Repeat after me — On shows good and bad

Where the magic happens. By rawartistsmedia from Flickr

1. There will be good shows, there will be bad shows. Most importantly, if you don’t give up, there will be another show.

I remember saying this to someone after their flubbed first show. I forgot that I believed in it, but I do — I even reasoned it out mathematically. No matter how good you are, it’s impossible to have a perfect run of always-good shows. Even so, you’re going to have one night where the show is less perfect than the other shows and it will be the worst show you’ve ever played.

But few people are going to attend every show, and there’s only the opportunity to change the next, upcoming show.

(hrmm — curious that I should apply this thinking to shows, but not personal achievements, or years of life).

On to the next show.

2. Listen lightly, remain humble; good shows are not that great, bad shows are not that terrible.

Unfortunately, I’m not a narcissistic performer — exactly the opposite. Self-loathing, thin-skinned, low esteemed; it’s a heady, dangerous, toxic mix. Good shows and praise is diminished, but bad shows are amplified a thousand-fold.

I need to remind myself. Everything to the norm.

One good show, I had fantastic lines and a room-silencing round of applause. One bad show, I had slowness and flub, and a room-silencing round of silence. Curiously enough, for both shows, I got congratulations and praise.

Praise isn’t all that. Congratulations either, but more importantly, my self-criticism isn’t that accurate or useful (because I felt I performed below under par). Well, they cancel out.

On to the next show.

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