The Importance of Being Earnest is by far my favorite play. I’ve read it twice and quoted from it multiple times over in my writing. (Also bias in the sense Oscar Wilde is my favorite poet.) I was finally fortunate enough to see a live rendition of it last night, and the show reminded me what makes a play or any artform remarkable.
People never talk about perfection and if they do, they are lying.
From a three hour-long play, only two actors made one mistake each. They merely started a word and, half-way through, restarted the word. There was a millisecond moment they questioned whether the word they were saying was the right word or not.
Again, over the span of three hours and thousands of words, only two moments reminded the audience the actors are human, and those two moments make all the difference in a remarkable show and an unremarkable one.
Jugglers, Actors, Humans
The reason jugglers attract such a crowd is they are in a constant state of risk. Even the most professional jugglers in the world still drop what they are juggling. If jugglers were perfect, no one would be impressed. The same goes for a playwright. The same goes for any form of art.
Slight noticeable errors are what we all relate to; it’s part of being human. When a minimal error is made during an act, it reminds the audience just how difficult, incredible and remarkable the art you’re doing is. As Earnest would suggest, it is mixing pleasure and science.
If anything were perfect entertainment (pleasure), it would go without being talked about. People talk about great experiences, sure, but never perfect ones and if they do, they are lying. (Consider giving them dental floss and reminding them lying through their teeth doesn’t count as flossing.) When an error is made, science complements pleasure.
The universal relation of humans is we may all strive for perfection, but we will never reach it. Any reminder of this concept, say, a slip of a word during a three hour-long play is what makes art of any kind, remarkable.
Stay Positive & Do Something Remarkable, Anything Except Perfection