Worth Doing & Worth Doing Well
#33 (a) – I may have mentioned that at one time in my life I sang. My mother had ambitions for me and so I took lessons. I practiced. I competed and I performed. At first it was OK. Any 5, 6, 7 year old just wants to please and it seemed to justify the fact that sports were not my cup of tea. I think I was good. There are still a few tarnished medals and trophies gathering dust in the basement. Boy sopranos with soaring voices were a hot item for church choirs. It kept me busy and out of more serious trouble. At some point, the thought occurred to me that there was a sea of critics out there, an audience hanging on every note and my certainty grew that they were all focused with malicious intent on me. Stage fright gripped me like a deep, sick toothache and lasted for as many years as I could still be dragged on stage. The audience became my bane, my greatest fear. Mother thought I would grow out of it. I knew better. I just wanted to survive it.
#33 (b) – Twenty years later on, the thought occurred to me that the opinions of others really had no significance. What they thought of what I did carried no real importance. If I stood up and acted the fool or played the hero, the rest of the world could go to hell. Temerity gave way to arrogance and, while I was no longer singing, I was free of the audience.
#33 (c) – Another twenty years later on, the thought occurred to me that perhaps I had something to say and that there might be some who would do me the honour of listening. Being able to fashion something, or craft a piece, or polish a phrase or even put notes together that might be pleasing became an opportunity to engage an audience. It’s a form of giving and sharing that makes the performance worth the price of admission and its pleasing delivery, the price of all that practice.
If a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing well and if an audience is willing to listen, all the more reason to put some heart and soul into it.
After all these years, it’s good to have an audience out there.
Lesson #33 – Worth Doing
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