Last weekend I joined this workshop of Musical Theater, at the Prague Playhouse, where I followed an Acting in English module, in the Spring of this year. And the 4 hours that I spent there, on Saturday afternoon, were such a good investment of time and money, that I didn’t do for quite a long while.
The first person who dared to practice the musical theater skills was a young boy who performed with an incredible vocal precision “Somewhere (There’s a place for us)” and we all applauded him with the same passion that he used when he sang. From that moment I fell in love with this song. And that was when I realized where is the line between professional and amatory.
I tried to make a comparison in my mind, with the time when I had to make a presentation for my team at work (of a global survey’s results and some future action lines) and when I was a little sad that no one applauded me at the end. I knew I put in some extra effort and I performed as per my expectations (even if I couldn’t find my glasses in that morning, so I had to come up with some suitable solution :D), so my ego was expecting some in-site gratification.
It could have been because I got too spoiled from when I was acting on stage, in team-plays. Now I remember that when I was doing presentations as a travel guide I wasn’t receiving applause either, but there I was paid (or receiving tips) for my services, so applause were not appropriate.
Anyway that was when I realized that behind such noisy applause is not just one weekend of understanding the data and reading it out loud for yourself. Behind such noisy applause are months (or even years) of practicing, in a setting of a small or large group, united by the same passion, while continuously improving your skills based on the received feedback.
And I think that the quantity of emotional satisfaction that one receives after performing a task in the adequate environment, is proportional with the amount of time and passion that one dedicates to that task. I remember when one of my former acting colleagues said that the biggest gratification after performing a role, for which he sacrificed months of practicing, are the long and noisy applause at the end.
And he also said that you should always wait, on stage, for the applause at the end, and to receive them gracefully, Because then, it doesn’t matter if you’ve met your own expectations or not (based on how much time and energy you invested), it matters that the public received something from you, useful for their souls and they want to thank you for it. And sometimes, those gestures worth much more than money.