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BWW Blog: Lessons from Ru

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Wow, look at Drag Race out here teaching lessons. Thanks Ru!

BWW Blog: Lessons from Ru

Like most people right now, I've got a lot of free time on my hands. Without any summer theatre or internships, my days have been filled with eating, writing, sleeping, singing, and watching a whole lot of RuPaul's Drag Race (may the best woman-BEST WOMAN WIIIIN!!). Whether it's a crazy mini challenge like "makeup in the dark" or an unbelievably beautiful runway gown, the show is entertaining beyond belief. It's filled my free time with many laughs and good memories. However, the show has taught me an extremely valuable lesson that I wish I was more accepting of when I was baby freshman entering the musical theatre program at UMiami.

Many of the drag queens who come onto the show are firm in the image that they want to portray and are unwilling to apply the critiques given by the judges. These are typically the ones who don't make it very far in the competition. On the other hand, the queens who succeed are the ones who take the notes and apply them to the following challenges. After many days of binge watching Drag Race, I realize that I wish I had "taken the note" more when I was a younger actor.

"Take the note." A phrase any actor has heard countless times, and the biggest thing I would tell my freshman self if I could go back in time. When I hear the judges on Drag Race give notes, I realize that it's not because they want to change the essence of any particular drag queen, but it's because they want to elevate those drag queens. Some of the queens take these critiques personally and feel as if the notes are attacks on themselves. As an actor, I have experienced that many times as well, and I can understand how easy it is to feel this way. However, any performer must be able to separate the artist from self to realize that most critiques are not a note against their identity. For many of us that is a difficult task because we feel as if our identity is deeply rooted in artistry, and therefore any critique upon our work is also reflective of ourselves. Once you can successfully take critiques that are about the work and not self, then you can move onto taking critiques intended for the essence of oneself. Most critiques aren't personal, but some are, and the personal ones are the hardest to take. They are difficult because someone is telling you that they don't like something that is deeply connected to you, or they think it can be better. You need to be able to determine when these critiques are helpful or when they are hurtful. However, if you're in college studying any form of art, and these critiques are coming from a well-respected professor, director, choreographer, etc. it's highly likely that these critiques are only intended to elevate you as an artist.

Taking a note can sometimes be extremely difficult and it can take time. However, one of the greatest lessons I've learned in college is that the sooner you take the note, the faster you will grow, and the brighter you will shine.

Wow, look at Drag Race out here teaching lessons. Thanks Ru!



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From This Author Student Blogger: Noah Skurtu