Friday, June 4, 2010

Is Your Coat on Your Shoulders? Are you Cold?

Friday evening musings...

I was thinking today about the "diva/divo trappings" - those outward signs that we associate with the Diva/Divo mentality:  coat on your shoulders/scarf around your neck/small pet in a bag/dark glasses/attitude...

YOU know the ones...

How ironic that most times we SEE the association, there is really no Diva/Divo underneath it...

Becoming and establishing a reputation as "Diva" is like fine wine - it develops with age AND experience.

Are you a true Diva at 17? Absolutely NOT!  You might have ATTITUDE but you have no substance to back it up.  Attitude is NOT substance.  It is not craft.  It is not technique.  It is NOT life.  Ultimately it shows a lack of it all, including respect and truth.

Diva isn't about attitude - it is about EXPERIENCE and it is about not backing down from that experience.

The title of "Diva" is EARNED.  It is not self-assumed.  If everyone is a Diva then nobody is.

Diva represents a level of craft,  an intensity of realization, a substance of life and truth by which one stands.

Diva is NOT about false attitude, bad behavior,  or the 'trappings' of stardom or self-involvement or self-importance.

Diva is about truth - true theatre, true craft, true commitment, true questions, true answers.

Diva makes the phonies in the room uncomfortable.

Diva asks the difficult questions, because she knows WHAT to ask.  (I am using Diva/Divo simultaneously - but am too lazy to write both - please insert Divo as needed!)

Diva expects REAL ANSWERS.  She does not put up with bullshit.  She KNOWS what to expect and expects it.  She KNOWS what to respect because she knows HOW to respect. In turn, she GETS respect.

Diva can laugh at herself - because she knows how important the ART is.  She takes the craft and the art with complete seriousness and validity.  She takes herself with flair.

Diva does not play with business.  She DOES business.  If you stiff her, it will only happen once.  If you play her, or try to - beware the next time!

Diva is loyal to those that show respect to her craft and to her person.  She is dismissive to those that show themselves to be phony, who cheat and lie, or make excuses.

Diva knows HOW to work.  She has developed craft.  She has LIVED her craft.  She has HONED her craft.  Her expectation of others is only trumped by her expectation of HERSELF!  She does not make excuses or whine or demand silly insignificant things  SHE DOES THE WORK!

Diva NEVER DIALS IT IN!!!! She is committed,  she is present, she lives and breathes through each rehearsal and each performance.

Diva asks WHY because she is constantly learning.  SHE WANTS TO KNOW to be a better artist!

Diva does NOT assume ANYTHING.

Diva will give you the truth - if you are ready.  Be careful what you ask for!

Diva does NOT play games.  Life is too short, and the work is too important.

If it's not working for her,  and you don't come correct, Diva is GONE.  There is no time for pretend in a Diva's world.  Reality is what works.

Can you build a Diva from the outside?

Absolutely NOT.  She is deemed "Diva" because of how she LIVES, how she BREATHES, how she hones her craft and how she puts her artistic life into practice each and every day.

She earns "Diva" with expertise and time.  She recognizes whose shoulders she stands upon.  She is generous when she can be.  She is protective when she needs to be.  She develops and maintains a HUGE bullshit detector.  She calls it as she sees it, no matter how uncomfortable it is - for ANYbody.

Her reputation - as human being, as artist, - allows her the the esteem of "Diva".  There is no attitude - only WORK and DEDICATION to the art, to the project,  to the craft.  The work and the art have no compromise - only people do.  Diva will NOT compromise and let the art suffer. There are no "tricks" - only hard work and dedication.

If she wears her coat on her shoulders - it's because she's cold.


  1. Brava Diva! Now I know why I'm struggling so hard with the glamorous side of opera (in my recent post titled 'Glamophone'). Glamor must come from within before you can wear it on the outside.

  2. Beautifully put as always, Susan. Definitely a state to aim for. Now excuse me while I find a flunky to feed this dog in my handbag... ;-)

  3. Sometimes things make me CRAZY. Unprofessional, disorganized, time-wasting rehearsals are the WORST offense. And the most frequent! Even if I agree with the director's artistic vision I am soon enraged by poor planning and idiotic attitudes about actor process and the like. And I am terrible at holding back my disdain.
    I dislike this about myself for one reason only, it makes the stupid people who are in control realize just how unspeakably moronic I think they are.