Monday, February 14, 2011

A Little Positive Feedback Never Hurt Anyone

Oh, I am a pretty girl
I ain't gonna lie, this...

(And I really hope I'm not stepping out of line sharing - names omitted [well, except mine] to protect the innocent)
I've seen you in several shows now and every time I've looked at the program at intermission and gone, "wait, that was Mark Pracht?". That's a compliment,'ve got a chameleon thing going on. I particularly loved what you did in "Sound of a Yellow Flower" - that was one of the more memorable characters I've seen onstage in a while.
 Is something I've needed to hear in recent months, especially from someone who isn't married, or in some other way related to me. I love you, CByrd, but you always see the best. Granted, I always see the worst, so that evens it all out.

Still, I have this horrible thing about myself and my work, I take compliments very, very badly. A lot of times, I don't even want to hear 'em. I hardly ever believe them. I'm always, without fail, the last person out of the dressing room, and that has a lot to do with not feeling comfortable with stepping out to the group of friends that's there, waiting to talk to you. I always figure that, y'know, people want to say something nice when they know you. They probably even believe it, I'm not saying my friends lie to me, just that...people who know you want the best for you. They look for the best. That's what friends are for.

What was particularly wonderful and sweet about that complement above was that it came pretty much out of nowhere, completely unexpected, and from someone who, frankly, doesn't know me overly well. A person who's experience with me comes, mainly, from my work. A theatre professional, yes, but not a regular comrade. I kinda just stopped me in my tracks, like a kick to the head.

I mean, that's distilling the idea of, well, respect to it's essence.

Not overly relevant, but funny
It's what all of those awards are supposed to be, the Oscars, the Emmys, whatever. The recognition of your peers. Of course, what's so very difficult about that is that friendship and ambition tend to overwhelm the purity. I mean, I was in a metropolitan area for several years that lived and died by these "peer voting awards," and it was so annoying. You'll find yourself voting for friends just because they're friends, not because they represent the real cream of the crop. Worse, you see people lobbying for votes. It turns into a popularity contest, because you're not a group of professional peers, but a gaggle of friends.

I was just jazzed to hear something really positive from someone who didn't have to say it. Maybe I'm exposing my own insecurities and ego issues with that statement, but I truly don't care. I've been doing this too damn long to not take those moments that really make you feel, well, accomplished, and really cherish them. Especially when the vast majority of what we get is pretty negative, or, at best, backhanded, weak compliments.

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