Tragically, I am enduring a sickness that is quite common for someone who enjoys documenting thoughts and transforming them into work.
The writer's block, I'm afraid is on the verge of plaguing me. I'm consumed with deep thoughts and insights, but the breaks are immediately slammed, once the pen, in my hand, touches the paper.
With that said, I ask myself, What do you want to be known for?...Good question.
I began exploring my options, my plans, things that excite me, projects that frighten me... Then a little piece of history fell into my lap one morning as I stumbled across the new trailer for "Florence Foster Jenkins", who shot to fame and became a legendary success for her terrible singing ability. And this was long before trash reality television manipulated naive people into thinking that they could sing, just for them to be humiliated by the public once the singing contests aired. I understand the network's perspective, they wanted their audience to have comedic relief in order to make the show more captivating.
Subconsciously, I converted back to my teens (when I was first involved in a professional theatre environment), what did I want from pursing this path? Through past choices and activities, I wanted my work to be out there to be known.
But something shifted and looking back, at my journal entries, a new want emerged. Frustrated by some of the sides I was given as a 20 year old girl, in Hollywood, I realized that I no longer just wanted to do work to be known, I wanted to do good work. After seeing beautiful examples of great work, presented by women that stand before me and continue to pave the way (especially in New York), awe and chills washed over me.
And still to this day my objective is to do good work, but now I'm at a stand still when asking myself, what constitutes good work?
Watching Meryl Streep, brilliantly, portray Florence Foster Jenkins, I got to thinking there are so many examples of this source of entertainment that exists today, it's known for being so bad it's good. I'll be the first to admit, I enjoy watching Flight of the Conchords...And Miranda Sings is another brilliant character where her terrible ego and singing is growing her leaps and bounds! And yes, I will be watching her show on Netflix.
So does this mean that it's good to be bad?
...I guess that is still to be determined, but it doesn't look like it's the worst possible outcome.
Actually, and I do remember saying this, in school, the worst possible performance given is a mediocre one. It's not memorable, there's no strong opinion and it doesn't make you come back for more...
Maybe that's what defines good work? ...Making people come back for more? Or does it have to be critically acclaimed work that makes you come back for more?
After conducting further research, I find that the critics must be taken with a grain of salt. Especially, after discovering that they condemned Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo" upon it's release (which happens to be my favorite film of all time). But fast forward, 58 years later, it's considered a timeless masterpiece.
So...I want to do good work? How am I approaching it? How was I approaching it? Are there any changes? Are there tasks and daily rituals that need to be done differently? What kind of impact do I want to create?
Are these the unanswered questions that are staring, hard, at me - telling me that I need to retreat?
To reflect back on a time where I felt I did good work wasn't easy. At times, I wish that I could say my best work only consisted of happy go-lucky moments where everything made sense and my world was so well pieced together. But I'm sorry to say that wasn't the case. Actually, I think my good work came from taking a hard look at a volatile situation that left me hurt, confused, and drained. And I come out of that situation by blowing up the turmoil, while finding that resting place for those gut wrenching feelings that were left to burn with the rest of the debris.
With that said, I am left to believe that what constitutes good work is when it surpasses the trilling tongues of praise, it issues a strong statement, and most importantly, it speaks for itself.
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