Monday, August 13, 2012

Valuable lessons to learn

A few really valuable lessons I learnt in the past few months. This might help a lot of other dancers, or even other freelancers. Some lessons which should be followed like a holy book. And always better to learn from other's mistakes.

1. It is absolutely easy to get lost in other's dreams and fulfill them and make your dreams come to a backseat. I realized that and decided to get back on track asap.
Quick Tip : Always, and I mean always plan your month ahead of time. Have you set deadlines for your own project? Stick to it. Let nothing come in the way, even if someone portrays it to be a big deal. Trust me , NOTHING can be a bigger deal than your dreams.

2. If you spend all your time building others' dreams, you have no time left to build yours.

I am going to be very self critical about the next one.

3. Understanding the finer nuances of dancing. Get critics to watch your dance and ask them what they did not like about the piece rather than what they did. I have a few friends who are not dancers, and their opinion completely counts. One friend, lets name him X for now. So X's opinion on one contemporary dance piece we had performed was this. "So it was all pretty and all, but honestly the story looked so made up. It looked like the compere needed to explain some story for people to understand, but the piece was only a set of 25 pretty looking contemporary steps but didn't really explain to me the theme explained initially". That friend doesn't know dancing one bit. But when he comes with me for Bharatanatyam, he understands each item even though he doesn't know mudras or anything. He is one of my closest people in the world. So I know it was all genuine. Its such an insight for me to learn. There is no point I live in the glory of my performance and not understand the bad points. Such an insight. Now I'll look at every contemporary dance and think whether it is just a set of pretty looking steps and some random story cooked up in the beginning to make it look like a lot is happening. Thanks X for giving me that insight. Never realized that before. I have seen a few contemporary dance pieces, and now I realized all of them have the same problem. The story is never in accordance to the dance.

4. Say No at the right time.

5.NEVER treat the people you work with badly. You need people more than anything to make any event successful. Even to do a solo performance, you'll need lights and other things to be done by someone else. If they work for you, treat them

6. Stop listening to bulls**t from others.
So the problem in the dancing industry is that each person is busy glorifying themselves at all time. "I know all items of Bharatanatyam very well", "I am an awesome dancer ", "I have a 'Diploma' ". And they find me the right catch to come and brag about themselves. Because they know I would listen to it without bragging about myself in return. Because of this flaw in me, I have seen so much bulls**t from really amateur dancers around that my tolerance to othersself-bragging and self-praising is bare minimum. I never claim I am fabulous. I still say I have a long way to go. And I know I do. But I wonder how some people find a confidence to claim they are so awesome and when I see them, there is this voice inside that tells me "I saw this one speaking too much, but not doing as much".

7. Every person will want you to work for them like as if they are giving you a big opportunity in life. I have never fallen for that trick. For me its a simple business deal. If they give me something, even I am giving them something. Its never a favor anyone has done.

One has to be quite a tough nut to crack when you are a freelancer. But you slowly learn what is right and what is wrong.