About TCCP

The Chris Craft Project is a blog cataloging some of the artistic disciplines that the late educator Christopher Clark trained in and taught throughout his career. The Chris Craft Project will explore some of the inputs that he drew from, but for those of us who were lucky enough to work with Chris, we know that besides a great library to draw from, he had the ability to connect with people and employ a myriad of techniques and insights at the right moments, in the right ways, to truly collaborate.  

In that spirit of collaboration, I reached out to Lisa Clark about this idea of the Chris Craft Project and I was thrilled to have her support. She immediately ushered me into his library and shared her hopes/thoughts/ideas for something like this. As for me, I thought I’d share my hopes for the Chris Craft Project:

First, I realized that I cross-trained with him in a spectrum of artistic philosophies he worked in. From Viewpoints, to Improv, to Original Practice Shakespeare, to The Artist’s Way, to Laban… many other students and colleagues trained deeper in these disciplines with him (whom I’ll interview in their respective sections), but I was able to train with him in each of these to one extent or another. Contemplating all this led me to thinking that what I could contribute to remembering Chris and preserving his artistic spirit was not just another fun story from one of his many friends (of which I’m pretty sure I’m the least interesting!), but an opportunity to revisit the tools he gave me and share them with others. 

Second, this is totally selfish! I wanted to benefit from revisiting as many things he trained in and taught so that I could continue to get better. (I’m not afraid to admit it!)

Third, and most importantly, I had a revelation recently while meditating on this project that I felt came straight from Chris: He still wants to teach. He loves it. And he’s really really good at it. And now, I hope that this project can be a platform for him to continue to teach from all the philosophies he loved and explored. 

The very first piece of artistic advice I got from Chris was given to me one night after rehearsal for a show at the Los Angeles Theater Center. I was a twenty-two year old freshman Theater major at the beginning of what I hoped would be a long career as an artist, and I was desperate for advice. He told me, “Always be filling your library. Become a student of everything. So that when inspiration hits, it has a well to draw from.” It may still be the most important piece of advice I ever received. John Donne wrote that, “death is an ascension to a better library.” And if that is true, I can only imagine what Chris is filling his well with. But I know he wants to share it. And as you read these posts, and study from Chris’ library, and sit with these ideas he introduced me to, I hope he visits you to teach you like he continues to with me.

-Eric Phillips

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