Monday’s Child is fair of face, Tuesday’s Child is full of grace…
Since this is a Tuesday, let’s talk about how graceful you are as a performer- and I’m not referring to how well you move onstage, I’m talking about how you comport yourself.
Part of the Webster’s Dictionary definition of grace includes this phrase: "An easy elegance of manners".
What happens when you get complimented on a performance? How do you handle it?
Someone- your teacher, a friend, the star of the show, or a random stranger seeks you out after your performance, and tells you how much they enjoyed it…what do you do, how do you react?
If you are like many people, the compliment falls on deaf ears- YOURS!
The moment that someone tells you they liked something about your show, whether it’s your technique, stage presence, costume- all of that or anything else- is not the time to unleash your insecurities and point out how many things you did wrong.
If an audience member takes the time to seek you out and compliment you, you can bet it’s sincere! Why would they do it otherwise?
They obviously didn’t notice-or care- that you:
Missed sixteen counts of choreography at the end of the second chorus
Tripped as you entered
Didn’t hold a pose long enough
Slid on your veil
Had dry mouth the whole time you were dancing
Couldn’t get that damn glove off on time
Forgot that same part you always do in every rehearsal
Got your earring stuck on a strap
Sneezed when you’re turned your back
Borrowed your costume and it didn’t feel right
Felt so nervous you were hyperventilating before you went on
(Fill In The Blank with your own unique mishap)
And they certainly don’t need to know any of this either! This is for you and you alone to know, and for you to to work on and perfect in the future.
When someone pays you a compliment on your performance, simply smile warmly and thank them… even if you think that you weren’t working to the best of your abilities, or that your entire show sucked!
Evidently, that individual enjoyed your performance or it moved them somehow, otherwise they wouldn't have bothered to take the time to tell you. And since they are being enthusiastic about letting you know this, don’t make them feel like an idiot for saying they liked your show!
So even if you don’t think you had a particularly good show, the professional thing to do when complimented by an audience member is to accept it- graciously. If you don’t agree with the compliment, then just consider this moment a part of your performance!
Otherwise, you are basically telling the person who complimented you that they have horrible taste…and how rude is that?