Everyone has got a f—ing opinion. Opinions can either stall our desires or mislead into self-delusion.
Human nature is wired to focus on the negative over the positive. We’re drawn to it like injury claim lawyers are to car crashes on the Jersey Turnpike. Before shaking your head in denial that you yourself are not guilty of this non-pleasurable foible lets slide down the slippery slope of your psyche.
How many times have you received praise for a performance or deed but then in the midst of that praise there was one critical response? A less than enthusiastic kneel at your feet or rejection at drinking the Kool-Aid of your brilliance? Recall the nasty, snide remark slandered by someone who pleasures in pointing out fault over favor? Now that your memory is jogged how much did the one critical comment obscure the plethora of praise? Come on, be honest. It had to irk you a bit. If so, you stepped on to the land mine that is the negative booby-trap.
Screw the negative.
And recall that criticism is a synonym for opinion. Got it? It’s not a judgment chiseled in granite. There is no Supreme Court (other than your parents) handing out verdicts of shame upon you. Only you (and yes maybe the parental units) do that. Stop it. Turn your back on the negative.
And caution on the positive…
Praise positive and critics negative can not be the barometer of which you measure your success or failure. If you focus on either you’ll become lost in a forest of distorted mirrors. Forever seeing reflections that are projections provided by others. Smash the mirrors. Govern your own way out of the thicket of thorns and protective pines. What’s your opinion of you? How do you favor or critique your artistry? How are you honest with the person who’s opinion you most honor, and value? The opinionated of your whole that is you. Be kind to yourself, while being objective of improvement and praise to your goals and ideals.
Pre-P.S. And please, no opinion notes to me that this was an opinion about opinions. Infinity mirrors belong in one of two places; cheap motels with day rates and South Philly row homes.
And yes that was an opinion about having an opinion within an opinion piece. At least that’s my opinion.
Casting Directors, Talent Agents, Directors & Actors
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Paul Russell’s career as a casting director, director, acting teacher and former actor has spanned nearly thirty years. He has worked on projects for major film studios, television networks, and Broadway. Paul has taught the business of acting and audition technique at NYU and has spoken at universities including Yale, Elon and Wright State University. He is the author of ACTING: Make It Your Business – How to Avoid Mistakes and Achieve Success as a Working Actor. For more information, please visit www.PaulRussell.net.