What is your least favorite personal quality in others? Extra points for sharing your least favorite personal quality in yourself.
My word, I am finding it very hard to write today. Fair warning: this blog post is completely uninspired. Today is one of those days when practicing the craft is a chore than one needs to push through, instead of a pleasurable activity.*
[*Growing up, I took music lessons from the age of 5 to 15. I practiced constantly, like I would get home from school and play music until supper time, and then play more after supper time. I bloody loved it. One day, after taking home first prize in a competition, an adjudicator asked me how much I practiced during a week, and I was stumped. “Half an hour?” I replied. It never occurred to me that I was always practicing. I just loved playing music.]
My least favourite personal quality in others is arrogance, and boy oh boy, have I encountered arrogance in my line of work.
Arrogance abounds in the theatre, crossing all streams of professions, be it designer, director, or actor. Mostly, I’ve encountered arrogant actors, male and female. One actor I worked with was so concerned with himself and his image that he spent 45 minutes in rehearsal one day examining how he should pick up a fork that was lying on a table. Forty-five minutes on picking up a bloody fork! Plus, he insisted on talking soto vocce during other actors’ scenes, when he was supposed to be acting silently in the background.
Another actor I worked with forgot all her lines in Act One during a preview (yes, ALL HER LINES!), leaving the rest of us to scramble as she improvised her way through, and instead of apologizing for it, used it as an excuse to get her own private dressing room.
This is Canadian regional theatre; it’s not like we’re working on Broadway or the West End. At first I was shocked, now I just shake my head and laugh. Who do you think you are? We work in CANADIAN REGIONAL THEATRE. We’re ALL small potatoes.
For extra points, my least favourite personal quality in myself is my eagerness to please people and have them like me. I have no backbone. I hate confrontation. I’m a terrible leader because I don’t want to piss anyone off. I’m a total chicken shit. I am a negative person by nature, and I view the world as a dark place, glass half empty.
(I’m much better at pointing out my inadequacies than I am at finding my strengths)