In August 2015, my acting partner and I took our first show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The time and work required to take a show up was monumental and honestly I wasn’t expecting so much non-acting stuff to do.
This was a real learning experience. Not only did I learn of everything needed to get a show to the Fringe but also how to deal with the good and bad feedback. Unfortunately, we often listen to the negative feedback more than the positive and it can affect our whole performance and mood. Someone once told me that it takes 10 positive comments to combat ONE negative comment.
It is so easy to take a bad comment and let it affect you for days, shaking your confidence and therefore your performance. When you do get a positive comment, you almost don’t believe the person and think they are just saying that, but why would a complete stranger do that? Everyone’s taste is different and everyone likes different things; some will find a show rubbish and others great.
This can be applied to anything: a show, a presentation, a business meeting or even a discussion with family/friends. How do you turn a negative into a positive though?
When someone tells us something bad, especially if not said in a nice way, we will take it personally and it can really upset us or make us angry and that is when our defence barriers come up. Don’t let it completely destroy you, stay open and see it as though this was happening to a friend. Read between the lines, what constructive criticism can you take from it? If someone said to me “your performance was rubbish”, then instead of getting upset, I could ask a friend to watch and tell me the bits where the acting wasn’t authentic and that I need to work on before the next performance but I would also ask which parts were good. This is taking a hurtful comment and finding the positive in it. So, if you were in a conversation with your boss and he said you are not doing part of your job well, find out which part isn’t going well and what needs to be done to do it well. Still feel free to call a friend and have a rant, get it out your system.
Remember not to brush off good feedback/compliments. We don’t always accept a compliment but actually take it in as much as you would a negative comment. When we get bad feedback we feel upset and hurt, so why don’t we feel happy and excited when we get a compliment? Really enjoy the compliment, you’ve done something good and you should be proud of it. Don’t let 1 negative comment destroy any positive comments you’ve received.
We need to accept everyone’s opinion is different. You will do something and one person will love it and one person will hate it and this can apply to everything we do in life. You can’t please everyone, just always do the best you are able to.