We’ve been thinking about an idea that Jonathan Wolken often referred to in his teachings: The Sushi Principle. Working with Jonathan in the studio, he would often remind us during an improvisation exercise that less is more. In Jonathan’s words:
In the crush of ideas and individual efforts in our work lives and certainly in our creative lives, we are challenged to hear our own voice over the din of others. For most of us our early formative school years set in motion a process of competitive achievement that sticks with us and colors our habits. We rush forward with answers, we create a blizzard of ideas, we avoid the understated approach by covering with mass quantities of… just about everything.
The Sushi principle reminds us that there is an alternative – a spare and simple approach that appeals to the mind and attracts the eye.
We can see this principle at work on the stage, especially during an improvisation. A glut of activity often serves to hide the best material. The eye simply doesn’t know where to look in the visual cacophony. So simplify. Unclog, clear away and remove the obstacles that distract from the clarity you seek. Less, perfectly served, is often just right.