All of us are trying to achieve 100 percent in our work. That’s all we struggle to do. We never do, but we never stop trying until the day we die. It’s that struggle to achieve 100 percent, that’s where our performance lies, that’s what the audience gets. They get the struggle. ~ Vincent D’Onofrio
Clinging, riding and chasing the dreams that come to us are what we are. Finding the things that force us to sketch, type, use a brush, dance or if you like perform. We, Artists are the creators of civilizations. When we look at history–a favorite subject–what do we see? There are a few things that stand out. Things that were created the artists who created them and the conquerors of cities, I’m going to focus on the former because I love art.
The performer, for that is what we are. You can call yourself a painter or a writer, but we are all performers. We all create, but it is the performance, the creation that is left at the end of the day that we are known for.
What is it about the performance that draws you in and makes you perform? Does it come from some place in your mind? Is it your muse? Or is there something deeper going on?
Finding that deeper level, that side of you that you’re afraid to show to anyone, even your spouse, lover or best friend. It is in that part of your soul that performance that will keep your soul digging and clawing for more. That deep level in your soul is hiding in a part that you may have lost when you were a child, but it is there.
You will find it playing with your kids, playing video games, rummaging through albums at the record store, listening to that one piece of music that sets your soul on fire. That deepness is hiding, you need only dig it out.
Creating our performance is where we get into the problems of our art. No matter what you call your performance it sometimes causes you to do things that, well…otherwise you may not do. Taking chances with our performance is how it can shine, making sure it’s perfect. Does the paint work with the subject, does the story flow, am I able to get into the character the way I want. These are the little things that cause us problems. Solving those problems makes the difference.
Finding a performance in your soul, the one that you know is there, that one that will keep your head above water just long enough to be recognized by an agent, publisher, art critic, magazine, theater goer. It is that performance that we’re all looking for. That one piece performance that has so much of our soul we wonder how there is still air in our lungs.
The performance of a lifetime is waiting for you, are you going to wait for it or run with both hands toward it?
When we perform there is always that voice that tells us we can’t. That little bit of crazy that lies in each of us. It is telling us no we can’t. That is the fear, that is stage fright. Being up on the stage and making your performance count is what we all want. Ignore your stage fright, ignore your fear. If you get sick, it’s okay, it happens. A lot of performers get sick before a concert.
If we didn’t fear the unknown we wouldn’t be human. It is this fear of the unknown that keeps us wanting and trying to get better. Trying to improve each performance is the goal, that is why we practice. Fear makes us work harder. Fear can make the performance better.
Seeing the performance for the first time is a magical gift. It is a feeling unlike any other. It is a high incomparable to a drug. After you finish a performance on canvas, the page or the stage there will be a time when the high goes away, it’s normal, let it go. After that high goes away, sit down and think how you got to that point. What did you do, what music did you listen to, did anything change? Find what is in the performance that you pulled from that deep dark part of your soul and harness it. Control it. Your performance is you, it makes each performer whole. It is what makes us sketch, type, use a brush or dance.
Each of us has this performance in us, it is there, it has always been there. We know it, we feel it every once in a while. It comes in glimpses and flashes, but it is there. Dig into your soul, pull out the performance you know is there.
Step out the door and Perform