“Oh. You were playing? I just thought it was a very good high school player. Good job!”

Comment by an audience member who came to Cats today. And to think I get nervous even for a high school production when I have big solos (and I do). Silly me. And someone again said we sound “just like a tape we are so good.”

Now I really like the kids in the band, and they are doing a very good job. But, sorry folks, it isn’t as good as a professional production. So what does one do with comments like I’ve mentioned, and how can (should?) I get folks to listen more carefully? I don’t think there are any easy answers. I don’t know that there are any answers at all, in fact. It’s not my job, I suppose, to do anything about this. And I don’t know that people all need to listen differently than they are listening now.

I’m just sort of pondering, though.

And I’m still called to play my very best which, truth be told, I am doing, believe it or not! I am playing as expressively as I always do, and I”m working on making sure that I play in tune as much as is possible, even with the pitch being somewhat … well … maybe I should call it a “Flexible A” or a “Moveable La” or something?

I am in no way putting down the kids, by the way. They are doing a worthy job. They really are! They just aren’t professional or mature players yet. That’s all. Do they hear the difference between what they do and what I do, I wonder? I can’t really tell. Sometimes a little lazy voice inside starts saying, “Just let it go. Put less energy into this, you silly girl.” But I don’t succumb and I really don’t think it is right to do so. I am called to play my best, just as they are called to play their best.

Ramble ramble ramble … and now back to the show. Call time 6:00, curtain, 7:30. Clean-up following. It’s going to be a late night.


  1. terminaldegree

    That. Drives. Me. Crazy.

    Even worse is when someone who is lousy gets confused with ME! (“Oh, that was your 6th grade student playing? I figured it was you…”)

    A few years ago a man in my parents’ church told me, “Keep working hard and some day you might be as good as the church organist.” The church organist, by the way, was an awful HACK who slowed down whenever the technique was beyond her, and conducted with her butt in the air while leaning over the piano, fingers splayed out as if fingerpainting, and a p***-poor sense of rhythm.

    I just about strangled the old guy.

    Then I remembered that he just didn’t know any better. But it still drove. me. crazy. Yeah, I feel your pain here!

  2. terminaldegree

    And I have no idea why manilla substitues bold fond for asterisks. 🙂

  3. Patricia Mitchell

    Heh … people would be better off just keeping their mouths shut, yes? I do understand that they (usually) mean well, but man it drives me bonkers.

    Of course then there are the colleagues who make comments that are so bizarre you wonder if they have any brain cells at all! I had one who really did, I think, believe she was paying me a compliment, but the way she said it made it sound like she didn’t know I had it in me to play well. I just smiled.

    It’s better than punching her out I suppose!

  4. Patricia Mitchell

    Hmmm. Don’t know! I use the < and > signs with an i between for italics, and to cancel I do the slash before the i. Is that what you were using?

  5. terminaldegree

    Nope, I just used an asterisk as a substitute for a four-letter word. And Manila turned the rest of the post bold. Go figure. 🙂