Thursday, February 10, 2011

Doing Well

Only the mediocre are always at their best.

Jean Giroudoux
None of us are mediocre unless we decide to be, or rather unless we decide not to be excellent.

I was making a film years ago. The director was a bit lackadaisical in her approach but I was working very hard to give the best performance I could. But one day the director said to me "You don't have to work so hard. You're giving it better than it deserves."

I instantly recognized that comment for what it was, a temptation to lay back to "phone it in" as we say in show business and to eschew doing my best work. Naturally her attitude made it more difficult to perform up to my own expectations, but I dug in and refused to let it intrude on what I hoped to achieve in the role.

Actually that woman did me a favor. That remark of hers has stuck with me through the years, and whenever I have felt myself giving in to an uninteresting performance I remember that moment and how it made me feel and how much I fought against it in my heart and mind. Since then whenever I felt that a script or a production was of a low level, if I got frustrated with the production or the people in it and felt that I was giving it my best work out of futility, I'd bring myself out of it by remembering not to feel I'm giving it more than it deserves.

One of my personal mantras is: if you strive for good, you'll be okay; if you strive for very good, you'll be good; if you strive for excellent, you'll be very good; if you strive for perfect, you'll be excellent, and that's good enough for me.

If a thing is not worth doing, don't do it. If a thing is worth doing, then it's worth doing well. Period. I rest my case.

DB - The Vagabond

(This is not a contest)

What was the most significant event that happened in 2010?

Only 6 responses so far

I await your answer.


Beth said...

I prefer to be around people who raise the bar, not lower it.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

If all you strive for is mediocrity, why bother?

Anonymous said...

A safe & soft life is wasted.

Rose~* said...

If we don't challenge ourselves, then who will?

Rose said...

Kudo's my friend! Always give it your all!

Hug, Rose

Cathy said...

Well DB, seems you understand it's folly to strive for perfection, which is impossible and frankly so unwanted, I mean who'd want a world with perfect humans running around (wait, they wouldn't run would they - quietly tip-toe Id' wager) True, what we strive for decides alot about what we achieve but many just can't get that bar high enough, and the best they can produce isn't good enough for judgmental types who end up hurting, damaging, way up there on that pedestal called (you guessed it) perfection. If I ever find it, I'll know I'm dead.