Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hard Horizons

Hard work without talent is a shame, but talent without hard work is a tragedy.

Robert Hall

Welcome to the fable of the tortoise and the hare.

In my career I had the great pleasure of working with some very talented performers and entertainers. The best ones were those who took their work very seriously. They were the ones who took the script or the songs home every night and went through them finding new levels of meaning and expression, They were dependable, original and very interesting to watch and work with. They defined art and life.

Unfortunately, I have also worked with those who had talent and not much desire to work on it. Those people were not interesting to watch for long and any originality was not often enough to be applauded. The sad fact is that talent unaccompanied and unsupported by hard work eventually, almost without exception, falls into repetition and predictability. The musician, whether classical or rock. who doesn't pick up his instrument in the morning and practice, doesn't last long.

I have also worked with those who had little or no talent. Some of them had good training and got by on that. Some just admitted defeat and walked away. But others would dig in and work at it, and seemingly get nowhere. After days of mediocre work they would suddenly show up with something real and good. It didn't happen by accident.

Are you a tortoise or a hare? If one has talent and works at it, that's great. If one has no talent and works at it that is also great. Remember the tortoise crossed the finish line first.

If one has talent and does not work at it, it's a tragedy. Unfair in all it's ways.

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