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From Lisa – A Quote for Every Occasion

November 2, 2016

At Touchstone, we love quotes! When I first started here, I had a daily calendar with a quote on it, a little something inspirational or clever to get you thinking or laughing first thing in the morning. I’d save the best ones and read one at each company meeting. At some point I stopped doing that; can’t remember now why or when, but the quoting lives on in a few ways…

In my office, I saved my favorite daily calendar quotes and have them up on a corkboard, though now most are covered with other papers at this point. BUT I know they are there if I ever need a little inspiration! My favorite quote is by Rabbi Tarfon. I can’t remember how I discovered it, but as soon as I did I wrote it down in a small notebook and left it on my desk right next to my computer. It’s been there so long it faded and I actually just rewrote over it so I wouldn’t lose it.

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Another way we honor “the quote” is at meetings. Emma, who takes minutes for both Company and Ensemble meeting, has a knack for capturing the perfect quote. The added benefit to the quote capturing is it’s an incentive to actually read through the minutes because she cleverly puts the quote at the end. Here are a couple fun ones that show the bookends of our meetings:

We start meetings with announcements, and they can range from the personal, like the one below, to the practical, like it’s a recycling week.
BILL: And I’ll be running a marathon Sunday morning, assuming my legs hold together.
LISA: Bring gaff tape!
(For the non-theatre folk, gaff is a magical tape that fixes all problems.)

And we end with last calls for business, which can dissolve into nonsense…
EMMA: Any final words?
JP: Hot wings are overpriced!

We also capture quotes at rehearsals; a tradition that Emma began and is passed on to all Touchstone stage managers. After each rehearsal, notes get distributed to the director, actors, playwrights, designers, etc. and at the end of the rehearsal notes, just like the meeting notes, are the quotes. A fun way to capture the playfulness in the room, here’s one of my favorites from last season:

Jp talking through a musical number in “Follies”…
JP: As the piano starts to tinkle…
MARY: No tinkling onstage!

Then, at the end of the run, a list of all the quotes from the production – rehearsals through performances – gets circulated. The quote list becomes a kind of blooper reel/time capsule of the show.

Touchstone’s environment is fairly conducive to “quote culture”, but I challenge folks at their jobs or homes to gather quotes and see what comes of it. Don’t quote me on this (collective reader eye roll), but it might be the perfect way to remember something inspirational said off the cuff or a funny moment that captures your work community or home life.

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