It Takes Two to Duo or: What Makes a Great Partner

Holmes and Watson.  Lucy and Ethel.  Burton and Depp.  Names that can be great on their own, though are arguably at their best when paired together.  There exists people with whom you instantly click; understand and relate to with the slightest of nods.  This can be your closest friend or business partner.  Either way, the two of you realize that success is greatest when you join together.    As you enter into the realm of Duo, choosing your Duo partner can be a heftier decision than what script to use.  You too must plunge into a quest for a partner, and knowing what to search for will help catapult your dynamic duo into success.        

  1. Availability. People lead busy lives.  Often, friendships or relationships will be stretched or dissolve when two people cannot find time to reconnect.  Why should a Duo relationship be different?  Find a person who has a schedule similar enough to yours to guarantee rehearsal time.  How can your scene become wonderful if rehearsal is limited or held under stressful, time-restrained circumstances? 
  2. Work Ethic. You're the type that likes to meet a few times a week to run the scene, go over notes, and try new approaches.  Your hypothetical partner prefers to meet once a week, for thirty minutes, and only wishes to run the Duo a few times to "keep it fresh."  This is not the Odd Couple, you will not humorously find a solution and laugh.  This is life.  If you and your potential partner do not share the same attitude towards work DO NOT waste either of yours time.  Or suffer the future headaches and contempt. 
  3. Work Style. Everyone should be forced to abandon their comfort zones periodically and try something new.  This includes work styles.  Some people are very methodical about solving issues; others are more organic and experimental.  Find a Duo partner where both of your methods will mesh.  Otherwise, you two could find yourselves with a blocking problem and not know how to work together to reach a solution.
  4. Comfort Factor. There are certain people where once you meet them you do not like them.  You might not know why.  There is just something inherent within them that irks your inner core.  There are also certain people that you might be okay with but not fully open towards.  Avoid working with these people.  Be respectful and courteous, but do not enter into a partnership with them.  Duo requires a level of trust with your partner in order to fully experiment with possibilities and discuss "shortcomings" in order to prosper.  If you sense that you or the other are closed-off, in regards towards each other, your Duo could suffer from suffocation.  Find a person with whom you feel at ease. 
  5. Similar Tastes. A great Duo is as contingent on locating a captivating script as it is a partnership to enact the words.  That said, partners with varying tastes of what makes a great script might find themselves bickering.  Compromise is a solution and could work if both partners agree enough.  However, if you desire a Drama and another a Comedy there might not be any resolution.  
  6. Experience and Skill. NEVER write off an individual because you have more experience than them.  That is unfair and could be damaging to both you and your potential partner--who knows what sort of talent you might toss away as rubbish.  Some people are inclined towards the arts and will learn quickly.  Meet with the possible partner and see if you two gel.  Inversely, there are some Novices who will not be able to hold ground with Varsity.  Not that they are "bad," just they need time to grow.  Do not enter into a Duo with these Novice, but offer to help guide them and offer advice so they can be in your position in a season or so.      
  7. Working Relationship Vs Friendship. Above all, repeat in your mind that a great Duo partner does not naturally stem from a great friend.  Hanging out and general shenanigans are, over-all, fun activities to share with a friend.  Sure, close pals lend support and wade through turbulent situations with you.  But Duo is mostly a working relationship.  Laughs happen but the main focus of any rehearsal is work.  Constructive criticism is a given.  Can your friendship handle this level of honesty?  People tend to behave differently when they are on task--the person you went to get ice cream with might not be the same person you rehearse with. 

Selecting a compatible Duo partner can be a challenging journey.  Options might be limited or the timing off.  Be persistent and patient!  Take the time to find a partner you can work well with and your Duo will flourish.