Thursday, October 4, 2012
Quality vs. Quantity: Are you collecting tricks?
In my spare time, I have a day job as a writer in IT. In IT, you basically have developers and non-developers. And the two camps love to complain about each other. One of our favorite gripes is that developers never polish anything. They get really excited to invent a cool new app, but once they've got it made, they move onto the next cool project. Debugging, usability, documentation--this is no fun. Hence all the buggy software out there.
I see many--nay, most--students approaching pole and aerial the same way. They want tricks. New tricks, fancy tricks, tricky tricks. They obsess over learning something new. They practice it (often over-training it), pay teachers large sums for lessons and workshops, pore over videos and tutorials. Then one day the finally get it, and they have their friends take a picture of it, and that's it. Maybe they add it into their regular repertoire and maybe they forget about it. But either way, they mentally check it off a list and call it done. It's kinda like going on one of those Contiki tours in college, where you see like every city in Europe for like one night each. Been there done that bought the tshirt!
Have you bought the tshirt for all the tricks you've learned?
Don't feel like debugging your dance?
Polishing is not really fun. There's no rush, no happy dance. There's no bragging rights, and, in a community where we mentally rank each other by what tricks you can and can't do (admit it), there's no cred. No bullet point on the mental resume.
And then one day you see a video of yourself and you cringe. Or you enter a competition and can't understand why your scores were so bad. Or you audition for a show or a circus troupe and pull out all the stops and bust your ass and are flabbergasted when you don't make it past the first round of cuts.
Sometimes polishing means discipline. It means inverting without hooking your foot even when you're tired and PMSing. Other times it means inspiration. It means turning the lights down and putting on the perfect music (NOT your usual workout playlist), and practicing finding that place where you feel amazing and it shows. All the time, it means not mistaking a checklist for art.
Photo from i can has Cheezburger, of course.