More, with less

How do you tell a master from a novice? Aside from audacity, sensitivity, skill, experience and all those other conventional measures? One way is to see how much they can do with a little.

With a single shot a master director creates a feeling that a novice filmmaker needs an entire film to convey. A master storyteller births an alternate universe in less than a page. A master musician lifts your spirit and squashes it in an improvised thirty seconds of play. A master dancer leaves you speechless because of the grace with which he or she transitions between movements.

The implication of this is simple. As someone who aspires to be a master, one of the best things I can do is focus on this ability. Of course, to get better I need to practice a lot and practice well, but more than anything else, I must concern myself with density. I must try to say more, with less.