Of dancing, art and falling trees

November 9, 2009

Does anything better represent the sacrifices creative people make for their art than the artist’s garret? The image of a rag-clad poet starving in his tower because he simply has to write.

I’ve never really felt the garret was mandatory for artists of any kind, (of course I wouldn’t) but what IS mandatory is that kind of commitment.

Art and artists of all kinds came to mind recently, while I watched a documentary about the making of the 2006 Broadway revival of A Chorus Line. The dancers who auditioned were exceptionally driven. They had to dance, regardless of the cost.

The showstopping song, What I Did For Love, expresses that commitment perfectly.

And yet, what if there were no audience? Would they still have to dance? Is an audience required in that equation?

It’s a question akin to “If a tree falls in a forest and there’s no one around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

I’ve always had a peculiar attitude about audience.

If I write something I really believe is good, it’s enough that I wrote it and think it’s good.

I get a rush, and that’s enough for me. No audience is necessary. I don’t have to publish it. I don’t have to have the masses read it.

The act of writing something excellent is, in itself, sufficient for me.

That’s probably the reason I don’t submit works for publication that often.

Once I’ve done it and like it, well, that’s enough.

Does that make me any less of an artist?

What is the role of audience in all this?

Just wondering.

2 comments on “Of dancing, art and falling trees
  1. I think for an artist an audience is not necessary to give them pleasure, but praise and appreciate can increases the pleasure their art gives them.

    I draw, and have recently rediscovered my love of my art after years of not doing much. I draw for me, but having an audience (I blog it and post to various groups) and receiving feedback on my drawings makes me want to produce more, do better for them and for me.

  2. That’s a good point…

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