Facebooked



Some of my longtime blogging friends may remember about two years ago, I shared a post about what it was like as a stage actor to receive both good and bad theater reviews.

You may have also remembered in that post, I spoke about a particular time in my career when I got a bad review and everyone else in the play got a good one. And the most painful part about this particular review was that I had the lead role.

Last week, I just so happened to click over on my Facebook profile (which I do like once every three months) and discovered that my name had been tagged in a note. When I clicked on the link, it brought me smack-dab, face to face with this theater review.

Yes….SOMEONE HAD POSTED THE REVIEW ON FACEBOOK!

OH. MY. GOD. Could you just die?

It was like a part of my past had suddenly come back to haunt me.

So, do you know what I did? I read the review again, just to see how I felt about it after all these years.

The play was called The Normal Heart.



Interestingly enough, reading it was rather therapeutic because I noticed two things.

I definitely felt myself cringe with memories of insecurity, when I got to the part that read….

“Ron Carnival plays Ned Weeks, an outspoken gay activist and writer who starts an AIDS support group in New York City at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. Ned is alarmed that his friends are dying. But mostly he is angry -- angry at the media for not writing more about AIDS, angry at the city's health officials and politicians for ignoring the problem, angry at members of the gay community who refuse to curb their promiscuity. Ned is at odds with everyone, including himself. He has never had a long- term lover, never really been in love. But then he becomes involved with Felix, a New York Times reporter, who is able to see the vulnerability beneath Ned's porcupine exterior. But the audience has seen Ned as a nice guy all along, because of the way Carnival underplays the role. He's not angry enough to support the script in the first act. Then, in the second act, he's too angry, railing on and on at friend and foe alike. There's no modulation and little variety in his performance. Others in the cast fare better…..”

Yet, seeing this review again also made me realize something else.

Now that I’m older and looking back, I realize this review was 100% correct. Really. I did portray the role that way. I was much younger and not seasoned enough, as both an actor and a human being to understand the complexities and levels to this character, so I floundered.

But, I also remembered some of the lessons I learned from this experience.

I learned that if I’m not willing to take chances and move into territories which are not familiar to me, then I will never grow.

I learned that as long as I try, there is no such thing as failure. Because I am only able to experience something at the level of growth I am at the time, but can use that time to grow for future experiences.

Which I did.

And lastly, after reading this review again, I learned to see truth……and accept it.




Have a beautiful weekend everyone!

X

46 comments

  1. Quite a shock for you to see the review, but not a bad one as it turned out. I have often wondered how actors cope with criticism but I suppose it's constructive. I remember how I felt when my craftwork was criticised by expert judges, but it did the trick. Once the initial shock wore off I worked on improving the next thing I did.

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  2. You'll have to forgive me--I got sorta kinda defensive when I heard it was posted, wondering how someone could dredge up and toss it up for public viewing. I couldn't quite see how that was loving and caring.

    But I'm done being defensive for you, now.
    It served for the good and I'll consider it another abject lesson in Mel not knowing what's good for other people even if she thinks she does!
    Go figure it was all used for the good and there was no need for me getting defensive for you...amazing how that works, huh?

    Amazing that you let it work that way for you.
    Says a whole lot about your character, sir.
    And that says a whole lot about my ability to choose strong, insightful, caring and observant people to be in my life.

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  3. As long as we try, there is no failure. This is what I have been telling myself today. I have tried, but I need to try harder.

    Hugs!

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  4. Hi Ronnie,
    Oh yes; I can imagine your shock finding this tag!
    You seem to be dealing with this fine. I just say that you took a chance in life.That is better than never trying.You know that.

    Lets say that if you did that role NOW,life would have given you many many more experiences to draw on and expand.You would have been much better.I just know it.
    Happy weekend and xo

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  5. I'm sort of like you, I find FB too time consuming to invest a lot of my energy there. But seriously, someone took the time to dredge up a theater review from years ago. For real?

    After reading it, the first thing that occurred to me, is that YOU were the best Ned in that place at that time. And it does sound like the character was ferociously complex. I suppose, that is the challenge to the actor, to communicate the character's struggle through the limitations of author's script and nonverbal actions.

