Sunday, March 12, 2006

Eye of the Beholder

Periodically, I get arrogant enough to believe that art is less subjective than it really is. Good is good and bad is bad. I really wish it was that simple but once again, I am reminded that how well music, literature, film, or dance is received sometimes has as much to do with the audience receiving it as it does the quality of the art.

I had a very rough singing weekend. Exhaustion and migraines took a vocal toll on me and one of my events was very disappointing. I assumed the only reason I didn't get pegged with tomatoes was because they were not serving food. But after the event, I was greeted like a celebrity, praised, and asked to come again. What was wrong with these people? Were they deaf???

On the drive home, I tried to figure out what went right. I couldn't think of anything. That was just not my best performance, plain and simple.

I was turning onto my street when I remembered a comment by John Fox during one of those Masterclass thingies offered by Screenwriters Online. (yeah I paid $98.00 just so I could chat with a VP at Dreamworks and no, he did NOT request my screenplay) Fox said there is just no way to measure your screenplay's worth against how well it is received by a producer. Why? Because you have no way of knowing what frame of mind the producer was in when he read it. Your query might get trashed or your screenplay passed if the reader or producer just found the pool boy in bed with his wife and hated everything and everybody that particular day. On the other hand, your mediocre screenplay might get a recommend if the pool boy -- then, my cell phone rang.

The sound man called me to apologize. Seems he forgot to reset the monitors on the right side of the auditorium after the video ended. When I took the the microphone, there was barely any vocal and half the audience heard mostly music. Ah. That explains a lot.

The point is there is no magic formula for winning people over because tragically, the receiving end of your hard work is just as human as you and I. But, sometimes human error works in your favor.


Warren said...

To be honest, I think anyone getting up in front of a group of people and singing probably deserves the rockstar treatment afterwards. Not everyone has the courage to do even get onto a stage. I certianly don't. So even though you were disappointed by your performance, realize that you deserved the adulation of the fans!

MaryAn Batchellor said...

Nerves aren't ususally a problem for me, but that, too, depends somewhat on the audience. I will admit that while I'm not much of a drinker, when I stand in the middle of a sold out stadium, I genuinely wish I could take a shot or two of tequila without burping through the National Anthem!