Happy Wednesday! On Monday I wrote a post entitled, “seek different philosophies,” in which I wrote about the various improv schools in Los Angeles and how my experience at The Groundlings School has differed so far from my experience at Upright Citizens Brigade.
Practice makes perfect. We’ve had that thought-process engrained in our brains since youth, right? I know I heard it all the time as a kid. My favorite retort - and perhaps it’s one of yours, too - is “practice makes perfect, but nobody’s perfect, so why practice?”
Why do we practice? Why do we put so many hours into a skill or a given path with no guarantee that things will work out the way we want them to and with absolutely no guarantee things will be perfect? There are a lot of people who struggle with perfectionism, but the most perfect thing in the world is defining perfection for yourself.
I have a cabaret coming up this weekend where I’ll be performing “There’s a Fine, Fine Line” from Avenue Q. I’ve been practicing all week for it the best I’m able to, sight-reading on my keyboard, and I have a session scheduled tomorrow with an accompanist friend who will help me work out the rest of the kinks. Interestingly enough, I’m not stressing about it.
Do you ever notice that a lot of your stress comes from worrying about letting other people down? If I were to worry about what all the audience members might think about my performance at the cabaret, I might be stressing out a bit. But I’m not. When you do things for yourself and stop worrying about what other people might think, those stresses fade away.
Does that mean I don’t want to do well? Absolutely not. I want to do really well because music and singing is important to me. It’s something in my life that has always brought me joy. Even yesterday at Garage Band’s musical improv practice, I ended up rhyming a word with itself and it bothered me for awhile. Musical improv (and improv in general) has been very freeing because there’s no way to achieve perfection; however, there is a growth process that occurs where you eventually see that you can do better than rhyming a word with itself.
So, practice makes perfect? Yes, if you do as I do and substitute the word “growth” for “perfect.” No one is ever going to achieve perfection because the definition of it changes all the time and because people have different meanings of "perfection." It’s important to view growth as the true perfection. If you practice growth, you will achieve it. And you’ll get closer and closer to whatever perfection means to you.
Thank you so much for reading, and, as always, if you have any pressing questions or if you want to discuss something further with me, feel free to subscribe in the box below or reach out to me on the “contact” page. I’m so grateful you're here and that I’ve been getting a lot of really challenging questions and even better feedback from a community all over the world. I couldn’t do this without you! So THANK YOU! I’m here for you, and I love hearing from you, too! You’re the best, and you have everything you need inside of you! Please believe it! Starve your ego, feed your soul - and follow your heart!