In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Practice Makes Perfect?.”
Some talents are arrived at through years of practice. Most often, by the time an actor stands at the podium proudly holding an Oscar or an Emmy he or she has been in the industry hard at work for decades. Many artists do not achieve any level of recognition until after their death. Does this mean they were not talented throughout most of their lives ? Recognition for work done does not neccessarily designate talent. I would narrow the definition of talent down to the protégés that have emerged on the scene.. The Beethoven’s. the Mozart’s to name a couple; those who had an uncanny ability almost from infancy. As though the entire purpose of their life here was to fulfill the act of providing us with their amazing gift.
Outside of these extraordinary talents, most of us select something we are drawn to or for what ever reason hold fantasies around becoming and pursue that field of endeavor. Then, abilities are honed, but, I believe that any of us can become astute at our chosen craft if we continue to pursue it and do not give up.
From my own experience, when the idea occurred that I might want to paint, like by osmosis, a colleague of mine very spontaneously gifted me with her art materials as she had decided to give it up. I had never taken a course and was terrified when I began, but because I stuck to it, I arrived at a place where I could give myself over to it and some thing of some value began to express itself on the canvases. I discovered the same thing when I pursued Theatre acting.. relatively untrained, getting past the fear/terror and giving my self over was the key to becoming present, animated and of course flowing with the words that were indelibly marked and waiting for retrieval in the left brain. It is my belief that the very fiber of our being is a creative force and that if we can in fact get out of the way of this playful and able divine resource, all manner of creative ability is available to us.
Now to get back to the question posed by this prompt, if I were to pick a talent for myself.. it would without any doubt be singing. I took such joy in singing when I was younger. I once sang for seven hours straight on the bus from Toronto to Montreal. A girlfriend and I had gone for the weekend and on the way back we sat right behind the sub driver. She would name a song and I would sing it…When we disembarked the bus driver looked at me and said “Thank you”. I was quite touched and slightly embarrassed, but obviously he enjoyed the show tunes, and other songs that I softly sung right behind him separated only by a curtain. No longer can I hold those notes the way I used to, and I wonder whether with practice I could bring myself to produce a desirable sound. Although my ability has clearly diminished… the bliss I feel when I am engaged in song has remained the same.