Before I moved to New York when I was 23, I put together a pass-the-hat concert at the Andy Griffith Playhouse to raise some money to move.

My internal dialogue startled me when I walked out on the stage. : “YOU did this. You made this whole thing up and invited the people here, and you’re responsible for it.”

I mentioned in the last blog how giving ourselves things to commit to that people will see is a good way to inspire (or harangue) ourselves into action.

I mentioned this to a brilliant singer I know, and she said, “I have a concert in two weeks, and I haven’t looked at the music yet.” Mind you, she has a ton on her plate right now, but I thought of all the gigs when I’ve procrastinated my preparation.

I realized there can be a difference in our investment when we see ourselves as the hired talent as opposed to when we generate and produce the work.

I know there are disciplined actors who diligently prepare for the rehearsal process, but I know there have been several times when I showed up to a first rehearsal feeling disappointed for not providing myself ample nights’ sleep with the material I was hired to perform.

I don’t have the answer on this–the hired hand versus producer/generator contrast. I just thought it was an interesting difference to note–

And the real point is that anything we bring ourselves to is work that we are generating and producing ourselves.

We can invest anything we do with a kind of work that makes us feel satisfied. That is a very helpful standard: am I satisfied with how I’m working? We can invest anything we do with a kind of work that makes us feel satisfied. That is a very helpful standard_ am I satisfied with how I'm working_

I remember watching a very accomplished actress I worked with in LA do this. We were performing in a new musical that was bad.

As my people say, she made a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. She didn’t bitch about how bad the show was; she did her work, and she elevated the material. She was a lesson to me.