Creating a story can be a very vulnerable experience. We put ourselves on display while people watch us portray a character that is brand new to us, and then to get notes after can very easily touch that part of us that already feels exposed.
How many times have you been in a note session, and you hear the other actors defensively explaining their choices on stage? It’s because they feel exposed. It’s a natural reaction to be sensitive in that situation. We’ve all done it at some point, but here’s something to remember before your next notes session with a director.
Don’t take it personally.
Taking the note doesn’t mean take the punches. It may feel like a gut punch to you, but the director is trying to sharpen and hone the story; he’s not thinking of your feelings. Notes sessions are not the time to defend your craft. Simply say THANK YOU and let the note marinate.
After the notes session, if the suggestion is still bothering you, talk to the director about it one-on-one. There’s a full company who want to have their time respected, and you can do so (and earn respect at the same time) by having the discussion on your own time.
Quite often, I will write the note down and see if I can make the adjustment. I’ll give it a full day event, and the next morning, I’ll pull the Director aside if it still doesn’t sit well. You are allowed to question a note but not without doing your part by trying it out first.
Never be afraid to get clarity, because I always say, with Clarity comes Freedom.
Do you have any tricks to taking the note? Let me know in the comments below.