Ongoing Deliberations on Standards

In the middle of this "I'm flying to another country" madness, it oddly strikes me that there is still ample cause for further discussion of this, in light of the tail-end of my last post. When it strikes, it strikes, there's not much for it but to talk about it.

I've taken some punches, pulled some punches, but always (eventually) punched back consistently on grounds of having standards in what I do, in this case, theatre. In my view, having standards is what distinguishes one's serious work, worthy of respect, from idle interest or dilletantism, irregardless of talent (yes, Squeakers, I DID JUST WRITE 'IRREGARDLESS' and there's NOTHING you can do about it). When I say "Standards", I'm referring to a panoply of values like integrity, honesty, transparency of authority and organization, clarity of intentions, discretion of responsibilities, maturity, the usual grown-up suspects. My own personal value system is a spicy mix of Roman stoicism, Filipino hiya, Western tolerance, Diversity and oh, I dunno, something about how C is for Cookies and Cookies are for Me. It goes without saying that this mix deeply informs my Standards in my work.

I will say immediately that just about every theatre I've worked with (because I've been at this for so long, my young apprentices, why I was pounding the boards when you were a wee little nubbin in your Mommy's tummy) has gobs and gobs of talent, more passion than Moses, more daring than Darius. But every theatre has its own standards, and this is natural and fitting, as every organization and every artist must evolve their own identities, and claim their own context by which their work will stand or fall.

I've noticed that conflict, complication or confusion ensues when my standards evolve as a result of cumulative experience, whereas others' standards evolve in other directions as a result of their cumulative experiences, creating expectations (or a lack thereof) which become that much more difficult to communicate all around.

And we're talking about Theatre People here. By nature diffuse, crazy-mad, lost in hyperbole, ambitious, hypochondriac, petty, enigmatical--and that's just me.

I do not regret or resent the admittedly traumatising--oftentimes physically so--experiences which I'm thinking of, which informs this Deliberation. In my view I am the sum of all of these things, and I am as proud of what I have done as I am cognizant of the (in hindsight) laughable folly of what I'm willing to do for the sake of my work. You could say it's because I'm tired of laughing so bitterly at myself that I continue to strive for higher personal standards.

It's never personal when, say, I write here about the latest collision between my evolving standards and some other booming and bellowing arts organization. Let me rephrase that: it's always personal because this is my blog, but ultimately I mean no malignant hostility. Self-righteous indignation? Okay, sure, maybe a little bit.

The masses and masses of you discerning polyformites out there herein have an opportunity to witness these things, because that's what this blog is for, because I say so. Ultimately, I believe a forum like this is an ideal component of the development of my standards, indispensable, really. Keeps me honest, or something.

That's all, everyone. Get back to work, all of you.

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