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Re: away with mirrors (was: Re: some thoughts on Ted's queeries about art and self esteem and, oh yeah,  looping)

On Nov 20, 2004, at 10:10 AM, ArsOcarina@aol.com wrote:

When I used to play out a lot, it was the hardest
thing for me to accept praise. After a performance,
I'd be self-critically musing about ways I'd screwed
up, and when an audience member would approach
me to say they'd enjoyed the show, I'd point out the
flaws. . . .


. . . I made a conscious effort to be a bit
more gracious in accepting the kudos, while still
being self-aware of the areas in which I needed
improvement. This made a world of difference.
A simple 'thank you' worked much better than a
discourse on the importance of reliable patch cords

Boy does that sound familiar...

I think there's a pretty good reason why I've been so willing to point out my flaws to others, in regards to music, or work, or pretty much anything. I'd rather list all my faults one by one until there is nothing anyone can "call me on". If I state that "I've really got to get my act together in regards to _________", at the very least no one can accuse me (even in their own mind) of my not being aware of the "opportunity for improvement". It's a defense mechanism - beat them to the punch.

However, I can tell you the exact evening I made the shift from listing all the performance flaws to the one where I just say "Thanks" and drive the conversation around whoever I'm talking to. It was the night that I walked off the stage and my wife handed me a written evaluation of every song of both sets. She was considerate enough to list both the good and the bad (so it could have been a lot worse) but it was a pretty clever illustration on her part of my proclivity towards self-analysis (and her reluctant duty to endure an hour of questioning about things no one but me would have ever even heard, when she'd rather be having some drinks with her friends and whatnot).

In the end, the performance is what it was, and there's really nothing you can do to change it. You can change the next one, but in my experience that has a whole lot more to do with being in the moment than it does with addressing real or imaginary expectations.

But what do I know - I use too much punctuation.