Be A Shrink, A Bartender And A Rabbi On Set

A New York Times obituary by Bruce Weber for Sheldon Patinkin (a major force in the Chicago theater scene) ended with a perfect description of Patinkin's note giving style.

Written by Jeff Perry of Steppenwolf fame and delivered at a recent awards ceremony that honored Patinkin:

“As most of you know and have benefited from, Sheldon is a world champion note giver. His process is gorgeous; like movements in a symphony or rules of comedy, it comes in threes.

“First are the Socratic questions that lead you to this pleasantly shocked re-understanding of your intent. Then he continues with a great, blunt, nonjudgmental articulation of what he saw compared to what you intended. And finally, as you launch into a spin cycle of anxiety and self-justification about all the obstacles sabotaging your genius, he has the knack of being able to steer you, like a shrink, bartender and rabbi rolled into one, into the belief that the fixes are easy, they are absolutely in your reach, and there’s plenty of time to work them in.”

What a great reminder this is when working with professional talent or non-professionals, to bring all your intelligence, non-judgements and patience to set by being a shrink, bartender and rabbi all rolled into one.