There are certain circles of people from whom I am somewhat ostracized professionally. In general, these are, at best, mediocre artists, usually more along the lines of dilettantes or hobbyists than even practitioners – but they play the “pro” role well enough to satisfy/fool the people booking them. I am happy to be apart and separate from them as I have little respect for what they do. In some settings & venues they repeatedly get “the call” while I am not even considered for the gig. Again, I find this comforting. The people who champion them are often (but not always) just as pathetic in their own way. They want the predictable and expected and that is boring as fuck, IMO. In other cases, it’s a matter of egos, which is MORE boring than fuck!
It’s been said that you can judge a man by his friends, but I think you can also judge a man by who is NOT his friend. I don’t see these people as enemies or competition: their “standards” are too low for me to consider them in that light.
Then there is my “inner circle” of colleagues, friends, and clients – all of whom I am very fond. They are not only all true professionals and accomplished artists and presenters, but they are also at the top of their game. Some names you’d know instantly as they are essentially household words around the world. Others you won’t know at all but they are equally great, even if they do remain somewhat anonymous.
If there is one thing that separates these two groups of people, it is the ability to both critique and accept critique on a collaborative basis.
The former group does not respond well to any comments that call their work into question: their egos are way too fragile to accept that. They are also incapable of altering their work to address problems even after they arise, especially under a tight deadline or performance in the next few hours. Ultimately, they lack vision and simply try to maintain the status quo. That is death for an artist, IMO.
The latter group (my inner circle) tend to thrive on constructive criticism and are not afraid to offer it. When a problem is revealed, even just hours before a premiere, it gets fixed. There is no such thing as “I can’t” with this group. It just gets done, and, more often than not, the product is much better as a result.
There is no shame in being mediocre if that’s truly the best you can do. My only request to these people is: stay the fuck out of my way, perhaps in a galaxy that can never be too far away for my taste.