I had an interesting string of direct messages this week on Facebook. The conversation took place because of a post from the Los Angeles Times I privately shared with some professional singer, dancer, musician and actor friends of mine.
What ensued was a conversation about giving your all - your life, talent, and your total dedication - to your craft.
David Ackert could just as easily have been talking about skaters.
"With every note they stretch themselves, emotionally and physically, risking criticism and judgement. With every passing year, many of them watch as other people their age achieve the predictable milestones of normal life-the car, the family, the house, the nest egg. Why? Because musicians and singers are willing to give their entier lives to a moment-to that melody, that lyric, that chord, or that interpretation that will stir the audience's soul."
All performers are like that, really. For the most part, they are insecure risk takers. It is a dichotomy that is more than the dictionary definition; it is one that for artists truly defies explanation. It is the ultimate yin and yang.
Perhaps that secure insecurity is ultimately what makes them great. Deep inside, the really successful ones are never satisfied, and are forever a bit scared. They crave approval. They don't simply accept their talents or rest on their laurels. They are always looking for the next challenge, and another way to reach their audience with the God-given gift they know they possess but are too humble to admit. They take their best; they take the thrill they gave their audiences and the souls they reached with their performances, and forever unsatisfied, they look to stretch themselves to the next level. As Ackert says, "And in their own hearts, they know that to dedicate oneself to that moment is worth a thousand lifetimes."
Yes, as several friends pointed out, the article itself is a bit over dramatic. However, performing - no matter what the discipline - is about reaching out and touching the back row, isn't it?
So, here's to the artists with HEART. Dramatic. Melodramatic. Stirring. Inspirational. Life changing. Here's to the artists who work in so many mediums to bring us experiences that are far beyond our understanding as mere "civilians." They bring us the complete spectrum, and in doing so they not only enrich their craft, they enlighten our lives.