But first, a tangent: At my actual job, there's a corporate hierarchy. Once work is created, several (or, as it sometimes seems, a gazillion) people review the work before it goes to press. There's a pecking order—one writes, another edits, another reviews, another approves, etc., etc., etc. But we're working on an exercise right now where we all edit each other, level-blind—which is new. After some initial hesitation, we're starting to get bolder. I peeked at some of the work today, and the editing is getting more confident and more aggressive. As we build trust—in our own skills and others' opinions—the feedback we give each other becomes less threatening and more useful. I hope.
Getting and giving feedback on writing can feel pretty personal until you get used to it. Getting and giving feedback on improv is even tougher.
When a troupe is self-coached, there's a very real danger the players aren't hearing what they need to hear. It's incredibly difficult—and in many ways, inappropriate—to critique folks you're often in scenes with. Making it work means creating a really, really safe space for each other—both as part-time directors and performers. This gets easier as you gain experience—on stage and off, with each other and with other groups.
The thing that made me think of this? This six-page thread on yesand.com, fed by players who don't (or don't often) get on stage together, vs. this (admittedly newer) thread on the City 3 forums, read by players in the same groups and small community.
Two things are going on, at least:
- Calling out things members of your troupe do.
- Calling out things you've seen members of other troupes do.
We need to call this stuff out when we see it on stage...and not wait to do it in the forums.