Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Push The Limits

,Anyone who is pushed to do the very best that they can is privileged. It's a luxury.

Twyla Tharp
In my career I came across three types of directors, the good, the bad and the absent. The bad directors are those who tell you that what you're doing isn't good enough. Those are the ones who make you feel unworthy and try to get you to be better in spite of them. They direct by insult and humiliation. The good directors are those who recognize that you are capable of more and will ask for more because they can see your ability and value. The absent directors are those who sit in on rehearsal but don't seem to care what you do.

Now I know these types are in all walks and stumbles of life. Learning to deal with them is how we grow. I learned to find my own worth even in the face of someone who was trying to convince me I was unworthy. Once I learned how to do that I could really focus on my work and easily leave the bad director in the dust. Paul Tillich wrote "The courage to be is the courage to accept ourselves in spite of being unacceptable."

To be pushed to do the very best is not to be beaten by a stick or tempted by a carrot. It is to discover what is truly of value and importance in what one is doing and to respond to affirmative directions wherever they come from.

To be sure it is difficult at times to ignore the screaming negatives, particularly when they are so insistent, But to ignore them is part of the discipline of achieving the very best and of accepting the best.

Stanislavski, the famous Russian actor, director and teacher, wrote that the actor no less than the soldier must be subject to iron discipline. I wrote the phrase "iron discipline" on a piece of paper and taped it up in front of me wherever I was working. It was the proper goad, the proper guide, to making my work better. When I woke up in the morning it was there to remind me that it was going to be another day of doing my best.

After the show closed was a good time to be lazy, sloppy and undisciplined. But while the show was running I had the luxury of trying to do my best every day.

A constant consciousness that you are better than you have been assessed to be by the negative thinkers, mixed with a sturdy faith in the discipline of your own labors, and a liberal dash of humor, is a good recipe for enjoying your life and yourself.

DB - The Vagabond
(This is not a contest.)

Who are the 2 (two) most important people alive today? Why?

5 responses so far.

Thank you.


Valerie said...

Excellent. Thanks! xox

Liz said...

I am curious to know the medium you paint with.
Oils take a great deal of time to achieve their effect.
Acrylics are fast and furious and dry almost before the stage is set.
Watercolour flows onto the paper and the hand must be free that controls the brush and capable of giving to a greater force than the artist when it takes over the stage.

My father told me, as I struggled to climb the mountain, 'There is always room at the top'

What he failed to tell me was I might need to take oxygen.