Crib Notes

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Crib note: (n) a translation, list of correct answers, or other illicit aid used by students while reciting, taking exams, or the like

Perhaps two of the more frightening words in the English language are “spontaneous” and “improvisation.”

Working in the theatrical community over the years, I have discovered that certain actors, directors and even writers extol the value of being spontaneous or applaud the introduction of improvisation into the set. Let me explain that the only people who think that spontaneous thought or improvisational input is clever are those who are doing it.

Most of us realize that if we’re listening to someone and we know they are going “off the cuff” or using crib notes they’ve written on their shirt sleeve, or they’re referring to an index card palmed in their hand, it’s just goddam nerve-wracking.

You have to start rooting for them, hoping they don’t implode into meaningless babbling or nonsense.

The truth is, if you have something that you want to come off with a flair of impromptu, you should memorize it.


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Coproduce

Coproduce: (v) to produce a motion picture, play, etc,  in collaboration with others.

My son works in the independent film industry.

Matter of fact, for four years I joined his wife, Tracy and him by penning thirteen screenplays, which they ably turned into feature-length funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
movies.

It was very enjoyable.

We agreed on almost everything—except…

He really felt it was good—dare I say noble?—to collaborate. To co-produce with strangers.

Let me make it very clear. I love people as long as I don’t have to endure too many of their opinions.

I welcome input.

I learn from almost everyone.

But normally I do this by watching their successes and imitating those procedures.

What I do not like to do is sit around a table and “brainstorm.” To me, brainstorming leads to a tornado of confusion.

I also don’t like the fact that when people co-produce, they tend to focus too much on their own contribution to the project, sniffing it out like hound dogs looking for a scurrying rabbit, constantly reminding everyone quietly, or loudly, that the preceding portion was their idea.

Perhaps in the long run, I lose some quality by tapping only the sap of my own tree trunk.

But when you only have yourself to blame, you don’t have to share bows or get into ridiculous arguments about whose ingenious notions really made the experience click.


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