Producing the perfect performance is the aim of most performers. But what is the perfect performance and what does the search for it achieve?
“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” – ANNA QUINDLEN
Hi, so this is a vlog on producing the perfect performance. But it isn’t a how-to, it’s not a quick fix, nor the 3 steps to produce a perfect performance. It’s more a challenge to the idea of perfection. What is perfection and why do we as performers want to be perfect?
The beauty of when we see something real and vulnerable in others is so
obvious. I often use the example of Judi Dench singing Send in the Clowns.
Her voice is far from perfect, but the performance is phenomenal. There’s a reality, a vulnerability in that performance that really connects with
you, and moves you on a different level.
Recently I put a quote on Facebook by Mihai Csikszentmihalyi on the suffering and pain that creatives are exposed to, but also the joy that can be experienced by them.
As creatives, we really try to avoid this suffering and pain, and we do
a lot of things to avoid it. We do things like self handicapped. So we’ll put lots of obstacles, real or imaginary, in the way of us achieving what we want to
achieve. Like University students who might stay up drinking the night before an exam, and therefore if they fail at the exam can say that it’s not because they are no good, it’s because they made a bad decision and stayed up drinking all night. Then if they do well they can say, ‘Even though I stayed up drinking I still did this.’ Performers often stand up and give an excuse to why they won’t perform very well. “I had laryngitis last week,’ ‘I don’t know the piece very well,’ or ‘This is a new audience for me.’ So again if they don’t do well they can blame the circumstances, but if they do do well they can say despite the circumstances look how brilliant I am!
The reality is that, if we put ourselves out there to properly perform at our best, the risk of suffering and pain is unavoidable in true art. For people to be truly moved you have to be prepared to be vulnerable, to show your vulnerability, and that takes courage. The courage to let go of the search for perfection, and the attempt to use perfection as an armour, and to trust that the real you is good enough.
Not only that, the real and best you is the you that everybody’s been waiting
for, and hoping to see. That’s the one that will really move them.
So let go of striving to be perfect and strive to be the best you can be. To show people the best and real you.
We still have some places on our weekend singing course in London, so if you would like some help on being the real you when you perform, come and join us!