Training for Broadway

How To Deal With Criticism As A Young Performer

You are a performer. You love the arts. However, you have been called to do something that will open you up to immense criticism.

In talking with young artists, they tell me this is the hardest part of the job- constantly subjecting yourself to the opinion of others.

That’s why I want you to start practicing now how you will respond to this constant feedback. This is a skill that will help you no matter what you decide to do with your life.

First, you have to know that there are very few things you can control. Get comfortable now with letting all that go. The one constant in any situation is how well you prepared yourself.

Get out of your head. Stop overthinking this and do your best. Remember this is a dream. Your dream. It is what you wanted. The dream called you.

Now what are you willing to do to help the dream grow?

Develop a mantra.

Develop a mantra- something you repeat to yourself when your brain starts talking to you in a negative voice. “What is meant for me is mine.” If you try out for something and you don’t get it, try to mediate on the fact that it will all work out exactly the way it should. These are the kind of annoying little sayings you hear when things don’t go as planned, but you hear these sayings a lot because they are true.

Lead with an open mind.

It does not rain most days, but that does not stop us from watching the forecast, tucking an umbrella into our bag when rain looks likely, and throwing on our galoshes. Life is just like that. Prepare the best way you know how to let the storm pass without getting soaked.

After you have prepared yourself, know that art is open to wide interpretation. What is perfect to some will not be in any way what someone else was looking for.

Do what you love because it is what you love to do.

Do not do what you love because you hope that someone else will love it too. Keep your dream, your love, and your passion at the center of your focus. You can control this, and though some days it may get dark, if you stay true to your focus you will not be disappointed.

Keep a journal.

Write down your dreams and your plans. Develop both short and long-term goals (six months, one year, three years, five years). What is in your control. I mean directly in your control. What is not in your control. Make two lists. Work as hard as you can on that first list. Decide to make peace with the second. Develop more than one plan for how to make your dream happen.

Do not measure yourself against anyone else.

Every single person will have a different journey. Don’t forget to enjoy the journey. All the lessons you learn. All the friendships you make. All the places you get to see.

The journey is where all the magic happens.

– Deedee Cummings

Parent of Broadway Performer and TBC Coach, Kayla Pecchioni

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