I don’t really like performing.

I don’t really like performing. I have to pipe up and quickly note that, while I unerstand what Buddah and MJ are saying (over on Meghan’s blog,) generally for me the rush you get performing doesn’t outweigh–in importance–the feeling of dread. (and yes, I’m too lazy to find the deep link…you may have to search through her archives if you’re seeing this later than, say, next week.)

And then there is a second feeling of dread if I receive no feedback after the performance. With good feedback, I feel better–bad feedback, it’s like a relief that at least I know I was right–I did suck! But no feedback, and I sit there the rest of the night, thinking… did I suck? Sometimes it’s so bad I can’t even think about the performers still up on stage. (we’re talking open mics here… when I used to perform an actual act–yes, juggling–that was different, because I felt a sort of “Whew! Glad that’s over!” after every show.)

I agree with the sentiment that the “true artist” is never satisfied with their work. And given the chance, a good poet would keep revising their work forever. (Lets not get into the beat movement, or my favorite poet, Frank O’Hara.) Point is, taking the stage to read something (or sing something) that you’ve written is like saying “this is done”–or at least done enough to perform. It’s a bit like publishing something, I guess. Stage publishing.

When do you let go? when is something “done enough” to perform, or whatever… I don’t know…

This isn’t even making sense to me. I’m going to go play unicycle hockey now. Yes really, unicycle hockey.

3 Replies to “I don’t really like performing.”

  1. The Moon and Sixpence by Somerset Maugham is one of my favorite books of all time. The discussion around artist versus artiste –an artist for the soul versus an artist for the people (performer?) — is a central aspect of the novel. Regardless of whether or not Strickland (the main character – based on Gauguin)shared his work with the world — he did it because he HAD TO. He did it because he burned to. He had to appease an internal need, a rage even. The performance question doesn’t really matter in my book. If you are good — they will come–now or later — you’ll have little to do with it. An artists makes art because he/she must.

    Maya Angelou comes to mind. When asked – ‘Why DOES the caged bird sing?’ She replied – ‘Because it must.’

    Mon 09:30

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