Get Your Cows Into The Barn

Posted on 30 October 2013

People in every stage show I have ever been involved with are always concerned about remembering their lines. Sometimes actors get frustrated with themselves for not getting things right at the very beginning of rehearsals. Sometimes people feel things should happen like they do in the movies, and there is a special way development must proceed. Not true.

It takes time to develop your performance, your process is your own, and yes it is scary. Even after the show opens, things will frequently be less than perfect. That’s live theatre for you.

Below is the advice I sent out to the cast and crew on Pop Mashup.

If you are feeling nervous I want you to think about this. The farm kids in our production will understand what I’m talking about.

Let’s say you are a dairy farmer. Your whole livelihood comes from the milk you get from your cows. Now let’s say a storm is heading toward your farm. What do you do?

You get the cows into the safety of the barn.

What if you are scared of the storm.

You get the cows into the barn.

What if you make mistakes in your efforts to round up the cows.

Doesn’t matter, you get the cows into the barn.

What if your neighbours would laugh at you for doing it badly.

Doesn’t matter, you get the cows into the barn.

Those cows are your life. You keep yourself focused on the job at hand and do what you have to do. How you do it matters less than simply getting it done.

When you walk onto a stage, keep your thoughts on the job at hand, keep moving forward, and allow the outcome to be whatever it is. Just get those jokes into the barn.

Peace and kindness,


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