    I agree that being there, participating in the event, giving the audience the Ned that you connected with at that time, is the only thing that matters.

    All that we can ask of ourselves, in the words of Don Miguel Ruiz, is that we do our best. On any given day.

    Part of doing our best is to just do, and learn from what doesn't work. And then try to use that information to do better tomorrow. Just like you said: taking chances and moving into new territories.

    Good for you Ron - the more I read your blog, the more I really like you as a pure individual.

    Thanks for your sweet comments about my little blonde cocker spaniel, Tristan. So much dog drama.

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  6. Hello Ron,

    A critic is a critic is critic. They have a job to do. When they pass judgement they do not define you they only define that they are the ones who have to make judgement for a paycheck. Looking back at our lives we all wish we did things differently. But we didn't. So what? We did what we needed to do at the time and we learn from it. So I say to them thank you for your description of what you precived and how you feel I did. Now take the big end of the bathroom plunger and put in the back of your pants. See what you get. Yep shit is shit.

    I wish I could have seen the play I would have given a standing ovation and then show the critic that my hearing aid was not turned on.

    Hey,
    Break a Leg

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  7. I bet if you played that role now they'd give you a Tony.
    :-)

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  8. That's knowledge that comes with maturity, Ron. It's invaluable. I read this somewhere (my CRS disease has kicked in and I can't remember where) If you stumble and fall, you are still moving forward. I really like that.

    One of the best things about you is that you continue to keep an open mind and want to learn. You can't get better than than in a person.

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  9. Good Morning Valerie~

    I was fortunate enough to have had a lot of criticism at the beginning of my career, so I was able to use it not only to improve my craft, but also learn how to accept myself through growth.

    I can't say these reviews didn't bother me, they did, but that's part of being an actor. Also, it helped me to deal with general criticism throughout life. It's all in how I see myself that really matters.

    "I remember how I felt when my craftwork was criticised by expert judges, but it did the trick. Once the initial shock wore off I worked on improving the next thing I did."

    Brava! Good for you, dear lady!

    Thank you for stopping by today! Always a pleasure seeing ya!

    Enjoy your weekend!

    X

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  10. Good Morning Mel~

    Thank you, dear lady.

    ((( Mel )))

    I honestly don't think this review was posted on Facebook with the intention of hurting me. It was posted with a few other reviews that highlighted a theater I once worked with in Florida.

    "It served for the good...."

    Yes, it did, so it was actually a positive thing.

    Thank you for stopping by, Mel. And thank you for your loyal, caring, and loving friendship.

    You da' BOMB!

    Have a SUPER-DUPER weekend!

    X

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  11. Bonjour Susu~

    "As long as we try, there is no failure."

    By nature, I can be a very frightened person when it comes to trying something that's not familiar to me. But, I also don't like being afraid, so I try anyway. For me, there is no failure because I tried, by moving through my fears; giving it my best shot.

    Thank you so much for stopping by today, beautiful lady!

    Enjoy your weekend!

    X

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  12. Bonjour Barbara~

    "I just say that you took a chance in life. That is better than never trying. You know that."

    Exactly. There's nothing worse for me than NOT trying something and wondering.

    "Lets say that if you did that role NOW, life would have given you many many more experiences to draw on and expand."

    Yup...the longer an actor lives, the more life-experience he/she gives to a role.

    Always so great seeing ya, my friend! Thank you for stopping by today!

    Wishing you and Didier a FABU weekend!

    XO

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  13. Good Morning Diane~

    "I find FB too time consuming to invest a lot of my energy there."

    I agree.

    For me, blogging has been, and will always be my favorite way to share with people online. The only thing I use FB for is to import my blog posts so that my friends from various locations can read them.

    I learned a lot from being in this play. It was a HUGE undertaking because it's a 3 hour play with 16 scenes, and my character was in 14 of them. But, the role itself was challenging because his character is written very unlikeable, so I went the complete opposite and presented him as overly likeable; hoping the audience would have compassion for his ranting in Act 2.

    "All that we can ask of ourselves, in the words of Don Miguel Ruiz, is that we do our best. On any given day.

