Reviews: To Read or Not to Read
We act for audiences. Amongst the audience members are the tastemakers who tell the rest of the world what they thought. And quite often, we hang on their every word, to the point that they can dictate how we feel about our own work.
Fifty people can tell you they loved something, but if the one person who puts their thoughts in print didn’t, that good feeling can be erased that in a flash. For this reason, many actors avoid reviews at all costs. I’m one of them.
It’s true that reviews can matter. A good one can get you noticed, extend the life of a show, and make a tangible difference to a career. Bad ones, too, can be devastating.
But we performers have no control over them. None at all. The only thing we can do, is do our work to the best of our ability, and take satisfaction on the knowledge that we did all we could to give a good performance.
It’s not easy to ignore the critics, no more than we can ignore the response of an audience – why didn’t they laugh on that line?! – but the excitement we feel should not be at the mercy of others. Our work is meant to be enjoyed, of course, and shared, but it is also ours to be savored.