Recently I re-watched an episode (are they called episodes?) of a podcast that was really cool - it was Broken City's podcast with Ian Grom. Mike Jackson brought up a point that I thought was really interesting. He mentioned that he was an advocate for judges giving a level of respect and acknowledgement for the time and effort that was put into a production (topic is brought up at 28:30 in the video if you want to check it out). I think this is something that's fairly lacking in judges commentaries.
I think that just even having a sort of acknowledgement from judges regarding what you've done for a production and terms of how much effort and time it took makes a really big difference. For a judge to say "that's been done before" or "I've seen that a bunch of times already" is disheartening, because despite other people or ensembles doing that, the creator still put time and effort into it to put it into the show, and depending on the show, it may serve a purpose and be meaningful. Putting productions together is time consuming and it essentially becomes our lives. To be told that it's insignificant is fairly disheartening.
This ties into the whole "Box 6" being removed from the judges scoring too - the removal of "World Class" having to "set new standards." Even then, with the elimination of that and outside of world class, there's always the expectation for something new to be brought to the table. With how the activity has evolved, it's hard to do that without having strong financials. When was the last show that won without props?
What is considered as "creativity"? Anything done on the floor has probably been done previously one way or another. Someone may come up with an idea that's been done before in some way shape or form, does that make the idea not creative anymore? If a person brings together multiple ideas and ties them together, is that creativity? Who's able to discern what is creative and what isn't? Something that's creative to one person may not be creative to another - as their personal experiences have led them to seeing the idea been done before. It's all based on past experiences shaping what we see now as creative or not creative.
Regardless of creativity - time and effort was put into the production, from students, educators, writers, parents, you name it. The acknowledgement and respect of the time and effort put into it means a lot. Most people only see the final product, the show on the floor. Most of the time you won't see the hours on hours put into it that never see the public eye. The activity is hard - constantly changing and evolving. Every year there's something new brought forward, and it can feel like a game of catch-up to stay current with what's successful. No matter what, there's been time an effort involved put in, in order for the final product to exist.
It's a hard game to play. In the end, judges commentary will most likely effect the end result of a program. The way it's delivered can change how the comments are taken. Sometimes we just need that recognition and morale booster to believe we're doing something right. All we're trying to do is deliver the best thing we possibly can.
I'm not really sure where this rambling went, but if you haven't already, check out the podcast I mentioned earlier. Lots of thoughts were brought up in it, and I wanted to bring up mine. If you have any thoughts, I'd love to hear them!
Until next time!