    Part of doing our best is to just do, and learn from what doesn't work. And then try to use that information to do better tomorrow."

    You are exactly correct, dear lady! Thank you for sharing those wise words.

    ALWAYS so nice seeing you, Diane!

    Enjoy your weekend!

    X

    P.S. I so enjoyed your last post! Give Tristan a hug for me!

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  14. Hello Dave~

    Soooooooo great to see ya, my friend!!

    "Now take the big end of the bathroom plunger and put in the back of your pants. See what you get. Yep shit is shit."

    Bwhahahahahahahaahahahaha...OMG, you are a freakin' RIOT!!!! I laughed my ass off at that, buddy!

    "Looking back at our lives we all wish we did things differently. But we didn't. So what? We did what we needed to do at the time and we learn from it."

    Exactly. That's what matters.

    "I wish I could have seen the play I would have given a standing ovation and then show the critic that my hearing aid was not turned on."

    Bwhahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!! Brilliant!!!!

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, Dave!

    Humor and insight, that's why I soooo enjoy you!

    Have a great weekend!

    X

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  15. Hiya Nancy~

    "I bet if you played that role now they'd give you a Tony."

    awww...thank you. I don't about a Tony, but I do feel I would have a completely different way of portraying this character, because of what life has giving me in experience.

    Thank you for stopping by! Hope you're enjoying your summer. Fall is almost here....yaaaaaay!!!

    Have a great weekend!

    X

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  16. Good Friday Morning to ya Ron!

    I am so impressed that you can take this all in stride and use it as a growth tool and move on. I know I personally take things much too personally and tend to shut down. I need to work on that.

    I applaud you and am giving you a standing ovation now. Can you see me? I'm smiling too!

    {{{ron}}}

    Have a FABULOUS weekend dear friend!

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  17. Morning Nitebyrd~

    "That's knowledge that comes with maturity, Ron. It's invaluable."

    You said it!

    aahhhh...and isn't that one of the most wonderful things about aging?

    "If you stumble and fall, you are still moving forward. I really like that."

    OMG...I LOVE THAT!!!!!! And it's sooooooo true!

    Thanks so much stopping by and for your supportive words, Sis!

    X ya!

    Have a MARVI weekend!

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  18. Good Friday Morning to ya, Peg~

    Hey listen, it was MUCH easier for me to take this in stride; reading the review now. However, I didn't take it that "stridely" when I read it back then - HA! But eventually, I did learn and grow from it.

    Thank you for your sweet and supportive words, my dear friend!

    {{{{{ Peg }}}}}

    Have FABULOUS weekend!

    X

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  19. Fabulous post. Amazing how we handle things after a peiod of time or with experience under our belts. You'd rock that role now!

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  20. Hey SuziCate~

    "Amazing how we handle things after a peiod of time or with experience under our belts."

    That's one of the wonderful things about every experience, isn't it? They're like stepping stones to the next experience, and then the next.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, dear lady!

    Aaaaalways enjoyed!

    Have a GRAND weekend!

    X

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  21. Well Ron I still will disagree with that reviewer!!! I can't imagine you doing anything poorly. With that said, I am glad you learned something from all this. It is weird to look back at something that at the time seemed so hurtful, damaging and just plain mean. It is hard to hear things about ourselves that are not positive and upbeat. I think it is only as we become older that it is easier to take criticism because hopefully we are more confident in ourselves, our choices and our abilities. We know our weaknesses and we also know our strengths. So I think it is with some wisdom that you were able to be objective in re-reviewing this particular person's assessment of your performance. I have to compare it to my own experience as a new dentist. There are some patients from the days of yore where for some amazing reason or another the work I did over 20 years ago remains and sometimes I am impressed with myself and more times than not appalled. It is with time that my skills improved...as did yours as an actor.

    Anyhow...the whole Facebook experience you had is another reason I shut mine down. Who needs some rando person throwing things back in your face (whether it is an old review or an old photo) without your permission!!!

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  22. Hellooooo Susie~

    " I think it is only as we become older that it is easier to take criticism because hopefully we are more confident in ourselves, our choices and our abilities. We know our weaknesses and we also know our strengths."

    Yaaaaaaaay to age!

    I COULD NOT have said that any better. And COULD NOT agree with you more. For me, having accepted my weaknesses has only given me more strength. However, when I younger there was no way in hell I would ever admit to that. Too proud.

    "It is with time that my skills improved...as did yours as an actor."

    Yes, my friend, yes.

    And like I've expressed to you before, I bet you're one faaaaaaabulous dentist!!!

    Like I shared with Mel, I honestly don't think someone posted this review as a negative thing towards me. In fact, I don't even think they know me. It was included with a few other reviews from a theater I use to work at in Florida.

    Anway, thanks for stopping by today, Susie!

    And thanks for your supportive words.

    Have a great weekend!

    X

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  23. As you said it was actually a good thing to go back and look at it once again especially since you can now see what the critic was seeing and agree with what was said.

    I'm not sure that I agree with someone posting it without first checking with you but once things like this are out there nothing we can do will stop them from showing up when we least expect it.

    "after reading this review again, I learned to read truth……and accept it" being able to accept the truth is hard sometimes but it is a whole lot better than living a lie.

    Great Post my Friend--I sent you a facebook friend request so within the next three months I expect a reply :^)

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  24. ugggh. tough one. it hurts to see - well if i were you - those words in print, especially when you've done your best and someone comes in and tears you apart. too, it may depend on how they do it that matters.

    it's not until we get older that we realize, hey this person was right. i guess our young mind protects us and keeps us trying until we are old enough to handle the real truth.

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  25. The other truth is that it sucks when people post things like that on Facebook! Ugh.

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  26. Howdy Jimmy~

    I'm actually glad I discovered this review on FB because like I shared, it gave me a chance to see how much I've changed since then. It also allowed me to remember some great memories with a great cast!

    That's the "thing" with FB, anyone can post anything. Once it's out there, it's out there. But it's kinda the same thing with blogs.

    YES!!!! I just got your friend request through an email and I instantly added you with pleasure!

    Thanks for stopping by, buddy! Always a pleasure seeing ya!

    Wishing you and Cindy a beautiful weekend!

    X

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  27. Hey Val~

    "it hurts to see - well if i were you - those words in print, especially when you've done your best and someone comes in and tears you apart."

    At the time it did hurt, but it also allowed me to keep on going with the run of the play (6 weeks) and move through it. That's one of the things of being an actor/artist/ musician. You gotta take the bad reviews with the good reviews. Ironically, it's the bad ones that teach you the most - HA!

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, girl! Always a delight!

    Have an awesome weekend. I hear the weather is going to be flawless!

    X

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  28. Greetings WendyB~

    Welcome! Thank you for stopping by. It's so nice to meet you!

    That's the thing about FB though...you never know what someone is going to post. Actually, I'm ok with it.

    Hey, I just clicked over quickly to check out your blog. It's faaabulous! Sometime this weekend, I'll stop by and look around more. Can't wait!

    Stop by anytime. You're always welcomed here.

    Enjoy your weekend!

    X

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  29. I just wanted to say that you are an amazing person Ron. You take an experience and learn from it. Even a negative experience from years past, but you are willing to look at it through fresh eyes and still grow through that. You inspire me my find. nice
    Katherine

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  30. Helloooooo Katherine~

    Thank you so much for your kind and supportive words, dear lady. You're a sweetheart!

    It's funny, because I've learned more from the negative experiences than I ever have through the positive ones. I sincerely feel fortunate to have experienced this because it enabled me to grow. And reading this review again, allowed me to see that.

    Thank you for stopping by, Katherine!

    Always a joy!

    Have a gorgeous weekend!

    X

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  31. courage isn't the absense of fear
    it's moving on in the presense of fear

    I have always thought your were one of the most courageous people I know

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  32. Good Morning Dianne~

    "courage isn't the absense of fear
    it's moving on in the presense of fear"

    THANK YOU!

    (((( Dianne ))))

    Always so great seeing ya, dear lady! Mucho thanks for stopping by!

    Have a glorious weekend!

    X to you and the gang!

    P.S. I KNOW you're enjoying this flawless weather!!!!

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  33. I'm sure I'd feel differently if the review were about me, but it really didn't sound too terrible. And your reaction to it now speaks volumes.

