Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Reading on the job...

I have been working for nearly a month now at NYU. I am the administrative assistant at the Tisch School of Design for Stage and Film. I am a secretary. A receptionist. Both of these roles have taken an excruciatingly long time to adjust to, but now that I am more confident in my duties, I am a sponge.

Recently the students here were honored by a lecture by Jean-Guy Lecat, co author of "The Open Circle" which is a book that chronicles the theater environments of director Peter Brook who has a production going on in Harlem this month.

Some excerpts (quotes from Brook):

"People have said repeatedly that my recent work is 'simple', and this has become a very friendly cliche. The warning I would always attach to such statements is that the road to simplicity is extremely long, and I discourage anybody else from trying to start with the notion of simplicity, because it is something that arises as a result of diverse, sometimes convoluted processes.

"An ethical idea of simplicity as a point of departure can be revealing if it involves discarding everything moot, whether it is a protection or a defensive reflex, and seeing what happens."

" We've never worked to a budget. Micheline used to say, 'Do what you want and we'll find a solution', and we would feel our way, try something, and if it was too expensive cut down on something else and sometimes get into debt...Sometimes newcomers from the outside can't understand our approach: they want to know what their individual budjet is, how they can operate, but the process for us is sort of a jostle, negotiating things as we go along, arguing our priorities, rather like breaking a horse."

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