⌚ Essay On Peak Performer

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Essay On Peak Performer



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How To Become A Peak Performer : What It Takes To Operate At Your Full Potential

Before the minstrel show gave it a reliable home, blackface was the entertainment between acts of conventional plays. The performers were beloved and so, especially, were their songs. They played Irish melodies and used Western choral harmonies, not the proto-gospel call-and-response music that would make life on a plantation that much more bearable. Black artists were on the scene, like the pioneer bandleader Frank Johnson and the borderline-mythical Old Corn Meal , who started as a street vendor and wound up the first black man to perform, as himself, on a white New Orleans stage.

His stuff was copied by George Nichols, who took up blackface after a start in plain-old clowning. Yet as often as not, blackface minstrelsy tethered black people and black life to white musical structures, like the polka, which was having a moment in The mixing was already well underway: Europe plus slavery plus the circus, times harmony, comedy and drama, equals Americana. And the muses for so many of the songs were enslaved Americans, people the songwriters had never met, whose enslavement they rarely opposed and instead sentimentalized.

These adaptations, known as U. But a good time predicated upon the presentation of other humans as stupid, docile, dangerous with lust and enamored of their bondage? What blackface minstrelsy gave the country during this period was an entertainment of skill, ribaldry and polemics. But it also lent racism a stage upon which existential fear could become jubilation, contempt could become fantasy. Paradoxically, its dehumanizing bent let white audiences feel more human. They could experience loathing as desire, contempt as adoration, repulsion as lust. They could weep for overworked Uncle Ned as surely as they could ignore his lashed back or his body as it swung from a tree.

But where did this leave a black performer? When they were hired, it was only in a pinch. Once, P. Barnum needed a replacement for John Diamond, his star white minstrel. In a New York City dance hall, Barnum found a boy, who, it was reported at the time, could outdo Diamond and Diamond was good. The boy, of course, was genuinely black. And, as Juba, Lane was persuasive enough that Barnum could pass him off as a white person in blackface. After the Civil War, black performers had taken up minstrelsy, too, corking themselves, for both white and black audiences — with a straight face or a wink, depending on who was looking. Black troupes invented important new dances with blue-ribbon names the buck-and-wing, the Virginia essence , the stop-time.

But these were unhappy innovations. A black minstrel was impersonating the impersonation of himself. Think, for a moment, about the talent required to pull that off. According to Henry T. Yet that no-frills excellence could curdle into an entirely other, utterly degrading double consciousness, one that predates, predicts and probably informs W. American popular culture was doomed to cycles not only of questioned ownership, challenged authenticity, dubious propriety and legitimate cultural self-preservation but also to the prison of black respectability, which, with brutal irony, could itself entail a kind of appropriation. It meant comportment in a manner that seemed less black and more white.

It meant the appearance of refinement and polish. He was perfect for radio, yet when he got a TV show of his own , it was abruptly canceled, his brown skin being too much for even the black and white of a television set. There was, perhaps, not a white audience in America, particularly in the South, that would not have resented, in a very energetic fashion, the insult of being asked to look at the majestic singing of a real Negro. Is their blackness an act? Is the act under white control?

Just this year, Harold E. Doley Jr. Motown was a full-scale integration of Western, classical orchestral ideas strings, horns, woodwinds with the instincts of both the black church rhythm sections, gospel harmonies, hand claps and juke joint Saturday nights rhythm sections, guitars, vigor. Black women in ball gowns. Stables of black writers, producers and musicians. Backup singers solving social equations with geometric choreography. There are disadvantages, however. A bardic circle with large numbers of participants will take a long time to traverse the entire circle, making people wait too long for their turn. Such a circle was lamented in a filk by Suzette Haden Elgin : "I've been here with my song at the ready since day before yesterday night.

In a chaos circle, there is no sequential organization. Any performer can simply begin playing a song after the prior song is finished, or any participant can shout out a request. Care must be taken to prevent two songs from starting at the same time. Frequently the word "follower! The chaos circle's advantage is its spontaneity and energy. The disadvantage is that it takes concentration and effort to be polite and respectful in a chaos circle: It is easy to accidentally interrupt another performer who's trying to start up a song of their own, especially in a very large circle where one might not be able to easily hear the other performer on the opposite side of the room.

Chaos circles thus have a reputation of favoring bold, loud performers who can command attention. This alerts the room, and specifically the usually unintentional interrupter, to be quiet and pay attention to the filker who has started performing. A token bardic circle, also known as a "poker-chip" bardic circle, attempts to combine the enforced politeness of the bardic circle with the freeform nature of the chaos circle. A container full of some type of token such as poker chips is supplied for the circle. Each person participating in the circle is given a fixed number of tokens when they enter the room frequently two tokens , and can throw a token into the center of the circle at any time to claim a pick or play turn. When all the active tokens in the circle are used up, they are scooped up and redistributed for the next round.

