This was a question that has been percolating in my mind for quite some time and caused a lot of soul searching for a vast multitude of reasons. I go and see shows and support people I know, friends, etc… just like most anyone else, but not everyone writes their thoughts down… so why do it?
I think the better question is “why am I questioning myself?” Afterall I already have a bit of a following on the Pure Dancing with the Stars blog with my predictions and not everyone is going to agree and really opinions shouldn’t have to agree. Take it with a grain of salt and move on that is the constant mantra over there. (You think I’m kidding? There are a lot of passionate fans over there and they get offended by everything big and small… it is getting rather ridiculous if you ask me.)
But predicting who is going to get what score is very different from reviewing a production that your friends and acquaintances are in. There are more (familiar) egos at stake and are much more prone to bruising… everything is so subjective. Over in the Pure TV Network it is a series of media sites with several writers with differing opinions, while this is a blog of my own thoughts.
So how did I get started in reviewing in the first place…?
The original intent was to write my impressions of a production that was directed by a friend, then send it to him who “jazzed” it up as it were, after which I edited it through again as a way to make sure that the voice was still “mine” in a way then it was sent to TribLocal and that was that. Or so I thought.
When I talked to my beau at the time about the procedure he was understandably upset / annoyed because he felt that the words were no longer my own but rather revised into a marketing strategy as opposed to a true review. I didn’t think much of it at the time nor the second time I did it as a favor… believing that it was for the greater good.
After the initial couple of “reviews” I decided that I wanted a little more freedom in expressing myself and being able to include criticism (when necessary) so that it is a more balanced “review”. So I decided to just continue with the blog and whenever I see a production I would just write my thoughts and post it up then move on. I mean, everyone has an opinion, and I am no different, I just happen to want to get them out of me head before I started mulling over them.
However, I noticed something that I have a habit of doing that I didn’t always notice before. Prior to writing anything I tend to talk to others who were not part of the production in any capacity for their opinions and thoughts and see how we were similar or different from my own.
Why talk to others if I am doing the writing? Mainly because I thought that by talking out my thoughts and listening to theirs I could clear up any inconsistencies, discrepancies or figure out why I am on the fence about certain facets of a production.
Which is rather interesting because I found that the longer it takes for me to write my thoughts about a production I have seen, the more it is because I simply cannot think of anything constructive to say. This can be a double edged sword because it could mean that:
1) the production was so strong on so many levels that I would be repeating myself over and over again
2) the production was so weak that I don’t know where to begin
If I have to push myself to write something and it sounds weak it is probably because of one of the above two reasons.
But I am straying from the track… as is typical for me it would appear…
That’s another issue with me… I have so many thoughts floating in my head (who doesn’t really) that I feel that by writing things down it would allow me to stay sane enough to continue to function. Yes I know that is a rather dramatic way of viewing it, but it isn’t all that far from the truth.
By writing things down in a blog I have a place to return to and read what I wrote before. So really the blog has become a bit of an online diary of sorts… and because there are some posts that include information that others are curious about… well there you go.
In the end I don’t typically care what others think of what I write because opinions are just that… opinions. And what I write when it comes to a production usually isn’t just my thoughts but the thoughts of others around me. This is so I could attempt to provide a more well-rounded view of a production. Well not only that… I feel that I am secure in myself enough to be able to write certain things that some of my acquaintances / friends may choose not to say but whole heartedly agree with.
Then again… with artists, directors, etc alike it is easy to focus on a singular being than a phantom group of beings… and who can blame them?
So again, back to the question on hand: Why Do I Write Reviews? Because at the end of the day I find that more and more people’s thoughts align with my own in some capacity and I have a (still need to be honed and fine-tuned) gift in giving constructive criticism.
There will be a time (a lot sooner for me than what most people realize) when I won’t be on stage myself due to time constraints so I am building a life outside of being on-stage… and writing has become a part of that life.
If there is one thing that writing has helped me to understand it is that I don’t think like the average American… I have a lot of translating going on in my head that I didn’t realize was there because it is so natural. But that’s another post for another day.