And You Are……?

Speaking your mind, speaking one’s mind, expressing yourself as an artist or as a human being can be a dangerous thing.  Not dangerous in the sense of bodily harm (of
course, that too is a possible alternative!)  Dangerous in the sense that you put yourself
out there.  On the record.  For all to analyze and critique.  Criticize.  Even ridicule.

There’s a funny, odd dichotomy that exists among a group of actors.  At once inclusive and exclusive.   A motley band of brothers and a cruel clique of mean girls. Everyone wants their shot, their chance, their big break.  In that way we are all the same.  But God forbid you get your shot before I get mine.  Or even instead of me!  That’s when the daggers come out.

I am no different than anyone else.  I am certainly not on a soap box here, nor do
I deserve to be.  But I am so tired – perhaps of myself – of the endless criticism offered for each and every performance out there.  Each and every choice.  Each and every creative decision.

The thing of it is:  if you have such a great idea, such a better way of doing whatever it is you’re criticizing, then you would have done it already.  And if your excuse is that no one ever gave you a shot, gave you a chance – that’s no excuse or explanation.  You would have found a way to do it.

I admire the people who put themselves out there.  I am endlessly jealous of their courage, their joy, their creative fervor, their belief in themselves.  I am challenged day in and day out by their example to lay it all on the line, a take-no-prisoners approach to their own artistry.

So the next time you or I see a performance we don’t like or don’t agree with, let’s just keep it to ourselves.  It’s amazing how many truly creative and talented people I have known.  At least that’s what they told me.  They also told me how horrible some such other person or production was.

Those who can, do; those who can’t, don’t (and endlessly talk about how they would have done it better.)

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