Monday, November 21, 2011

Expectation vs. Inspiration

I'm doing a lot of "this vs. that" posts lately, it seems. Well why stop now?

When you perform, especially when you're doing something by yourself (improv or not, taiko or martial arts), are you doing it from a genuine place? Or are you doing it because you want to impress other people watching you?

Are you more likely to think, "this move is going to be awesome, people are going to love it!" or "I'm having so much fun, I hope people like it!" With the former, there's a sense of expectation, a feeling of you knowing what the audience will like. With the latter, there's a possibility to inspire by playing from the heart.

Mind you, simply playing from the heart doesn't magically inspire a viewer. You have to let it show on your body, your face, your presence. That in itself is a skill! Being a skill, you can get better at it. However, playing with expectations of affecting an audience will only set you up for a false sense of achievement at best, and disappointment at worst.

Showmanship is often a part of the performance, but there's forced humor/theatrics and there's playfulness/style. Knowing which sine of the line you're on isn't always easy, but knowing there's a line to begin with is a start!

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