Ship Your Work

One of the upsides to being a theatre creator is that your work is malleable. Unlike a painting or photograph, which are difficult to modify once you've put them out in the world, theatre can change over time, because it's recreated for every performance.

This is a luxury, because it gives you the opportunity to improve based on the public's response.

Shows most frequently take advantage of this by staging previews, and in some cases, out of town tryouts before moving to a larger stage and inviting critics. As a creator, an audience makes you better. And having the deadline of an opening night improves your art. It forces you to put your work out into the world and embrace the fact that done is better than perfect.

Marketer and author Seth Godin argues that for something to be considered art, it must be shared. Someone who creates watercolors in their bedroom, but never shows them to anyone else is a painter. But if they show someone else what they've made, they're an artist.

And John A. Shedd said, "A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."

Ship your work. Even if you can't improve it later.


Reflections on creating systems to sustainably grow your impact on the world.
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