I have a friend who lives with an aspiring Broadway star. Emphasis on the “aspiring”. This kid is very confident (or more likely, self conscious), outspoken, and somewhat talented. He is not untalented, but he has a just above average voice. One of the main reasons I decided to not seek a career in the music industry, or the musical theater industry for that matter, is that I do not think highly enough of myself to continuously get shut down. In general there are people way more talented than me and there are also people way less talented than me–a general fact of life, not necessarily any statement of my actual musical talent. Just knowing this means that I am not cut out for the music industry. To thrive in the music business, you have to believe whole heartedly that you are the absolute best at what you do.
So this guy that my friend lives with believes whole heartedly that he is the absolute best. So much so that he posts videos with his friend on YouTube and the videos have quite a few views, but in general, they are average displays of his actual talent. So, I took it upon myself this evening, when I saw his latest video, to make a snide remark on it about how objectively bad it was. I’m not kidding when I say that this video is bad. The kind of bad that would land this video on The Soup later this week. These two are fully committed in this video and yet have never sounded worse. Like I said, these two are not untalented, but this video is honestly a terrible example of their talents.
Well, this guy freaked out. Like freaked out. He apparently called my friend into his room and basically yelled at her for the comment that I made on his video. First of all, he needs to learn to channel his anger into a different outlet. Also, I couldn’t matter less as a person, at least to him, so why does he care what I, who he doesn’t actually know, have to say about his video that he seems really proud of?
His course of action? Well, he decided to look up all my videos on YouTube and give them a good ole dislike. Ouch, kid, that one really hit me to my core. WHY DO YOU CARE SO MUCH? If you want to work in musical theatre, then maybe get a little bit thicker skin and learn to actually hear what you sound like, not just be satisfied without really hearing anything. I’ve seen it time and time again. People get so proud that they’ve actually accomplished something, they don’t take it upon themselves to review what they’ve done and take a look objectively to see if it is actually their best work.
Wow, I wrote that really quickly and definitely emotionally-driven. In general, this kid is an ass. He claims to think highly of himself, but doesn’t seem to want to do the emotional work of trying to get jobs in one of the toughest industries ever. I need to apply this advice to myself, obviously, and learn that when my work, or at least the work I care about, gets slammed, it is in no way a reflection of me as a person. It’s a reflection of humanity. Everyone has different taste, and yeah, occasionally, objectively everyone’s work is going to be terrible, including mine, but that’s a chance to learn, not cry about it and go and dislike videos on YouTube. Let’s grow up, people.