Saturday, December 22, 2012
"Thank you. Next."
Putting emotions aside, the reality is that this unpleasant weaning process does more than just produce finalists for the committee to further traumatize. It serves to redirect or readjust the paths of those whose fulfillment is to be best found elsewhere. It also serves to define and refine competitors for future ordeals.
Retrace the steps of the greats. If they all quit after their first rude dismissal, who would be left on stage? Yesterday's lasts are often tomorrow's firsts. Losses always precede victories. Nobody waltzes straight to success. Failures happen.
Consider also the adrenaline and emotions expended as a good basic training program for the toughness required for future performances. If you can't survive one defeat, you won't do well on stage for a whole career of shows. Pressures can destroy us, redirect us, or strengthen us. Emotions are real, but they change quickly and shouldn't be our only guide for direction.
Ultimately failures don't define us. You are more than a trumpet, or an excerpt, or a well or poorly played solo. A failing performance pronouncement can be your best prodding for tomorrow. Expect it and go on. We should learn to process "Thank you. Next" for our good.