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Take your lumps – and LEARN

Kris Vire talks a little bit more about the role of critics in a theatre community, and as I just closed a show that was reviewed by 5 very different humans and they had pretty different opinions on the show (which was pretty consistent with general opinion – the wildly divergent I mean).

Avimann Syam of the Austin Chronicle
Michael Meigs of AustinLiveTheatre.com
Claire Canavan for the Austin-American Statesman
Ryan E. Johnson for the Austin Examiner
Dan Solomon for Austinist.com

If Critic-o-meter were to stop by in Austin and handle the math for us I think that they would find it to be about a B-.

I think it was better than that, but it really depended on your mood and expectations when you showed up, so I don’t think it’s too terribly out of line. But what I will say is this: Every single one of them did everything I ask of a critic or reviewer. They told exactly how they felt about a piece and they wrote about it with as much care as we presented it.

That’s all I ask.

We’re all in this together. If we both go out of our way not to piss in the pool we’ll be fine.

But producing companies? You have a responsibility here too. Be self-aware. You know if you’re winning or not, and I understand that you have a momma-bear fighting interest in your show, but take a step back. Ask the unthinkable: are they right? 1 of those 5 above really didn’t like the show, and called me out personally for my performance. I can get huffy and indignant or I can simply ask if he’s right. (He’s only half right).

I’m an adult producing art for public consumption. I have a strong desire to be very good at this. It is in my best interest to have as rigorous a review of my work as I can get. I may discard some of it as not useful to my future work or as an outlier in reference to this work. But if it’s all going to simply be treacley appreciation for “how hard I tried” I will never be one whit better tomorrow than I am today.