On Integrity

“We do on stage things that are supposed to happen off. Which is a kind of integrity, if you look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.”- Tom Stoppard

I am forever a fan of Shakespeare’s As You Like It, which features the line, “All the world’s a stage”. We live with this concept that we can prevent people from seeing what goes on backstage, but as a former performer I can tell you that it’s very, very difficult to keep the backstage hidden for long. Eventually, someone trips up and lets a curtain get pulled to reveal a backstage full of set changes, props, and the cables that keep everything in place.

I think it’s an interesting analogy for creative work. Understandably, we don’t want to show off everything (even the most seasoned actor would hate doing a quick-change exposed to an audience), but perhaps dropping some of the curtains would allow for a more authentic relationship with our audience.

If we allow small glimpses into the process, then we encourage our audience to come in closer, to see us as we are instead of the polished, finished product we willingly show.


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