Sunday, May 16, 2010

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise

Performing for people as long as I have, I've seen a lot of things happen from awesome shows to on-stage fist fights amongst cast members.  When I think I've seen it all, something happens to remind me that I "ain't seen nuttin' yet!".

The thing lately that has captured my imagination is how professionalism is a lost skill amongst people who need to take it the most seriously.  One should take pride as to what work they and how they're perceived especially when involving the arts.  I'm amazed as to what small things people take for granted that totally affect their professionalism. I'm even further amazed as to how much people need to be told directly how to be professional!  It's something that isn't taught and only acquired apparently.  I've had to tell people things like:
  • Show up on time (or even early) to rehearsals and shows.  This by far is the biggest problem I've run into regardless of endeavor.  Why do people find it acceptable to disrespect other people's time?  Time apparently had no personal cost to many of us.  If you had to pay let's say $25 for every minute you were late, I bet you'd be on time.

  • Come prepared to work. I can't tell you how many rehearsals and shows I've been to where people don't know their lines, don't know what form we're using, can't remember lyrics, or absolutely are brain-dead and don't engage.  Again, this goes back wasting people's time.  Why do it?

  • Don't sleep with other people in the group until after the production is over.  I've recently told this to a group I'm in and some people were shocked I would even think of this.  The idea is equivalent to pooping where you eat.  Sleeping with people introduces a whole other gamut of potential issues as a production goes on.  Unless you are mature enough to handle a sexual relationship (which most of us are not), the consequences of a falling out can be a detriment to the production.  People get weird, the rest of the cast/band gets uncomfortable, and ultimately it shows on-stage.  As Grandmaster Flash says, "DON'T DO IT!"

I learned these things primarily from being in band programs in middle and high school.  They taught us the importance of these things even though at the time we just thought they were being hard on us.  I am incredibly grateful to have learned this early in my life so that I am in the upper echelon of my peers when it comes to being deemed professional.I'm not perfect but compared to many of my peers, I'm a superstar!

No comments: