Excellence

It was karaoke night at the gay bar that TBB found in Nashville this week.  She sang third, her usual Sinatra.

The reception was warm and supportive, and when others sang, she was blown away by the quality.  A group wouldn’t just yowl to something from Grease, instead they would sing intricate harmonies.

This is, of course, an example the power of a good audience. Because they know how hard it is to get up there, they can really support others who take the stage.  And because others are working to go from a good singer to an excellent singer, one feels both the desire to rehearse & do better, and the permission to achieve excellence.

If there is no audience, it’s easy not just to slide along, being just good, and easy to feel pressure not too be too good, not to show off and show up the others. 

A bad audience creates it’s own mediocrity, while a good audience creates it’s own excellence.   That’s what families of excellence have long known, that excellence can and must be developed and fostered,  lifting all by lifting expectations, lifting feedback and lifting the permission to be a as much of a virtuoso as possible.

TBB knows that she doesn’t feel this pressure or permission to be great in her little mountain town, and while that’s nice, it’s not so breathtaking and enervating. 

She is entertaining thoughts of moving to Nashville someday, because what is more uplifting than a place where we find an audience that affirms us and continues to bring out the best in us?

Would that we each find that kind of audience that understands, appreciates and encourages us to develop our own unique and powerful voice.

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