Today was a day that revealed such an amazing and common struggle I seem to experience often in my life. An experience of direction, clarity and purpose. We started off our day with a bang. The experience we ended the evening with last night was one of great triumph. We found or story and played through the concept with enthusiasm and vigour. But, when we went to quantify, specify, and clean, we were lost. We found the common vision we thought we all shared was not a common vision at all, but a big jumble of miscommunication.

It’s amazing this whole working on a team dynamic. The idea of making something with others takes communication, conversation, sharing and listening. These are all ideas we think we naturally have, like we are born with all these capabilities. But alas, not so. And not only are we not natural listeners or communicators, but we each learn in a different way, so even when we think we are talking, there is no way we are actually doing so. And boy did we ever figure this out today. So the evening culminated with 3 days til the show goes up and no show. So what did we do when we felt stuck?

What everyone always does when they feel stuck. We made dinner. We made dinner, ate, enjoyed each other, and came back to the creative table with fresh ideas and inspiration.

Our phenomenally fearless leader, Jenny, created an exercise, one intended to get us all on the same page– solidified as it were. We each began by writing about the intention of the piece for two minutes. Then thirty words. Then five. Then one. We then went in a circle, shared each of our ideas, then picked one.

From this one, we had a diving board. From this one we found direction. So we go to bed with some glimmer of hope that the show will make some semblance of sense and we will be able to do what we came here to do: tell a story that moves people, inspires people to think and feel– to seek to know more and push harder.

Ah the growing pains of creating. This shit ain’t easy, but it sure is fun. I say good night to the church bells of Old Prague.

Till tomorrow!

Add yours Comments – 36

  • Aziza

    on May 19, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    Strength in unity of perspectives- a perfect way to go.

    Take care of yourself and have fun!

  • James

    on May 19, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    Art (especially art that is truly affecting) takes learning, constructive criticism, and communication. I’m glad to see you learned that today.

  • william

    on May 19, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Very interesting. I’m gald your having fun. Thanks for sharing allison!

  • Amanda N.

    on May 19, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    I’m glad you and your group found your way back to being on the same page and where you want the show to be.I’m sure if communication is what yall needed,that it was accomplished.Cause you seem to be a great communicater and listener as well.You are right we do all learn differently and that sometimes creates a gap in communication when we are operating on different levels.But it’s nice that the team figured out ways to improve and enhance the show.Ah and eating can make anyone feel better and inspired,especially when it’s with good friends.I’m sorry I would comment more on this awesome blog,but I just came back from my spring concert for band.It went well and everything,but I am a little tired and my little sister is pissing me off at the moment.But congraulations on your accomplishment of fixing your problems with the play.The final outcome is going to be out of this world!I just know it.Well until tommorow,I’ll be looking forward to the next blog and more updates on your very awesome project.

  • Ruthie

    on May 19, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    Wow…that is just awesome! I’m feeling the beauty of our own journey’s today, realizing that we have so much to learn from each other yet thankful for each of our individual paths. All I did was paint my kitchen lavendar and make a garden for my three girls today. And it was good stuff.


  • Brittany

    on May 19, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Hey Allison! I completely agree with you, working as a team isn’t as easy as it seems to be. Group up, and poof it appears! If only….. Well I’m happy you’re having lots of fun and creative time with your friends! This creative activity seems very intriguing. Your friend Jenny sounds very intelligent!
    Take care,
    Much love & support,

  • Andrew

    on May 19, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    “We each began by writing about the intention of the piece for two minutes. Then thirty words. Then five. Then one. We then went in a circle, shared each of our ideas, then picked one.”

    That’s an awesome way to bring everyone together! Tactical and yet open. I can’t wait to see the results.


  • Jade Ruby

    on May 19, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    Gee. When I hear church bells now, I hear so much more to our existence. I hear infinity resounding to the focus of me. And you. And you, and you, andyouandyouandyou. Space and time dappled with the intense colorful flavors of the sound of Life. Shh. Listen.

  • Ornella Santilli

    on May 19, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    Dear Friend: It’s your time to reflect on, to clarify about your life and the differents directions it may take! Enjoy it! Find how to do it!
    Follow your dreams and fulfill them!!
    It’s no easy but it isn’t impossible!! Impossible is nothing!!!

    See you tomorrow, Alli.

