12 hours ago
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Practice, Practice, Practice
It's interesting how things turn out. Some people think you just get out there and sing a song, or paint a picture, or play a scene, or the violin. OR write a symphony? No. There are times when it seems to "happen." But behind that over-night success is years of preparation. Often people who are not in the arts think their own profession takes study, practice, and experience but the arts don't. I remember a noted stage actor on a chat show saying that it's the only field where everybody else thinks you just get up and do it. He said he could be sitting in the dentist's chair and the dentist says he's thought of being an actor. Picture that in reverse. Would you just decide one day that you're going to open a dental practice? It's easy too.
Yes, inspiration comes and you have wonderful results. But no one should attempt to dance Odette without training and practice. Yes, first it must be something within us, that truly is given to us each, but then we must exercise that talent, train it, direct it and polish it. That is a form of gratitude.
So you are faced with re-inventing the wheel yourself, or finding a way to get training. Believe me, training saves time, even years. I speak from experience. I spent years getting training in a specific field (theater), I was focused, but it was not easy to turn away from other phases of that gift. Fortunately along the way I had theatrical professors that had us draw in class and sing and build sets. That was very fulfilling. My thanks to all the true teachers out there who prepare us and guide us, however stubborn and one tracked we may be at the time. It all gathers in our basket and does us good.
I do love acting and the stage, but I found real delight when in the 1980's I found Recordings for the Blind (now Recordings for the Blind & Dyslexic). I started volunteering there after work and did so for years. However, some things are just not Dickens! They are not meant to be read out loud, not exactly music to the ears. The people who work there are dedicated and they are sensitive to making it a good experience for the volunteers. They often delighted me by reserving books of poetry for me, and other literature.
I am so happy to say that they are still that way today. I think I've mentioned before that I started reading there again last year. I'll read anything for them, no problem, I love doing it. A couple of weeks ago I read about ten pages of bibliography, last week I read "Oedipus the King." It all levels out, I never get bored. This keeps that part of my life going! Now I've sent out a couple of demos because, well, wouldn't it be wonderful to do what you love and get paid too! (but I won't leave RFBD until the turn out the lights)
Note: the waterlily is because it's beautiful, the puppy is for Paint and Draw Together.