Tag Archives: critical thinking

Where’s My Mind?

I’ve written a lot about critical thinking in the last few blog posts, partially because I believe it’s something that’s currently lacking to a great degree in our culture and particularly in the arts. In future blog posts, I’ll expand on this and explore the interplay of imagination and rational thinking.

As I have said previously, almost anyone could stand on the stage and “feel”.  But could you do it again? You and I could scream our lungs out at each other. “Wow! I really felt that!” we might say afterwards, licking our chops like cats. But would it serve the play, be interesting and appropriate, or would it just be emotional masturbation? And again, could either of us do that again and again without very rapidly wrecking our voices?

In the end, who really cares if you “felt” it or not? The real test is: Were you able to convey across the footlights the impression that the character was feeling whatever emotion of the moment, by whatever path you took to get there?

Simple emotional indulgence is not only boring to watch, it’s a cheat. You might start by getting “feelings” but can you justify them after the fact?
Continue reading Where’s My Mind?

And Now . . . Keep Building The Approach

It’s so great to hear from all of you who have been following the blog and especially those of you who are trying the exercises in our last several posts (click here, and here to review those exercises or to do them now if you haven’t done so).

I know that this is new and strange territory for some of you and I admire your courage in challenging yourselves to try something different, to speak up when you don’t understand, and to just “go with it” and see where it takes you. Please keep doing all that and also submitting your comments on each post page or speaking to me “offline” or both!

If you do use the “comments” feature, it helps us all to see what others are grappling with or how they are approaching things. It’s amazing how alike we can be and really fun to explore our differences as well. I know that I learn a lot from seeing the various approaches that people take and where their imaginations lead. Your creativity helps me to be more creative and I hope you will find the same experience in sharing with others here.

I’ve stressed throughout these introductory exercises that there’s no “right” or “wrong” answers. The point is really to expand horizons. To let your imagination develop, partly through a “metaphorical” approach; that is, through using one creative or artistic medium to talk about another. In these cases, we’ve used light and shadow, color and tone, depth and angle, “inclusion” and “exclusion” — all found in photographs — to help us explore what stories interest us, how we might relate these stories as writers or directors, and why.

Continue reading And Now . . . Keep Building The Approach

Further Towards A Multi-Disciplinary Approach

The photograph above, “Follow Me”, © 2015 by William B. Watkins, can be viewed in a larger format in the Image Gallery. On that page, just double-click on the image to view it in a large, slideshow mode.

As you know if you read the last blog entry, I waited to get a little more response from blog readers about the post “Towards a Multi-Disciplinary Approach” and the exercises in it before continuing on the subject.

While not completely unexpected, I have to admit that I was surprised at exactly how much confusion the exercises stirred up.

When I asked some specific people for feedback or about whether or not they had done the two short exercises in the post, the prevailing answers I got were along the lines of “I didn’t understand what I was supposed to do.” I asked if the directions were unclear, concerned that I had gone over people’s heads somehow. No, I was assured, they weren’t.

Hmmmmm . . . . I wondered what the problem was then. “I didn’t know what this was for,” someone said. “I wasn’t used to doing things that way,” said another. “I didn’t think I was smart enough,” a very bright person told me.

Continue reading Further Towards A Multi-Disciplinary Approach

Further Towards A Multi-Disciplinary Approach (New Exercises)

The photograph above, “To the Mill”, © 2015 by William B. Watkins, can be viewed in a larger format in the Image Gallery. On that page, just double-click on the image to view it in a large, slideshow mode.

Welome back!

I know that those first couple of exercises from our post “Towards a Multi-Disciplinary Approach” may have been challenging in many different ways. If you haven’t read that post or done the first two exercises, you really should take a step back and have a go at them before proceeding. You might also want to read some explanatory information from “Further Towards A Multi-Disciplinary Approach”.

Remember, these exercises are for you. There’s not a right or wrong answer. It’s all based on your choices and designed to help you get in touch with your instincts about what appeals to you the most and then to challenge yourself to explore — and articulate — why.

Continue reading Further Towards A Multi-Disciplinary Approach (New Exercises)