Neither artists nor nonprofit arts organizations are entitled, they just act that way sometimes

Every kid wins trophies.

There are two possible takeaways from this fact:

a) Trophies don’t mean much; or
b) Every kid deserves trophies.

Or both.

If a), then the result is that external recognition must be useless.  Which means:

1)      We reward mediocrity.
2)      We foster cynicism to greatness.

If b), then the result is that external recognition must be unrelenting. Which means:

3)      We reward everything.
4)      We foster entitlement to greatness.

I have rarely seen folks as entitled as those in the performing arts today, at least here in Seattle, the epicenter of externally-based self-esteem.  I’ve known dozens of actors who have insisted that they’re too talented to audition. Dozens more of nonprofit arts organizations feeling too holy to follow a mission.

Consider: Oscar Isaac had to audition for the role of Llewyn Davis. It wasn’t handed to him.

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