Friday, July 15, 2011

Now is the time to turn your inner critic off

I was lucky enough to go see Hugh Jackman in concert this week, and he was great. Great in a campy, musical theatre, jazz hands kind of way. Who knew Wolverine loves show tunes and not only that, but can sing them brilliantly. And sure, he's not hard on the eyes and he's charming and witty, but more than anything what I took away from the show was how committed he is to every moment.

He never for one moment doubts what he's doing on stage. He laughs at himself, the audience, he ad libs and even stumbles, but he never stops to think, maybe the audience won't get this, maybe they won't like it. Or if he does, it's so far hidden that I never even suspected. And because of that, because of his absolute assurance I was completely absorbed.

At my first national conference I went to a St. Martin's publisher spotlight, where Jennifer Enderlin said something that frustrated me intensely when I first heard it, and I'm paraphrasing, badly, Write one thing and write it brilliantly... be it suspense, romance, adventure.

It took me a long time to figure that out, but I think I get it now. You can't get everything in a book, but pick what you're best at, and don't edit it down. Push the boundaries of it, whether it's an emotional romance, or a horrific suspense. Sure, add in other elements, but not at the expense of the core of the book. At least that's how I'm interpreting it.

And Emmy noms came out and Friday Night Lights finally got nominated. Finally!! Along with other great shows like Mad Men, and Parks and Rec. Now the race comes down to who deserves the emmy for best actor, Kyle Chandler, or Jon Hamm?


Stephanie Doyle said...

Great post Sinead!

And Kyle Chandler deserves some recognition for the work he's done on that show... (also and I love him.)

Sinead M said...

I love him too... not quite as much as Hugh right now, but he's a close second...

Molly O'Keefe said...

isn't it funny that both those characters - while wildly different rely HEAVILY on the actor's ability to squint and say nothing?! I love it - I need to check out the emmy noms.

I'm so glad Hugh satisfied - I hope you were sitting there with a giant smile on your face the whole time!!

Maureen McGowan said...

Hugh was awesome. I've seen a lot of musical theatre and I honestly think he is the strongest male singer I've ever seen in that genre. I knew he could sing, but wow.

I was a tad skeptical going in, which is strange because I love Broadway theatre (and Wolverine). But I think I was afraid it would be a tad embarrassing. That I'd cringe a few times.

But no. It was awesome. And Sinead hit why right on the nose. He totally goes for it. Even a short segment when he wanted the audience to believe he was the flamboyantly gay Peter Allen. That bit could have been awkward because he's just been on stage for at least an hour already being himself. And now he wants us to believe he's someone else, and someone else doing the same kind of concert... But he totally committed to being Peter Allen, never broke character, and it worked.

Best part? I have never seen Sinead grin like that for so long, at least not without several ciders in her. ;) She was decidedly giddy. As was I.

Eileen said...

Oh, Sinead, I think I really needed to hear that right now. I'm feeling really bogged down in my WIP, that it's not good enough, that it's not worthy of the idea I had. I just need to shut that part of my brain up and go for it. Damn the torpedoes and all that.

Eileen said...

OMG! Just saw Super 8! Kyle Chandler totally stands around and squints for about half the movie!

Maureen McGowan said...

He is a master squinter. ;)

Loved that movie, though. And love Chandler, but mostly because of FNL.

The way he reacts to the last conflict between him and his wife is so perfect and so in character. Barely says a word. Squints a lot. Tenses his jaw. Finally does the right thing. Awesome.

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