The advantage of a token bardic is that there is a chance for spontaneity and followers, yet it is easy to be polite to other performers because can easily be seen when another performer wants a turn. The disadvantage is that, like bardic, in a large circle it may take a long time to get another turn after using up existing turns. The etiquette of the filk circle begins with a respect for all music, including and perhaps especially amateur music and amateur performers. Everyone is encouraged to perform, regardless of their skill level. No one is criticized except to occasionally give tips or suggestions.

There are several shared values that come from the cultural creation of filk in a social network, even one that spans several continents. At a deep level, the folk culture of filk validates creative arts in the midst of an explicitly technological culture. When accepting induction into the Filk Hall of Fame in , ethnomusicologist Sally Childs-Helton said, We have taken our right to be creative and to literally "play" in the best sense of that word. Filk combines folk roots, live music circles, and dominant acoustical instrumentation, on the one hand, with high-tech cultural maintenance, on the other hand—a dense network of filkers' web pages, recordings, sound reinforcement at filk conventions, e-mail lists, and so on.

The eclectic content of filk frequently contains that assertion of human creativity, especially in connection with technology. See for example Leslie Fish's Hope Eyrie. While there are significant numbers of memorial songs, [22] pessimistic songs blame carelessness, incompetence, and corruption, only rarely considering the frailties of a society built on technology or hopes for the future. Because these themes cross international boundaries in filk, they are not explainable as a purely American optimism vis-a-vis technology in contrast to Nye, [23]. Within the community, the folk culture of filk acknowledges the legitimacy of music created by artists with a broad range of skills.

Those who actively identify themselves as filkers include professional musicians, musical novices, and all ranges in between. The repeat appearances of professional musicians at filk-specific conventions suggests a certain amount of respect given high levels of musical skill within filking, even while the culture is open to less experienced musicians. Whether the occasion is a so-called housefilk in someone's home or a festival over a weekend, filk culture encourages respectful listening regardless of the performers' skill level and manifest opportunities for participation from single songs in a musical circle to scheduled concerts. That openness to participation is a marked norm in filking, [24] which makes it unusual in a larger society that glorifies competition and super-stardom in performance arts.

Mentorship within the filk community includes formal workshops at conventions as well as the informal swapping of advice in various forums. Occasional discussions over the boundaries of filk indicates the extent to which participants in filking are both aware of and keenly interested in the definition of filk as a community. Newsgroup debates over such topics as whether 'Weird Al' Yankovic is a filker suggest the deep feelings involved. In practice, most formal recognition of filkers in various awards are to those who regularly attend self-identified filk events, not to professional artists whose work may be considered found filk. The Pegasus Awards were founded to recognize and honor excellence in filking. Anyone with an interest in filk can nominate songs or individuals for the awards, and anyone can vote.

It is not necessary to be a member of the convention to be involved in the nomination and voting process. The OVFF convention committee solicits nominations for finalists for the Pegasus Awards the nominating ballot during the late spring and summer. There is an opinion poll that runs during the year as well to help interested folk brainstorm ideas for the nominating ballot. The finalist ballot is distributed in the early fall, and must be returned by the opening night of OVFF.

Voting can be done online—either to nominate finalists, or to vote for the finalists themselves. The final round of voting happens at OVFF itself, where handwritten ballots are collected after the annual Pegasus concert. The entire process is administered by the OVFF convention committee. Anyone may make a nomination. Nominations are reviewed annually by a jury consisting of the convention committee of FilKONtario with the exception of David Hayman, who serves as administrator and a representative from the committees of each of that year's other filk conventions.

The jury members vote independently by secret ballot, and thereby select that year's inductees. Typically, three people are inducted each year, at the banquet at FilKONtario. A small editorial committee combines and edits the text of the nomination s to produce a citation, which is read aloud at the banquet, presented to the inductee along with a plaque, and posted on the Hall of Fame web site. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Folk music of science fiction fandom. Folk music science fiction fantasy. In Hellekson, Karen ; Busse, Kristina eds. ISBN Archived from the original on 31 December Retrieved 15 January Last revised: 23 September Accessed 16 September Archived from the original on 16 April San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved 20 July New York: Paragon House.

The Fanac Fan History Project. Retrieved 20 November Archived from the original on 6 December Retrieved 25 November Retrieved 23 September Mary Crowell". Retrieved 18 November We watched this beautiful young woman lug her keyboard not the most portable of filk instruments, mind you into the filk room with a slight amount of dread and a large measure of anticipation. In case a client want to alter the instructions, revision can be done but at a negotiated fee.

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