Thursday, March 4, 2010

It takes heart & mind to truly critique a true talent who listens

The American Idol season is back. Eh, what happen to our local Malaysian Idol after 2 seasons? Well, once again we get to view how the judges gave their critique to those aspiring singers. Criticism happens anywhere. Even more so in our entertainment industry. Somehow I favor the western form of critique. They seem more honest and genuine and meant to help the talent, rather to pull them down.

But in the talents' defense, some of them do tried their best interpreting the judges' critique to better their performance. Unfortunately, some didn't hit the mark. Hence, perception and interpretation plays a major equalizer in delivering best performance. Here's where Artiste Training Course really helps to set your skills level by adjusting your perception and interpretation according to industry level.

Since becoming an Artiste Training tutor, I myself need to produce (note the word here) critique that sounds fair, understandable to the students and useful in bringing them up. And that is really NOT easy. To produce means you have to grow something first, before you actually release it. Very much like childbirth. Imagine this situation: a student who cannot express the emotions required from a script. How would a tutor, like myself, give credible advise? Somehow I have to touch on the NEGATIVE aspect of the performance first, so that the student knows what he/she did wrong. And that pains me too.

DANIELLA must eat breakfast first before come to class. I assure you, energy is very much needed in our class!
JUSTIN must act your age, and articulate more clearly. If your American accent is hindering your speech clarity, lose it.
ANDREW needs to relax the facial expression more. Or you look like a scared puppy, like during our script reading for "Sunset Boulevard".
Students who wants a copy of the movie, please let me know.

A lot of students take those negative aspects quite badly to heart. So the onus of softening the blows fall onto the tutor again. If I try to sound too nice,then it might defeats the purpose of making the student realizing his/her mistake. Sometimes nice-ness might not apply at all. The talents should listen to the negative aspects being told as a reminder not to repeat it again. Talents should take the negative and turn it into positive.

I do become forceful during my critique. Only if the students repeat the same mistake. The reason for that is so they really do listen this time, not because its emotional and relating to anger whatsoever. It's more of a way to make the students to really listen. Again, that might be perceived as being "harsh". But not intentionally. Now you know why not many people can become good tutors. And talents for that matter.

It's a lot of hard work on my part as a tutor. I have to be knowledgeable to know what I'm talking about, but not sound too smirk about it. The students are still the focus of my class. To me, a critique is like packaged gifts. You cannot package it with too many layers, lest it loses its meaning, but largely leave an idea of the shape what the gift is about: to improve the performance of my students.