Monday, December 14, 2009

Be Yourself --- But -- What if You Don't Like Yourself?

Over and over again I hear that if I want to be an authentic artist I have to "be myself."

When "they" tell you about how to be a good writer, they say "write about what you know."  When "they" tell you the secret of a good audition they say, "you are enough -- be yourself."  When you want to be a good singer, they say, "sing with your own voice."

In fact, I am telling my 17yo son these things as he struggles to write his personal essay for college application and is experiencing writer's block.  I tell him to write what he cares about.  I tell him not to try to write for "them" but to write for himself.  I give him examples from my singing.  I tell him how if I waited for the song to be spectacular, fabulous, before I opened my mouth, then I would never open it to sing.

What if I am very ordinary?  What if I have no accomplishments?  What if I am boring?  What if I am corny?  What if I am sentimental and trite?  What if I lack breeding and a sense of style and good taste?  If I "be myself" then what would be the worth of what I produce?

I look out and I see so many fabulous people out there.  They are hip.  They are funny.  They are cool.  They know how to put it together.  They are fun to watch and listen to.  Don't I have to be like them in order to be an artist? In order to impress or stand out?

I am learning more and more that we can only be what we are in any given moment.  That is why I am trying so hard to present this blog and Frescamari's Practice Room exactly as I am.  If I am corny, then my blog and my singing are going to be corny.  If I am unsophisticated, then my blog and my singing are going to be unsophisticated.

But, I will tell you something!  If I spend my time with my passion each day, and explore my true interest with it, then it really does not matter.  Perhaps I will develop sophistication.  Perhaps I will develop insight and humor?  Perhaps, as I explore, I will find these things hidden like gems deep within myself.

But if  I lock myself up and don't write and don't sing, then I will never know.

No comments:

Post a Comment