My wife Jody has a unique way of looking at things, As a professional clown who has worked at her craft for over 20 years, she has developed a philosophy that I admire. She attends things like conferences and conventions to learn things and often , she tells me, she learns what NOT to do! That’s right, she goes with an open mind to learn as much as she can but sometimes the presenters fall a bit short in her estimation.. In that case she watches and makes mental notes of some things she feels isn’t quite right, at least for her performances.
That’s not saying the presenter isn’t good, or has nothing to offer. It means she watches with a eye to what her performance style is and see if she can learn something that matches her style and will improve her. Often the presenter will have little bits of knowledge she can garner, but if they are totally off the mark, she tells herself that is something she would not incorporate into her show.
Not every performance style you will agree with. Maybe what the presenter is offering works for him or her in THEIR OWN AREA. But you, knowing your own performing territory, have to learn that will NOT work for you in your own market. That is where experience comes in…that’s why it is important to work a number of shows so you will gain this insight.
What this article is saying is that it is not wrong to experiment with new ways of doing things. But know yourself and your own performing style so that you can incorporate what works. Other things that won’t work..you need to dismiss. Remember, everyone has their own views on performing and you can indeed learn from everyone. If by watching someone you determine that through your experience you know that won’t work, congratulations! You’ve just taken another step towards being the professional you are striving to become!
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