You have to brave in this job.
Working as a musician/entertainer/performer you invariably put yourself in the line of fire for a lot of criticism. Sooner or later everyone in this line of work will experience it, if you are lucky it will be mild – and maybe even help you to improve once the initial hurt has died down. But sometimes you encounter the kind of criticism that is sadly becoming more and more common, deeply personal and hurtful criticism with no basis in anything remotely constructive.
Unfortunately there are people out there that seem to think that it is their life’s mission to inform people that they are not as good as they think they are. Personally I blame X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent, The Voice and every other show like them out there at the moment. Audiences are being taught to attack performers – often young performers – in ever more hurtful and cruel ways, just for the crime of thinking they might have a talent.
It’s not just X Factor either, magazines and newspapers are also to blame. Somehow it has become socially acceptable to say the harshest cruelest things about a person just because of their job.
In life, sooner or later, we all face criticism. This comes doubly if you are the kind of person who throws yourself into life, grabbing at each and every opportunity (especially if you are the kind of person to always be wearing your red lipstick)
Imagine that every single day when you go into work you run the risk of being heavily criticised. Imagine that every time you try and do your job to the highest possible standard you run the risk of incurring deeply personal attacks on everything about you, from your tastes to your appearance. Imagine it being acceptable for people to label you “terrible” “boring” or even “ugly” just because of your job…
We do this work because we love it, because we enjoy sharing our music with other people, and – yes – because we do believe that we’re actually quite good at it. At least we must be doing OK otherwise we wouldn’t have reached the level we have.
So as you’ve probably guessed, Mr P and I have been coming under fire lately. Who knows the reason – chances are it’s a whole host of reasons culminating in one big attack. But it’s not been fun, it does hurt when you try and work as hard as you possibly can and get nothing back. The worst one is when you think you’ve done a good job – people have seemed to enjoy what you’ve done and even come to compliment you – but then as soon as they get a chance to put pen to paper (or hand to keyboard) they write nothing but hurtful comments.
But we are not going to let it drag us down.
I refuse to give up on being me because some people took it unto themselves to tell me how terrible they think I am. I will keep on smiling and performing and laughing and enjoying every single second of every single opportunity I get until the time it all comes to an end. And when it does come to an end – which I’m sure it will one day for whatever reason – I will be nothing but grateful for the chances I’ve had in life.
So I’m being brave. I will not hide away because I’m being criticised, instead I am going to put on my red lipstick and my most fabulous dress and I am going to walk back into the firing line with my head held high. Because at least if it does all goes tits up at least I know I had the balls to try.
And that’s what really counts.
Mrs P xxxxx
P.S. So I’ve been feeling rubbish for a few weeks now, went to the doctors and it turns out I have bronchitis! The plus side? Antibiotics are amazing! Nothing can stop me now….
P.P.S If you are ever feeling down or undermined then take one tip from me. Lock yourself away in your bedroom, put on a bit of Aretha Franklin and Etta James as loud as you can go, have a good cry if you need one, then take a good long look in the mirror and make yourself look as fabulous as you can. It might not cure your problems but I guarantee you will feel ready for anything.