The process of preparation for performance is not as simple it might appear to be on the surface. Getting into “the zone” might mean different things to different people, but there is no avoiding the fact that one needs to put in the hours of practice, to achieve a level of flow that could be regarded as world class. This statement might come across as banal to experienced performers, athletes and other sports people, but it never ceases to amaze me that other folks feel they can dip their toes into the world of presentation without knowing what this type of work entails.
The fact that a person is an extrovert by nature doesn’t automatically mean they have the attributes of a performer who should be taken seriously. It is excellent that people from many walks of life are given opportunities to explore performance or sport on an amateur level, but it is also important that the professionals who give their time and energy to projects that allow this sort of public engagement to happen are also listened to and appreciated when they state what their requirements are, in order to make such processes happen.
A facilitator’s years of experience in a wide variety of projects are not immediately apparent to participants in community projects. If this leader has functioned primarily as a freelancer, then there isn’t any infrastructure or system that gives others a clear sense of how far he or she has travelled down a specific path. For this reason, there are moments when misunderstandings happen, based on one person thinking that another could be arrogant or too demanding, or something similar.
Perhaps this is part of the attraction of being employed in a building based, subsidised arts organisation, where artists are given job titles and people take them more seriously, simply because the terms of engagement appear to be more formal.
Considering the way the wind is blowing – towards a more gig based economy across the board, is it possible that a time will soon arrive when larger numbers of people will understand and appreciate that many freelance artists deserve more respect than they are currently given?