I made mistakes in drama. I thought drama was when actors cried. But drama is when the audience cries. (Frank Capra)
There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action. And because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open…whether you choose to take an art class, keep a journal, record your dreams, dance your story, or live each day from your own creative source, above all else, keep the channel open! ~Martha Graham
It’s all about the audience ~ Stuart Nager
Well, I sometimes have to disagree with Mr. Nager, but I understand what he means. There is a symbiotic coexistence often happening in the arts, and in teaching/leading/guiding. A lot of it IS creative/ego driven, doing what we do as a MUST DO for ourselves. Then, there is the part that is fed by what we get off of our audiences. Applause feels good, appreciations of our work feels good. I’m not going to lie to you: it’s a part of it.
The other side of it is for our audience, performance, exhibit, classroom: it’s for them, in many cases primarily for them. Otherwise, why produce something and then show it?
Couple of things that strike me:
- In the classroom: It is ALL ABOUT THE KIDS (yes, back to shouting). Period. If we TA’s (and teachers) are not there for the kids, then we are not there for the right reason. A paycheck is one thing, and if you are only there for a paycheck, please…don’t be there. Go. Find something else. You are not working towards the betterment of the child. Scoot. I’m deadly serious here. If you think the classroom is solely for YOUR betterment: get thee gone!!
- Allow your audience to find their own interpretations and connections, and be cool if it differs from what you intended. (I’m still learning this one; I know it, and sometimes I have to stop myself from saying “huh?”). I don’t care what art discipline you work from.
- Let go of the self doubt. Once you put it out there, it’s out there. Live with it, listen to any feedback…and move on. Good or “bad”…move on. There is always a next one. The only time there isn’t is when you’re dead, or cognitively/physically unable.
- Enjoy what you are doing.
- Think of yourself as a professional, no matter if you get paid or not, or how little, and you’ll act like a professional.
- Smiles and laughter are amazing gifts to give and get.
- Enjoy what you’re doing (hmm..echo?)
“I believe arts education in music, theater, dance, and the visual arts is one of the most creative ways we have to find the gold that is buried just beneath the surface. They (children) have an enthusiasm for life a spark of creativity, and vivid imaginations that need training – training that prepares them to become confident young men and women.”
– Richard W. Riley, Former US Secretary of Education