    I still don't think you should've been "outed" like that, tho!

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  34. Sounds like a very interesting play and I'm sure the experience overall was wonderful. And I'm also sure that there must have been scenes where you acted brilliantly!
    But it's pretty cool that after all this time you look back and realize there was some truth to the review and that you have grown and changed since and it's ALL GOOD!
    Hope you are having a nice weekend. xo

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  35. Hi JD~

    "I still don't think you should've been "outed" like that, tho!"

    ((( JD )))

    God love ya, girl!

    But hey, it was the truth and I did learn from it, so this story has a happy ending.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope you're having a flawless weekend!

    X

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  36. Helloooooo Crystal Chick~

    "Sounds like a very interesting play and I'm sure the experience overall was wonderful."

    Yes, it was a VERY interesting play and the overall experience WAS wonderful. And the most important part about this experience was that I GREW.

    "it's ALL GOOD!"

    Yup!

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, M! Hope you're having a nice weekend too! Isn't the weather flawless??

    X

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  37. "I learned that as long as I try, there is no such thing as failure. Because I am only able to experience something at the level of growth I am at the time, but can use that time to grow for future experiences."
    No truer words have been spoken my friend! Kudos to you.

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  38. Yahooooooo Brndoutw8ress~

    It's sooooooooo freakin' great to see ya, my friend! You've been missed!

    "No truer words have been spoken my friend!"

    Yes, I know you totally understand what I mean.

    ((( you )))

    Thanks for stopping by! Hope you're having a FABU Sunday! Isn't the weather incredible??

    X

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  39. You are so positive and this is why I love reading your posts. I agree with you about things like this. You've got to look at what's being said and see if you can learn from it. It's amazing how with time and reflection you can tease apart things and accept both the good and the bad.
    I still think it's crappy that you were tagged in that note referring to the review. But, that's what happens with Facebook

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  40. Hi Jen~

    "You've got to look at what's being said and see if you can learn from it. It's amazing how with time and reflection you can tease apart things and accept both the good and the bad."

    You hit the nail on the head, my friend!

    ..."tease apart things and accept both the good and the bad."

    I LOVE how you said that!

    And you're right...that's what happens with Facebook!

    Thanks for stopping by and for your supportive words, Jen!

    ((( Jen )))

    Hope you had a super Sunday!

    X

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  41. "I learned that if I’m not willing to take chances and move into territories which are not familiar to me, then I will never grow."

    That is so true. So.Very. True.

    Im also proud of you to be able to read that review and own it. You know us Libra types tend to be quite sensitive!

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  42. Helloooooo Meleah~

    By nature, I can be a scared of A LOT of things. However I hate being afraid, so I do it anyway.

    "You know us Libra types tend to be quite sensitive!"

    Yes, you are absolutely right on about that! But, I also think Libras are willing to look at truth and be honest about what they see.

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, my friend!

    Hope you had a great day!

    X

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  43. hey, i pretty much lurved that post.

    but i think its really cus you said "Could you just die?"

    and for some reason, i have to picture rachel zoe saying any statement with the word "die" in it.

    either way, i'm stealing it.

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  44. Hi Blunt~

    "but i think its really cus you said "Could you just die?"

    and for some reason, i have to picture rachel zoe saying any statement with the word "die" in it."

    Bwhahahahahahhahahah! OMG, I LOVE YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR!!!!

    And it's funny you mentioned rachel zoe because today is her birthday!!!

    "Could you just die" is an expression I learned when I lived in NYC.

    Steal it, use it, you'll love it!

    Thanks for stopping by, girl!

    X

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  45. Hi Ron just found your blog and love it. You seemed to learn alot from this experience. Hopefully you learned to detag in Facebook, lol!! Thanks again for the insight that you share.

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  46. Greetings Wishing on a star~

    Welcome! Thanks for stopping by and sharing a comment. Nice to meet you!

    Yes, I did learn a lot from this experience. It amazes me when looking back, how I felt so differently. Oh well, that's one of the wonderful things about age. We grow.

    Please stop by anytime. You're always welcomed.

    Enjoy your day!

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