Perfecting your craft

Im watching a Netflix documentary on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. Not being a basketball fan, this is the first time I see what it means to be an NBA basketball player. The footwork, the mid range throw, strategy, teamwork, 4 hrs practice sessions. MJ’s mid range throws improved as his athletic prowess diminished with age. 10 000hr rule. He improved over the years.

Food for thought on what such work ethics mean for my profession and my craft?

I pick up “Daily Rituals- Women at Work” by Mason Currey, page turned to Lynne Fontanne (1887-1983).

Currey researched Jared Brown’s “The Fabulous Lunts” and wrote that the theatre couple “worked out a meticulous routine for their sessions at home. Memorisation of lines came first…. Each would shout out the lines of the play without disturbing the other. After they felt reasonably secure in their lines, they worked in the same room, sitting facing each other… they began to exchange dialogue. If one of them faltered or gave the wrong lines, the other clapped his knees together and the scene began again. After several such sessions, their knees may have been bruised but they were letter perfect in their lines.” ( This reminded me of a comment of MJ when he played baseball. He practicised until his hands bled.)

“Once memorisation was complete, rehearsals began, with (the couple) playing each scene over and over again, each time modifying their characters” attitude and intentions. After multiple run throughs, they would come to an agreement about which version had been the most successful, and … another round of rehearsals “making small modifications to gestures, looks, points of emphasis, relentlessly polisgung every detail. Only after this (exhaustive) extensive “homework” would the Lunts be reasldy to rehearse with the other actors in a production – and even then, they continued to rehearse by themselves at home afterward.”

I stop copying here, not because Im afraid Currey would accuse me of plagiarism but because Im exhausted. Just the thought of this amount of practice. I always thought spontaneity would lead to materials being fresh.

Reading about “Ten Chimneys” their holiday home where the Lunts spent summers in personal amd artistic rejuvenation entertaining guests like Laurence Olivier and the likes of the creative folks. Its amazing to note that such sensitive folks do not feel threatened by others in the show business.

How much am I willing to put in to perfect my craft? If I get a coach, am I willing to listen?

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