Not White

When Mike Nichols was directing the Broadway musical, Annie, one scene that was supposed to be funny was failing to get laughs. He tried everything. Nothing worked. The audience watched the scene, but didn’t laugh. So, Nichols asked a fellow director, Jerome Robbins, to take a look. Then, Nichols asked Robbins how to fix the scene. Robbins pointed to a white towel hanging on the back of the set.

“The towel should be yellow,” Robbins explained.

“That’s it? That will make the scene work?” Nichols thought, but did not say aloud.

Nichols changed the towel. From then on, the scene got laughs.

When it comes to creativity, everything is subjective. Except when it isn’t.

(From The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp)

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