Are you listening to stupid people?
Someone else’s opinion is not your truth.
When you read statements like this, you think, “well dah!”
But think about it. Have you ever been thrown by someone saying something stupid about your performance? I mean, the ‘I don’t know what I’m talking about but I’m going to talk rubbish anyway’ sort of stupid?
I worked with an actor a few years ago who struggled to take direction without reacting like it was a personal attack on his acting skills. When I spoke to him privately about it after rehearsal one day, he told me that a director at his previous company had told him he was a ‘singer not an actor’.
He had taken this statement and made it his truth, letting it influence his theatre life from performance to cast relationships. The irony is that he WAS an actor. He created a wonderful character and was an asset to the show.
You have no control over other people’s ‘stupid’ and, in my opinion, the original statement did nothing to encourage an actor to seek to improve his skills.
You only have control over one thing - your reaction. Such a cliche but it’s true.
Once the kick in the gut feeling has passed, step back and decide to grow - for you!
Is there any truth in it? If not, flush that thing fast. If you can see something useful in the statement, dig it out and put it to your use.
DO NOT sit and wallow in self pity. That stuff is a complete waste of time.
Find your tribe. Those people who won’t blow smoke up your wazoo but they’re on your side. Purge your frustration, anger and hurt with them and ask them to call you out when you try and revisit it.
With an open mind and heart to learning, approach your community theatre experiences with joy and a desire to improve your skills.
Determine your truth - that you are doing your best and working to improve and that’s enough. If you don’t know this truth for yourself, you’ll accept the opinion of ‘stupid’.
Sherryl-Lee Secomb is the creator of An Idiot On Stage.
The Idiot exists to encourage and equip community theatre to expect more and be extraordinary. Check out more of the Idiot at anidiotonstage.com.au. Follow the Idiot on facebook and instagram, and enjoy hundreds of theatre resources on the Idiot's pinterest boards.
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