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Sunday, May 26, 2013

My Harshest Critic... Me

Well, we wrapped up From Cradle to Stage for another year.  Overall things went really well.  I think the playwrights were happy with their plays and from the feedback from the rest of the production team everything ran very smoothly.  We finished up with a super fast strike and had a great turnout in terms of audience.  And then today, as a finishing touch to the festival, in conjunction with APN, Walterdale hosted a playwriting workshop facilitated by Tracy Carroll that ran smoothly and was very well received by the participants.  I am also extremely confident that we are well under budget which is never a bad thing! There were several times in the months leading up to this festival that I wondered if I could get it all done. Luckily I had a great team who understood my time situation who rose to the occasion and did the work fabulously. So I am glad that I did not resign months ago, when it could have meant a much less stressful season for me.

So, as I drove home, why couldn't I just enjoy it?  Why? Because my mind was running through the 4-5 things I forgot or didn't do as well as I wished. Instead of being content and happy about all the success of the production and festival,  I was thinking of the three people I forgot to offer comps to and the prop that I realized was still at the theatre that needed to be returned to the person who lent it to us.  I was thinking about the branches I never actually put on the trees on the set. I was dwelling on the stereo I forgot to lock up and turn off and the incomplete cleaning job we did because I felt the incoming group was in a rush to get in the space since they moved in 20 minutes earlier than I expected. I know.  I should be thinking about the kudos and thank yous, and those good things are definitely there, but I also was thinking about a couple negative emails I received from people who should have been working to help me not criticize me, and things beyond my control like a website that with wrong times and emails sent out to the membership with limited and incorrect information. Things I had no control over, but that I felt responsible for.  I constantly go over in my mind - how could I have prevented this or that? Sometimes there is nothing I could have done, but it still bugs me.

Theatre is one of the places in my life where I consistently have this desire to be perfect and yet never feel I am.  I'd like to get over it... Maybe someday.  But maybe not. Maybe it's what pushes me to do better work.

I don't think I am alone in this.  I think a lot of people over-assess things.  I also know that one of the reasons I have grown to feel this way is because very often the only time people give any feedback is to report something gone wrong, and perhaps they are not always the kindest or most diplomatic about it.  So now I sit, waiting for the feedback about the things that weren't perfect... Things I have already accounted for in my mind.

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