    Ornella from Argentina.


  • Irene

    on May 19, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    WOW, that sounds so interesting…

    “tell a story that moves people, inspires people to think and feel– to seek to know more and push harder.”

    Sounds like your having to embody the message of your piece before you can tell it. I say this because your struggle of growth, sounds like the “push harder” of your tell.

    hang in there!

  • arash

    on May 19, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    I understand many “teams” try to get along like your internet community, but we are just way too cool, no competion 🙂

  • MarilyneL

    on May 19, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    You seem to form an amazing group of people, creative and talented people. I’m convinced that you will find and agree on the same great ideas! 😉


    on May 19, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Hi Allison.
    Yesterday you said: We have spent the last 24 hours brainstorming ideas.
    Today, you’ve had storms and thunder.
    I frequently have problems in finding direction in my own head, imagine when there are nine passionate heads .
    The important thing is not who is right, but to find a solution.
    Often words are not enough for good communication, drawing, chart or table helps a lot.
    Often, while the other speaks, we do not listen, we think about our response.
    It is a beautiful and inspiring experience that you share with us. Thank you


  • thomas

    on May 19, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    Good night and sweet dreams. Church bells and good vibrations send you to sleep, may the song of birds wake you in the morning. Peace on earth.

  • Silvia

    on May 19, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Hi Allison,

    I think it’s not only a lack of communication. It’s because most people don’t really care for others. Hence, they’re only focused on themselves and their aims, but not for others or their objectives. Another thing is… sometimes we think just too far resp. we let our thoughts flow until they’re too far away in order to pick them up… or we collect so many ideas that we cannot see the wood for trees – especially when a number of creative minds come together. Be this as it may, you’re right, we aren’t born listeners. I’m not much of a talker. Yet I am a good listener and advisor, but only if I want to. You see, there are several aspects that collude with the result of a fine communication. Carry on having fun and all the best for your play.


  • Beth

    on May 19, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    You’re far more likely to think of creative ideas if you’re comfortable with failing first. This must be why everyone eats when they get stuck-so they can cook and eat and talk about many different ideas and find a way to start putting them together and start building and creating potential stories.

    I know you’ll end up with something great Allison. I have faith in you.

    By the way, Claude makes a good point about thinking of our response while another speaks. I tend to do this often. Then I realise how rude it is and I start listening properly again and by the time they’re done talking I’ve forgotten what I was gonna say. Happens to me all the time.

  • Christian

    on May 20, 2009 at 1:22 am

    Your passion makes me happy, I’m sure I’ll see that reflected in your project. Hopefully you’ll encourage more people to pursue their goals. Try your best at making them lose their fear of throwing away that pre-fixed kind of life.
    If you don’t take a chance, you don’t win right?

  • Susana

    on May 20, 2009 at 2:41 am

    awww good for you for keeping at it, & everyone thats helping too :). I think everything in life isn’t easy but you have to keep pushing until you see something you like.

    I wish you the best & hope everything turns out well.
    & can’t wait to hear more on your trip & your work 🙂

    Take Care,


  • Kris

    on May 20, 2009 at 6:33 am

    “This shit ain’t easy.”

    The things that areworth the effort never are easy, dear. Sounds like you’re all stretching your wings, but are still trying to figure out what formation to fly in…but you’ll figure it out.

  • Michael G. Clark

    on May 20, 2009 at 7:07 am

    My old mate Stuart Moore has an art gallery in Prague, if you get the time look for a mental scots bloke who looks like Charlie Sheen.

    Lots of luck with the show, sounds really hard. I’ll stick to drawing I think.

  • Silvia

    on May 20, 2009 at 7:56 am


    Your posting brought something back to my mind… A few years ago a friend of mine joined a small group of people who made a play. None of them was an actor or actress and they had only three days in order to write and rehearse that play. The day after they had their performance (playing time: 75 min.) and the audience was impressed for the play was quite good for laymen. What would have become of the play if they all would have been real actors? Go figure!


  • Paul

    on May 20, 2009 at 7:59 am

    I have to say that your friend Jenny had an excellent Idea, I often times find it a struggle to lead peers in a common goal when we are not all in the same line of thought. I think that this is something that I might “steal” and try on my next team meeting.

  • Jade Ruby

    on May 20, 2009 at 8:17 am

    Acting. It’s not just a job. . . it’s an adventure!

