To Use or Not Use Your Favorites

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Anyone will tell you that when looking for a piece to choose something you love and will enjoy working with throughout the season. That's a given. However, should you use a piece that you love as a personal favorite? Such as a favorite poem? Short story? Play?

It might become a question of will you tire of it--doubtful. Most likely, it becomes a matter of can you allow audiences and judges to rip your cherished story to ribbons? Will that guaranteed fact of "constructive criticism" be handled well by the competitor that uses their favorite tale? Can you refrain from the anger and pain of having something you love being dissected long enough to effectively use the critique sheet?

There is a difference between using a piece you love and using a piece you have loved for ages and is a favorite. I would certainly use caution.

What would you recommend?

Unfortunately, in the art world we have to get used to seeing what we love get torn to shreds. The other thing to remember is that as long as your piece is reasonably well-written (and if its your favorite piece it probably is), the hope is that the judges will be focusing on how you carry it out- not the piece itself. So then the worry becomes about not doing justice to the piece through our performance. Take consolation in the fact that you're in the boat of the greatest actors and directors of all time. Every time Hamlet or Streetcar or any other great play is put on, be assured that almost everyone in the cast feels the same fear and extreme anxiety coursing through their veins. It's just a part of being an artist. I say do the thing you love the most. If you really love it, then you'll be willing to go through all the emotional stuff that goes along with the greatest honor you can give to the piece: presenting it to an audience.

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