Saturday, May 19, 2012


A video of Jennifer Hudson inspired John Cullum and Emily Frankel to discuss "zoning in," a term Jennifer used, describing how she manages to concentrate.

John Cullum enjoys explaining his process -- how he focuses on everything in a play that he's reading -- not just his part. He takes in everything -- the play's environment, it's ideas as well as all the other characters with whom he'll be interacting.

Emily, impressed by what John Cullum does, explains how her penchant for details and her dance training affects her and distracts her as she's learning a role.

John wishes he had more of what Emily has, and Emily wishes she could do much more of what John does, as he's taking on, zoning in, on a play.


MikesFilmTalk said...

I enjoy your videos. I always feel I've gotten something from them. If nothing else the fact that you both enjoy each other and still find each other special.

Good subject, "zoning in." I tend to agree with your idea of creative people being able to do this. It is an essential part of being creative, I think. I know that when I used to read for parts, I always immediately felt "in the zone" in other words I felt that myself and my character were living what ever situation was occurring. I can identify with John's feelings when he reads a book. I also, empathize with what ever character I am reading about, whether that be a villain or the hero.

I don't think many people have the ability to empathize. So I agree with your assessment that it is something that creative folks can do easily. Why? Well I think it is because creative people possess that all important imagination that a lot of people try to suppress as they mature.

Anonymous said...

Great blog today about ZONING. Very cute how you and John talk about each other's talents at zoning in on work you are doing. You enhance each other's skills and each of you has a different method of zoning or how you use it with your work. I could listen all day to both of you zoning in on things.... kam

Linda Phillips said...

I'm very empathetic, but like Em I am also thinking of 12 things all at the same time. My mind races. I am very bad at concentrating.

Although, when I am deeply engrossed in a great book or a very, very involving movie, I do get deeply into it. Most movies, however, do not hold my interest all that well.

I was a terrible student for that reason. I can only remember one or two teachers who truly drew me in and when they did I was mesmerized.

Carola said...

Empathy is such a wonderful quality to have. I know I have it, and I know how important it is. What a better world it would be if more people could empathize with others. (P.S. I am capable of zoning in, but not totally.)