good tips for artists-in-general, and some are simply good tips for life. We at Psittacus have culled the list down to what we feel are helpful lessons for theater artists starting a new company from the ground up.

If nobody will put your play on, put it on yourself.
- David Hare

Try to leave out the part that [viewers] tend to skip. Think of what you skip reading a novel: thick paragraphs of prose you can see have too many words in them.
- Elmore Leonard

Do back exercises. Pain is distracting.
- Margaret Atwood

Have regrets. They are fuel.
- Geoff Dyer

Do not place a photograph of your ­favourite author [or actor/director] on your desk, especially if the author [or actor/director] is one of the famous ones who committed suicide.
- Roddy Doyle

Have fun.
- Anne Enright

Don't take any shit if you can possibly help it.
- Richard Ford

Don't wait for inspiration. Discipline is the key.
- Esther Freud

Be without fear.
- A.L. Kennedy

Are you serious about this? Then get an accountant.
- Hilary Mantel

The prerequisite for me is to keep my well of ideas full. This means living as full and varied a life as possible, to have my antennae out all the time.
- Michael Morpurgo

Think big and stay particular.
- Andrew Motion

Keep a light, hopeful heart. But expect the worst.
- Joyce Carol Oates

Get lucky. Stay lucky.
- Ian Rankin

The nearest I have to a rule is a Post-it on the wall in front of my desk saying "Faire et se taire" (Flaubert), which I translate for myself as "Shut up and get on with it."
- Helen Smith

Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand – but tell it. Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never ­being satisfied.
- Zadie Smith

Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
- Colm Tóibín

Turn up for work. Discipline allows creative freedom. No discipline equals no freedom.
- Jeanette Winterson

Ignore all proferred rules and create your own, suitable for what you want to say.
- Michael Moorcock

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