Company member Heidi Jedlicka reflects on excellence, artists, and taking it easy on ourselves.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. -- Aristotle
Now that our 2011-2012 season is officially finished. I’m going to let you in on a little SU secret. It’s not always easy here, under the umbrella. For realz.
Do we disagree? Yes. Do conversations sometimes get heated? Oh, duh. Has each and every company member dropped the ball at one point or another? Probs.
But do you know what we’re the WORST at? Recognizing how awesome we are individually and as an organization.
I imagine this flaw is a common among young arts organizations and companies. With many company members working full-time, making art as much as possible, and trying to engage in as much grown up behavior as possible (bathing, cleaning, happy hours) things can - and do - fall through the cracks. Tasks are half-assed. Deadlines are blown (included the deadline for this very blog post!) Unnecessary details are forgotten. The biggest problem with the reality of artists stretched too thin is that it’s so easy to focus on all the tiny failures and be swept up in a tidal wave of demoralization. Yikes. Not a fun time, right?
We (Savage Umbrella and artists everywhere) have to find a way to deal with all the tiny failures without emotionally punching ourselves in the face. Sure, sometimes failure happens, and when it does, it is generally unpleasant. However, so long as we don’t forget the lesson learned there is no sense in beating ourselves (or each other) up about it.
Aristotle is right, obvi. Excellence is a habit. However, like many habits, sometimes they are so automatic we fail to acknowledge them. As we look back on a season of projects both massive and small, I challenge my fellow company members and artists everywhere to take a moment and think about all the tiny successes that have occurred along that way. Seriously, think about a success right now; it will make you feel good.
Up next week, a season in review or Where the hell did the year go?
Missing SU now that our 2011-12 season is over? Never fear. You can hang out with us - and support the creation of new work! - at our 3rd annual Happy Hour FUNdraiser. Join us Thursday, Aug. 23 from 5:00 - 8:00 pm at Open Book (10th and Washington, downtown). Suggested donation of $10 / $25 / $50. Free artisanal beer, wine, and nosh. Live and silent auctions. Featuring the talents of local bands Fairfax, AK and Discord Syndicate. Be there!