Monday, May 24, 2010

Getting it Right

I recently completed yet another journey around the sun. To celebrate, my husband took me to the "biggest show in Berlin" better known as Qi. The show is a mixture of Vegas-style revue, Ice Capades, and Cirque du Soleil rolled into one (yes, they bring out a skating rink mid-show).

I really expected amazing things. As a former dancer, I love watching good dance performances. And for the biggest show in Berlin (with equally sizable ticket prices), you would think the performances would be out of this world.

Oh man, was I disappointed.

I understand that in order to be creative (as was required to create this show), you need lower your expectations for yourself. If you expect to create a masterpiece when you sit down, you will block your creative efforts. You need to allow yourself to start small, make mistakes, learn as you go.

That's all well and good, but when you have reached the point at which you are performing in front of hundreds of people each night and charging them for the privilege, you sure better bring your perfectionist self to the stage.

The former dancer in me cringed as the dancers repeatedly failed to hit their lines or perform any of the moves together. Nothing looks worse than sloppy dancing, and this performance was sloppy. To put it mildly. No one was impressed by the end of the first half of the show, and I seriously debated whether I wanted to see the rest.

Fortunately, the second half was an improvement, thanks largely to Duo Iroshnikov. Unlike the rest of the performers, these brothers hit every move with precision and accuracy. Here is a video clip of the performance we saw (performed at a different venue).

Pretty amazing effort. It shows the importance of bringing your perfectionist to your performance. Perfectionism may inhibit the creative process, but once you have created a final product, it's time to bring your perfectionist self back to the table.

How do you see the role of perfectionism in the creative venture? In your personal creative process?


  1. I definitely agree that perfectionism needs to be put on hold during the creative process. But it can't be put on hold forever. Like you said, we better deliver a good product. If we don't nobody may ever read a second product we create. And with picture books, it's even more important to make sure every word is perfect, like a well-crafted poem. I enjoyed the video of the dancing Duo I.

  2. I completely agree, Christie. It applies to writing just as much as every other craft. That's where rewriting and revising come into play.