Growth in the negative

Criticism given is also a form of taking away. And a way to the truth.

Recently, I participated in a One Act Festival with the theatre group I belong to. I performed, and I also wrote and directed a piece. At the end of the festival, a few adjudicators summed up their thoughts about each play; gave their advice and opinion. The play that I wrote and directed received high praise, won a few awards and will move on to the State Festival with a few tweaks as suggested by the adjudicators. The play that I performed in, and specifically my role was highly criticized. Apparently I couldn’t be heard, and my diction was unintelligible. I may have an accent but I resent the notion that I speak as if my mouth were filled with marbles. They belabored this point with me and my castmates for a while. Ok, I thought, ok, but was there absolutely nothing else good to say about my character? Nothing? The play received mild feedback as a whole but since I played the main character, I received much of the criticism.

Since then, I’ve felt edgy. I was raised up with one hand and struck down with the other and I cannot shake the deflation, the frustration.

The truth is (and this became clearer to me on that last day) that I have come to dread being onstage. This feeling might have grown from a seed planted last Spring when I completely clammed up at the State festival. Or perhaps, I’ve simply come to prefer the almost anonymous, beaver-like workings of writing, of seeing the story in my head, instead of being the story for everyone to watch.

It appears that my spiritual discoveries are enabling me to outgrow certain things.  Like a snake releasing its skin, the talent for acting may very well be leaving me. What remains is a bright, exciting new talent that has been nurtured and is about ready to blossom.

For now, I am still smarting from the whipping (which if my theatre friends knew I was feeling, would say that it wasn’t that bad). I also pay heed to the intuitive voice that urges me to disconnect from social media, and this is quite freeing. I thrust myself into living, feeling, observing, and walk away from scrolling, posting, and updating. There is nothing I need to share with anyone and nobody has anything to say that is more interesting that my life, right this very moment.

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3 thoughts on “Growth in the negative

  1. When we open our hearts in a journey of transformation we become more vulnerable. Learning to close them again in certain circumstances takes practice .. if you choose to do that. On the other hand, perhaps this heart is beginning to reveal an other course for you to take. Congratulations on the writing and directing award 🙂

  2. Many of these same things have fallen away from me, as well. I often wonder why it is hard to let go in some areas, even when the energetic message, the “How does this make me feel” question, could not be clearer. Also, I can get confused on where to dig into the challenge and persist and where to release. Theatre is one of these bugaboos for me as well. Having earned a spot in an Improv company only to feel great discomfort continues to confuse me. Thank you so much for the sharing – and congrats on the play moving on in the competition. The wounds and scabs of the criticism do get more attention, I recognize, while we inhabit these bodies and thoughts – but wow on the play you wrote and directed – what an exciting happening!

  3. People can be brutal… I always say words can destroy… There’s constructive criticism. There’s no need to destroy… Look beyond and keep on going… It’s their problem not yours…

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