Suit the action to the word, the word to the action

There’s a story about the headstrong actor who was dead set on doing an audition for a prestigious theatre company’s production of Hamlet, against the advice of his manager.  “What, you don’t think I’m good enough or big enough for the role?” he raged at the poor woman, overriding everything she said without hearing a word of it.  “This is my big chance, and nothing will stop me from grabbing it!”

At the audition, he privately fumed about the shocked looks of the producers as he climbed to the stage– were they really so surprised that someone of his limited fame would dare to try out for the play?  But he was able to control his anger and channel it into the performance of his life as the gloomy prince of Denmark.  He stalked about the stage, spitting lines from Hamlet’s most famous monologue, contorting his face and his voice into different realms of agony as the prince debated suicide.

When he was finished, the room was quiet, and he thought to himself, I have awed them into silence.  “Well?” he demanded.  “What did you think of my Hamlet?”

“Very impressive,” said the producers.  “But we are auditioning for Queen Gertrude.”

Maybe there’s not always room for improvement, but surely 99% of the time there is.  That’s one of the principles of editing, that a work can always be stronger.  And as a freelancer, your work can always be stronger, and more in accordance with what your clients are looking for.  That’s why asking for feedback is important.  You will want to know that you are on track, both with the assignments that you’re completing for others, and with the way you’re communicating yourself, your professional conduct.  Getting feedback and adhering to it will satisfy your current customers and increase your likelihood of obtaining new ones.

Listen to me, I sound like a real live businessman.  Maybe I should start wearing a tie again.  But this t-shirt and hoodie deal is so much more comfortable.  Your intrepid freelancer is learning lessons along the way, though.  We can posit this one as:

Freelancer lesson #2: Feedback is your friend.  (Unless you’re a sound tech.)

Author: Jeff Deck

Author and administrator of this site.