Week 8 - Critical
There is something inherently brave about being an actor. We put ourselves, and the depth of our feeling on display. We give it away and we do this on a platform full of judgement and criticism. We are brave.
“A study by linguist Kieran Snyder found that in written performance reviews women find their personal style criticized thirty times more often than men do. Women discover that the criticism gets personal, regardless of the gender of the reviewer.” — What to do when it’s Your Turn
This is one example. Actors put themselves on target. Not because we want to, but because we know this is just part of the game. So it is important to remind ourselves. It is all a game and this is part of it. We have to ACCEPT it and not try to fight against or CONTROL it.
How often do you find yourself when someone is upset with you, trying to convince them they are wrong, or of your goodness? do you try to prove your good intentions or character? Do you notice how much energy you are putting into trying to control their experience of you? do you do it in the casting room? Try to convince them of your talent and goodness? Isn’t it taking important energy away from the storytelling and the character you are there to honor?
It is not the job of the world to like you, or like your art or talent.
It is not the job of you to get them to.
It is your job to BE YOU. As fully and authentically as possible.
And when you do, you will find more and more people resenting, being jealous of or criticizing you. It is all part of the game.
“Whenever status quo is threatened by an outsider, the insiders fight back. If you are doing things right — if you are upsetting the status quo — you will be criticized for your hoodie or your lack of education, your accent, or imperfect background. They call names, denigrate, and put up barriers. Of course, it shouldn’t matter what you look like, what matters is you are taking your turn.”
— What to do When it’s Your Turn
The integrity of your art is always lessened by trying to please everyone with it. Your job is to make the art and give it away!
Give it to the crowd to love, hate, chew on, spit up, complain about or love. What they think of you or your offering is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.
Your business is to take your turn. To show up.
Just the other day we had two audience members walk out of our show at the 55 minute mark — causing quite a disturbance. They didn’t like it. They didn’t want to be there and they wanted everyone (including our sweet actress on stage) to know it. Rude, yes, but also...it is their right!
They bought the ticket and they get to vote.
They get to stay or go, hate it or love it.
And it has NOTHING to do with us.
Neither does all the incredible praise and accolades we receive.
None of it belongs to us.
We get to make art.
It is a GIFT.
We get to show up at an audition and say “I GET TO ACT TODAY!” F*#CK YEAH!!!!!
Do not use your gift in service to others needs or personalities. Use it to serve the muse.
And enjoy it.
It’s your turn.