It’s hard for me to admit, but as a performer, I’m often not all that different from other performers I’m working with when it comes to talent. Occasionally, I’m the least talented one there.
Thing is, that rarely matters. What helps me is I come in with a positive attitude and a good work ethic. In most situations, as long as you can perform the basic minimum tasks, that’s all you need to keep the job. To stay, and even to get asked to do more, get promoted, or offered more pay. As long as your a pleasure to work with.
The world is full of people who can do the same work you can. Sometimes cheaper, sometimes faster, and sometimes better. But if others like working with you, that means more for your career than anything else you can do.
In Neil Gaiman’s Make Good Art speech, he says the three things that keep people working are: 1) their work is good; 2) and because they are easy to get along with; 3) and because they deliver the work on time.
“…And you don’t even need all three. Two out of three is fine.”
Here it is, another opening night. I’ve been on stage in over fifty productions in the past twelve years. It’s probably over seventy-five now, but I can’t keep track. It had been one of the driving forces of my life.
This show has welcomed me back to theatre, and I appreciate it. Yet it still feels very different from before. Less joyful. Less exciting. That, sadly, has more to do with me than the show.
There are wonderful moments: the camaraderie between the fellow cast, being up on stage in front of people, singing and (pretending to be) dancing.
For a time, performing was a very social thing for me. As I got better at it, realized that I had talent and natural instincts as a performer, I started to take it more seriously. I worked professionally around Central Florida for some time. Things started going south, I guess, when I got sick.
The illness was eventually diagnosed as RA, and I continue to struggle with joint paint, fatigue, and stiffness.
I started this post to just mention that I was happy to be doing a show again. But what I’ve realized is that I have baggage tied up in performing. Baggage I’m going to have to sort it, if I plan to continue doing this.