Moving Your Work from Private to Public
The work of a professional creative.
One of my responsibilities on the musical I’m working on is conducting the show. The Assistant Musical Director conducts an average of two performances a week.
Learning ‘the conduct’ is part of the training I undertook when I joined the show. Our musical director designed a great process for me to get familiar with the material I needed to know before adding the layer of conducting.
In our case the conductor ‘waves his arms’ and plays, which demands a reasonable amount of coordination and practise. I learned the cues during training sessions at the theatre and practised the keyboard part for days at home.
Before my first performance, I had the luxury of conducting a rehearsal with our full cast and band. But even though I had done a lot of preparation, I was nervous leading up to that rehearsal. I’d practised a lot in private, but this was crunch time when I would do it ‘in public’ for the first time. The fact that this was a rehearsal with no audience didn’t help. My nerves were around what my peers would think.
I managed to calm myself before starting by reminding myself that this was just another part of my learning process. I needed to take the work I had done in private and share it in public to learn what parts worked and which needed more attention.
I believe that bringing your work to the public is what defines a professional creative. An amateur or hobbyist works on their craft in private. At some point if you intend to be professional, you need to bring your work to the public and learn how the world responds.
That may mean sharing the song you composed, the cartoon you drew, or the story you wrote. When you take that work that you made in private and share it with the public, you’re being a professional.
When you put your work out into the world, hopefully you’ll be offered feedback like I was when I conducted.
“Here’s what works, and here’s what could potentially be better.”
I learned a lot that day. I confirmed the things I was doing right found things I could improve. My confidence increased because I had taken the risk of showing my work, and I had survived.
Perhaps there’s something you’ve been working on in private that is needs to be shared in public now, so you can move it to the next stage? Hint: you’re probably more ready than you think you are.