I received the kindest of complements this morning during our All Access Pre Show. “Sir, few people can appreciate the work that goes into being a Ringmaster. You truly keep this entire thing moving!” Admittedly, I was charmed, yet, in my mind at least, I maintain that I am merely the world’s greatest and might I add, best dressed braggart. I get to bellow on endlessly about the extraordinary feats of my colleagues. I don’t fly, I don’t talk to animals, and I am no daredevil, gravity will do just fine, thank you.
It feels wonderful to be applauded and if we’re honest with ourselves, particularly artists, it is what leads us to enter the fields of endeavor we do. However, as I’ve grown I have learned that the joy in what we do is in fact in the doing. There’s a great danger in maintaining an “applause based” motive. Much like making money ones purpose, eventually it’s a dead end. You leave your worth in the hands of others or things. As I told a colleague of mine who found themself bemoaning the inevitable bureaucracy that comes with most any business, you are responsible for you, thus, your joy is your business. Indeed, things could be better. Colleagues could be more professional, management could be more supportive, the audience could act like they’re awake, yet, none of that has anything whatsoever to do with your joy. As my voice teacher is fond of saying, “narrow is the way…” Distraction is perhaps the leading killer of purpose. We squander so much spreading ourselves thin, causing us to compromise ourselves, forfeiting the joy of our work for a plethora of distractions that leaves us dazed, confused, and joyless.
Do all you can to keep your eyes fixed on the purest of intentions. All else will work itself out; and if you should happen to be praised and heavily rewarded, well that’s not so bad either.
It’s your dream, it’s your voice, make it BIG!