How Big is Yours?

Once upon a time, Acting was my great life passion. At that time, I could not possibly conceive that I would be anything other than a film actor of great acclaim. Another possibility for career pursuits, in my mind, was inconceivable. Or so I thought.

It was when I realized that I had potential, talent and interest as a director, that I began to understand the concept of a larger vision.

An actor has to focus on their role, within the context of the writing. They have to contribute to telling the story. The actor has a small vision role in the creative process.

The Director must have a larger vision, as they must understand the script deeply, each character, and have a perspective, which they are to give form to. The Director is telling the whole story, rather than only a part. The director is also working with the Producer and designers. The role of Director is a large vision role.

The role of the Producer is even larger than the Director. The Producer must not only know the play, but must know the market and have access to resources. The Producer typically hires the Director and the Director hires the actors. The Producer is gathering resources so that people get paid. This role of job provider is a heady one, as one has the ability to affect others’ employment. The Producer’s vision is therefore typically larger than the Director’s. Bigger vision role.

Then there is the Entrepreneur who founded the theatre, which might have been an old school, church, storefront, car garage, dealership or other typically re-purposed space. The entrepreneur has the vision to see that which does not yet exist. The entrepreneur is the reason for the entity’s coming into being. From spark of impulse in the mind to concrete reality–this is the scope of the entrepreneur’s vision. Following this process of building, entrepreneurs often sell what they have created. The seeds of what they manifest have the potential, in the hands of a professional management team or other entrepreneur to take the reigns and grow the business. This is a common phenomenon–build and sell, build and sell. Why so common? This phenomenon exists, as entrepreneurs are creative people too. They love to build stuff–in a large vision creative way. For many entrepreneurs, it is not so much the money that drives them, but the potential of their vision realized and the entrepreneur’s sense of meaning. Without the entrepreneur, in this instance, there would be no theatre, jobs for a producer, director or actors, much less a paying audience and possible donor base. The theatre would not exist.

Entrepreneurs are creative people by definition. They build, manifest, cause to exist–to come about. They create jobs, opportunities and culture. They create big vision ideas with potentially enormous results of their efforts. Job-creating ideas, culture-defining concepts. Entrepreneurs change the status quo and they sometimes innovate. Apple is now the wealthiest business ever. What remarkably creative and talented people. I bet that more than a few are formally trained artists.

Are you capable of larger visions?

Vision is a phenomenon of the imagination.

Vision can be taught, as it is simply a way of seeing.

What would you love to build?

Jim Hart is the Director of Arts Entrepreneurship at Southern Methodist University, Meadows School of the Arts (SMU). 

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