Saturday, October 3, 2009

Who Are You Trying to Impress?

Saturday musings...

Are you trying to be impressive? Who are you trying to impress?

Okay - it's a setup of course.  Should you be trying to be impressive? 

I don't know what makes me more tired - "jazz hands" perky music theatre types, or holier than thou, indignant opera types...

Neither are impressive in ANY way. Both show they are trying too hard and have missed the point.  The business is full of them.

So - if we are not trying to impress, what should we be doing?

We need to build our artistry and our craft and our integrity in order to CREATE and EXPRESS.  Creative expression outweighs the need or desire to impress and shows an AUTHENTICITY rather than a sense of hiding and pretending.

Artistry is not pretending.  Acting is not pretending.  It is REALIZING and EMBODYING a truth through the means of craft and commitment to that craft.

Leaving an impression is not the same as trying to impress.

So the question we must ask ourselves is this: how do I leave a solid, positive impression through the creation of my craft?

By changing the question, we can begin to discover authenticity. By discovering authenticity, we can walk away from the hiding.  

As actors/singers we are developing ACTION.  Our craft is not passive.  It is in the doing that the reality develops clearly.  If we concentrate on TRYING rather than DOING the focus splits and the truth of our craft is confused with a pleasing that is dismissive.  

Trying to impress someone - be it a colleague, a casting director, a teacher, a director, a producer, a conductor - is fatal and futile.  Trying to impress is empty, phony and tired.  It takes much more energy - and waste less energy - to pretend, which is what trying to impress does.  

Being real, developing true craft and authenticity of artistry and self takes focus and commitment and uses energy in a positive flow. It takes guts; it takes nerve; it takes courage.  But it is REAL and it stands on its own for itself.

Your reality will create an impression.  Your artistry, your authenticity will create an impression.  

So, perhaps, we can change the question to simply this: What impression can I create? What impression do I work to create?  What impression do I CHOOSE to create?

This initiates the artist to work from their own energy.  This allows the artist to be responsible for his/her craft and reality.  

We have no control over other people's responses to us, or to our craft.  However, if we begin from a reality and work for expression, we have the chance to create something true, and leave an impression of what we are about, what we are capable of if nurtured, what we stand for.

What do you stand for?  THIS leaves an impression.  This allows the freedom to express. This also allows the freedom for others to RESPOND and be embraced by this expression.

Trying to impress is exhausting and wasteful.  It NEVER goes very far.  Its phoniness only seeks out the phoniness in others.  It will never embrace or welcome authenticity and only attract others who are phony, and are insecure,  and are without backbone, authenticity or stand for nothing but superficial things.

Trying to impress is superficial.  It is about nothing real or substantial.  It is not a good place to hide!!! In fact, it exposes you much more than you realize!!  The lack of depth and substance by pretending to be full of depth and substance is transparent, irritating and completely stands in way of true artistry and expression.

Are you willing to be real?  Are you willing to explore the truth, in order to tell the truth?  Are you willing to take some risks? Are you willing to quit trying so hard to discover HOW to express authentically?  Are you willing to drop the facade in order to leave an impression that has a truth and IMPRINTS in a profound way?

The facade is not protection.  It is a transparent layer of self-delusion.  We see you.  When you stand in front of authenticity, facade is completely exposed.  When facade stands in front of another facade, there is no sense of truth and nothing can be explored or achieved.  Facade cancels out facade.  

Do you want to keep trying to impress?  Or are you prepared to be real? Are you prepared to stand for your craft?  Are you willing to DO your craft in order to leave the impression of truth and authenticity with the person you stand in front of?

Whether they have the capacity to see you or not, is their issue.  You will then be free to seek where you need to be.  Authenticity seeks its level.  Facade drops to its level.

Choose. It's yours!  


  1. I don't comment often, but read regularly. As a "hobbyist" singer, I appreciate your observations on the literal plane. As a human being, I appreciate the metaphor and its application to everything I do.

    Today, you put me in mind of a quote from "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back."

    "There is no try. Either do, or do not." - Yoda

  2. Every time I look in the mirror...I'm in Awe!

    So, I guess I'm trying to "impress" myself??

  3. LJW - thanks for your comments - much appreciated! Star Wars really does bring some life quotes to mind doesn't it? Being an artist has such application and I appreciate your willingness to comment!

  4. Blase - perhaps you are in awe, or perhaps it's delusion?!!?!? lol

  5. Your post reminded me of this video I saw on the Collaborative Piano Blog (which you have listed under your blog section):

    And I think Star Wars is a guide to life!

  6. I'm right there with LJW... except for the "not commenting often," part of course. :)