Yeah, yeah, yeah, there are so many wonderful voices out there. There are so many great actors. But, meh.
They remind me of something or someone I have already seen, or heard, or directed, or played, or…
They sound *just like* So and Who from What’s in Why. All the character choices are straight from the Original Cast Recording of Such and How. Le Sigh.
It came to me when I was watching one of those viral videos of a person being awesome, performing a popular MT piece. And while the young person was on key, full of energy, memorized, and had a decent tone, they weren’t unique.
They performed the song EXACTLY the way the actor who originated the role performed it. I even double checked by YouTubing it. Research!
It isn’t necessary to “out” the performer… they weren’t doing anything wrong, really. And, to the casual viewer, unaware of the original performance, that performer was amazing.
The problem, for me, is that even if at first glance it’s amazing, at some point it’s gonna get static. It can’t evolve, flow, grow, and give. Because it is mimicked, it will never tap into that brilliant mind and intuitive talent that was able to mimic in the first place.
And worse? Eventually, mimic turns to comparison. Trying to perform like someone else creates the mental environment where one is always paying attention to others. And too much paying attention to others distracts from paying attention to oneself.
The attempts to mimic, and perhaps failing at such attempts, communicate LACK and INCOMPETENCE, where it should free us performers to discover UNIQUENESS.
I want to see performers do their own thing on top of what they learn from watching and listening! I want to see the drama kings and queens that are attracted to the stage show me the part of them that was attracted in the first place!
I want you to take it and make it.
And, I want ME to take it and make it too.
More on that next week: The Aha Moment of My Own Mimicking
[LOOK: BB KING HERE. You’re welcome.]
P.S. Yes. There is a time and place for mimic. This post is not that time or place.