Do whatever you feel in your heart to be right - you'll be criticized anyway.
Come join me.
One evening in New York I had a late dinner with a Japanese gentleman who came there to produce, direct and perform a very contemporary theatre piece of his own. While we were dining a friend arrived with the early editions of the papers. The Japanese fellow read the reviews of his work and was outraged. "They missed the whole point" he said. "Most likely" I replied. I tried to get him to relax and pay no attention to what the reviews said, to believe in the work he had done and to keep on performing as if it was a success. I think he did.
It is always a shock to people who aren't from New York to read what sort of blasphemy critics will write for the sake of selling newspapers. I knew a woman who directed a piece Off-Broadway and got a terrible review from a New York paper. She went back into rehearsal and when she was ready invited the critic to return whereupon she got an even worse review. I think, I hope, she learned her lesson.
In the world of the performing arts the court of opinion is most often incorrectly and ineptly presided over by critics. Why that should be so is due in part to the expense and hence the urgency of providing a production that is both an artistic and financial success. With the exception of films, which will pay for themselves if they are good and popular, the performing arts are not financially supported by the box office unless they run for a long time. So the future of a theatre piece is generally in the hands of the critics and not the performers or producers.
Critics have too much power. The critics in New York will close a very good show and keep a mediocre one running. It has happened many times. Why? Because criticism is a very subjective thing and because most of the critics are very good writers. People will read them for their clever and sometimes vicious comments and accept their judgements. I have often said that if a critic is a good writer he should stick to literary criticism and keep his nose out of show business.
Not all critics are bad apples, some are excellent. The bad ones are bad because they don't know what they are seeing. They will praise a mediocre play because it was acted so well it's flaws were covered up. They will deride the actors not knowing they were directed poorly. They will blame the director or the ploy for some bad acting.
So what is the lesson? It is the same in any area of life. If you believe in what you are doing and you can honestly put your heart into it, it doesn't matter what someone's opinion is. You are not anyone's opinion of you and neither is your work. I find joy in that. I like my stories and my paintings, I enjoy reading and looking at them and it doesn't matter to me what anyone else thinks of them. If I get a good review, great. If I get a bad review, well, Wednesday night is trash night.
May the midsummer pixies tickle your nose.
Scrape up can, priest. (8)