The nobility of PERFORMING

Last year I went to the NATS Chicago conference and bemoaned the fact that I had taken an unintentional hiatus from performing for nearly 10 years. Specifically, I posted on Facebook:

Something that makes me a little sad is that, although my voice is still working just FINE, thankyouverymuch, I missed out on performance opportunities because I focused so much on my teaching. Which was in part because I wasn’t getting a chance to perform. And while I love teaching and feel like I’ve made a difference to students (past, present, and future), what more could I have done as a performer??

It’s interesting to see the comments that were made. They mainly run the gamut from “I know what you mean” to “It’s never too late.” But there was one comment that was made that took me aback a bit, because I think it reveals the perspective that people have about performing as being less noble than teaching. And that comment was:

As a performer, you touched the present. Teachers touch the future.

My immediate response to that was then as it is now.

I don’t think it’s just the present we [as performers] touch. I don’t think of it as ephemeral.

I have seen so many performances that touched me deeply, that made a difference in my life. Performances that were authentic, that told the truth, and that were noble. That doesn’t mean they were serious, necessarily, They could have been just as easily musicals or comedies as they were dramas. If Gilligan’s Island touched you back when you were a kid (and I bring this up because when Carmen was on the radio Saturday, my husband began singing “Never a borrower nor a lender be!” along with the Toreador Song, so clearly, there’s an example of leaving an impression), does that mean it was pointless?

Perhaps that’s not the best example, but it was the first one that popped into my head.

There is still more work to do, as a teacher, a director, and a performer, and as a person. I’m not just one or the other, and one is not better than another. And I want to touch the past, present, and the future.

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