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Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Real Deal

Tonight I watched presentations by competing teams who want to manage Mahaffey Theater in Saint Petersburg.  It was a televised recording of a City Council gathering held January 27th.  All three presentations were, of course, at a professional level.  But in my view the Ruth Eckerd Hall team was the winner.  Without going into detailed specifics about the presentations, what was the deciding factor that distinguished this team?

Every member of the Eckerd team demonstrated love for what they were doing.  I don’t want to use the word enthusiasm for that can be easily misconstrued.  Frenetic enthusiasm is too often used to hide the absence of love and to hopefully assure that its absence will not be noticed.  Love is a quality very difficult to describe except to say that it is apparent when it is present.  There is ease and mastery even in the presence of passion.  There is a lack of self-consciousness and focus on the object loved.  There is a conveyance of comfort and peace even though body language can be animated.  Imagine two people performing comedy.  Eddie Murphy is on one side of the stage and I am on the other.  Eddie does his presentation; then I do mine.  There would be absolutely no question as to who was the real deal—who loved and enjoyed being a comedian from their innermost soul.  Despite my greatest efforts, even if the funny lines were written for me by Eddie Murphy himself, there would be no hiding who was the real deal. It would be unfair in a way.  I would be trying so hard.  But I would lack (talent, it’s true) but most of all the full resonance of love for the task at hand.  Natural comedians, like other natural achievers, have rare abilities; but the most important ingredient is love for what they're doing.    
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