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.
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.