All throughout my childhood and teens, and actually, well into my twenties, I dedicated the bulk of my time to singing and acting. This meant, weekly acting classes, lessons with my voice instructor and countless hours spent on rehearsals, recitals and full on theater productions. I loved every second of it. The only downside I discovered, was that the more I studied my craft and immersed myself in the world of entertainment, the harder it was for me to be entertained by others.
I couldn’t watch movies or TV without seeing the actors versus the characters they were supposed to portray. I couldn’t allow myself to feel their emotions because I was too busy watching them pause, to emphasize the moment. Music was just as bad. It’s nearly impossible to enjoy a good song, when all you’re doing is tuning into the singer’s technique. However, on the flip side, I became even more appreciative of those individuals who were truly talented and skilled at what they were doing. Mind you, my critical eyes and ears had nothing to do with my limited talent and skill and more so to do with the constant instruction I was receiving and the fact that my theater brain was always ON.
Now that my theater brain is quietly humming on stand by, it is my writer brain that has taken over. While I still find myself watching some actors with an annoying attention to detail, the thing I do most now, is anticipate the storyline. I can’t seem to get through fifteen minutes of an hour show without knowing exactly who did what to whom and how. I would love to say that I’m just that brilliant and can solve any mystery in a matter of moments, but the truth is that it’s simply my writer brain latching onto someone else’s story and figuring out the best way for it to play out. A challenge I give myself regularly, although when it’s intentional, I try to stick to my own stories.
When the story is so good that it is actually impossible for me to crack the code, I still can’t seem to shut down the brain because then I’m too busy trying to learn from that writer through his or her work.
A movie is never just a movie anymore. A song is never just a song and a book is never just a book. They’re people. People with talents and skills. Some are just sub par, but some are freaking amazing…and in the end, I’m blessed because I can never be exposed to awesome talent without recognizing and appreciating the person from which it came.