Ken Leighton 3:06 p.m., Dec. 20
Just Getting Up There
After the Torrey Pines performance of Tommy, I was talking to a few parents about some of the show’s quirkier moments.
Predictably, one of them said something to the effect, “I just think getting up there and being a part of it is a success for these kids.”
Sigh. Pause. Smile.
Now I say, “Aren’t standards interesting?”
I then recounted the story of John Wooden, Bill Walton, and the haircut.
Long story short, the UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden, wanted his star player, Bill Walton, to get a haircut. Walton resisted it and Wooden said that he and the rest of the team would miss Bill. Bill Walton showed up to practice with his hair cut.
At the time, Walton was the best college basketball player in the country but Wooden had a standard and it was non-negotiable. He was willing to let his best player quit if he wasn’t willing to bear the standard that was required.
Standards are interesting.
We can approach a show with such a high standard that almost every show is a failure. Or we can go to a show with such a low standard that every show is amazing.
Many of us have a sliding standard and hold different theaters to different standards. Obviously we aren’t going to hold students to the same standard as we hold adult actors.
However, just getting up there never, ever indicates a success. Have you been to Karaoke at the Moose Lodge on a Sunday evening?
If we hold students to a higher standard, they’ll rise to it. People always rise to the level of the expectations that are placed upon them.