ASQoD: Serial Processing

In transit today, from LA to Chicago, spending the flight researching new repertoire on the 2018 Short List. On to today’s #ASQoD*

“Nobody can do two things at once, you know.”
The Red Queen, via Lewis Carroll
(Through the Looking Glass)

Take that, multi-taskers.

The Red Queen was a tough customer, but she had much to teach Alice. Scientific studies are proving what we already knew; that it’s an illusion that we can split our attention and not pay a price.

When we try to do many things at once, we fool ourselves into thinking our brains are engaging in efficient, lightning-speed, parallel processing. Actually, we’re still doing one thing at a time, but we’re switching between them every few nano-seconds. And every one of those switches loses us time and keeps us from immersing ourselves with the necessary depth in any of the many tasks we’re attempting.

The answer? Serial processing.

Do one thing at a time: deliver a performance that inextricably links music/voice/character/language/story. And the only way to do this is to integrate these elements before the performance. If the preliminary work has not been done, you end up trying to remember the words and notes, monitor the technique, and fine-tune the interpretation all at the same time, jumping back and forth between competing concerns.

Nail them down; make them part of you and completely interlaced with one another before you put yourself out there.

*The Audition Season Quote of the Day is a month-long series brought to you by Wolf Trap Opera.

Photography by Doug Pensinger

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