Everyone’s An Expert

I happen to be quite familiar with the layout of Disney theme parks. I do spend a lot of time there. A number of years ago, I was taking a friend through Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World on their very first visit. 

(This is my favorite. I love giving people new experiences and getting to see things that are old to me as new through their eyes.)

I was busy taking my friend around to see as much as we could see in our short time there.

Shows, parades, rides, more shows, a ride, then some shows. He was getting quite the tour, I must say. As far as I could tell he was enjoying it, and was appropriately pleased and complimentary at all the right times and places.

As we walked and talked I pointed out all the hidden details and the created-history of the park. I was hurrying him along from the camp themed area, over a bridge, and into the African section of the park. It was then that I realized, I was alone and having a walk-and-talk all by myself. I looked behind me and there he was, stopped.

“Hey, man. We gotta keep going. There’s still lots to do.”

He didn’t move. He just said, “This is perfect. This right here. This. This is perfect.” He didn’t have words.

“What? The day? Today? Well, thanks.”

As though he couldn’t hear me, and with tears in his eyes, “This is perfect.”

I later found out that he grew up in a place just like this. His parents were missionaries in Africa, in a village much like the one the Disney Imagineers had created.

“Aside from the smell, thank goodness, they got this perfect.”

I smiled and began to see the area new through his eyes.

“And my guess is, if they got this perfect, they probably put some thought into everything else you’ve shown me today.”

I know as artists we tend to get frustrated with all the so-called experts that can’t wait to give their expert reasoning on why something works or doesn’t work and here’s how to fix it. Or, here’s what’s wrong, and I have no suggestions on how to fix it, nor do I care. Just wanted you to know that I noticed it as being wrong.

Yes, we love these experts. If you are one of these experts, I know I speak for the entire artist’s community when I say, thank you. Thank you, oh so much. You are very helpful.

(Let’s go back and try that last line with a little more sarcasm.)

But, there are those rare occasions when a real deal expert comes along and truly notices. They notice the work you put in. They notice your attention to their detail. And they smile with approval.

But here’s the twist. And this is where the work comes in.

You don’t have to perform for very long before you begin to gather a crowd. And that crowd will begin to grow bigger and bigger. And before long, you’ll have individuals in your audience who are experts in every aspect of your performance.

Most won’t notice or care. But some will think, 

 “This. This part right here. This is perfect.”

 If you take notice and aim for excellence in every aspect of your performance, while it might go unnoticed to the masses, it won’t go unnoticed to the one who’s looking for it.

And for the person who’s looking for it, if you get their thing right, if you eliminate their distraction, not only will you have their attention, but they will be more likely to believe that you probably got the rest of it right too.

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