  • Irene

    on May 20, 2009 at 8:24 am

    That whole process is so cool.
    It reminds me of a simular thing a mentor of mine did. A group of us got together and brain stormed, and she put all the things we had on our heart to do using only one worded items to desribe them. She put them on big post it’s on a white board, so we could all them.

    When we were done brain storming, she told us to find all the things on the board, that fell under the same catagory. She separated all the different catagories and asked us to come up with one word that sums up each catagory & she posted it at the top of each.

    This created an organized thought of all our creative brain storm.

    Then we organized them into phases of process- Which catagory follows the next sort of thing.

    This caused us to really get clarity, direction, and we were then able to execute a plan of action as to where to start.

    I hope this helps you, I know you have great people in your life. But if nothing else helps…

  • Jenny

    on May 20, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Hope you get time to sight see in between work Allison. I googled Prague and came across pictures. Prague is a charming city.

    Take Care

  • Rita Gabriela

    on May 20, 2009 at 10:53 am

    I agree with Hope you get time to sight see in between work Allison.

  • Maria

    on May 20, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Wow, one day you’re brainstorming the next it’s a bundle of miscommunication!? jeje

    I really hope you can send us a video or something of the show it sounds really interesting!

    xo Maria

  • Robin

    on May 20, 2009 at 11:07 am

    Nothing worthwhile in life is easy.

    Collaboration is always very hard in any capacity in life, because each of us can see the same thing and yet, in that, see something unique to us.

    With this latest project it’s a hundred times more difficult because each of you artists are attempting to interpret another artist’s original work which again probably resonates in each of you very individual emotions and feelings!

    Yet as you state, that’s the fun part, boiling down the work to it’s mere essence and uncovering the raw driving force in the material, ie attempting to uncover it’s intent (I mean it’s not like you can just give a call is it!).

    You sound as though you are having a blast, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that each of you will create something really special in time for the show!

    Keep exploring Allison, were all rooting for you…and I hope the group go easy on Jenny, it must be one tough task guiding such a vast mix of artists!

    I agree with Rita, Old Prague is definately worth sightseeing, it has some amazing architecture!

  • Jesse

    on May 20, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Hi Allison

    I feel that some of us are born with abilities or talents and ideas and they make things work. You’re special and I know you and your group would make the right decisions. I hope everything turns out well. Always umm


  • paul

    on May 20, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    This is fascinating! I can (kind of) understand the creative process of one artist; but it seems endlessly complicated to create as a group effort. I can only see it flying off in all directions at once… to create harmony from this seems almost magical!

    Good for you! After eight years of doing what you do… good for you for branching out, taking risks, exploring, and probing new heights.

  • Beth

    on May 20, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    I was just looking at pictures of Prague.
    It really is such a beautiful place.
    I hope you get to sight see Allison.

  • Glenise

    on May 20, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    You are an inspiration to us all. I truly value your insight!

  • Amanda N.

    on May 20, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    I just checked out the site for your theatre company.I love all the little challenges everyone did.It’s wonderful how eveyone contributes something in all different forms of artistic expression.They are all really lovely and beautiful.Tell your leader Jenny she’s very intelligent,it was an awesome idea.I am just glad to be able to be the recipient of all these creative excersises these brillant people have put together.

  • Smallvillekent

    on May 20, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    Good Luck with the creative process. I am sure the final product will be excellent. Looking foward to here about the result. If your friends are as talented as you you guys will have a smash hit on your hands. Break a leg!

  • Netra

    on May 20, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    People are NOT natural listeners…that is for certain!! That is the key to communication, it is truly developing the capability to listen to what others have to say….even if you don’t agree…..My heart is light tonight….thinking of Allison in Prague doing what she loves….pushing her own boundaries…..ah…what a fulfilled life we lead when first we practice to succeed!!! That goes for anything that we attempt…trying to do it, and be good at it! I was just given a promotion, it was exactly what I wanted…it is what I asked for… that I have it, I am terrified!!! Afraid that I will mess it up, or that they will call me with a retraction~~~ I will be wishing you luck in your journey Allison…please do the same for me!!!

  • Eduardo

    on May 20, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    I hope you have even more fun and create some more happy memorie and remember that people that make you so exited, and enyoy your trip with all your soul