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Reviewing Friends

June 27, 2014

I’ve just finished my most recent batch of shows. While doing my normal several shows at a time, I was presented with the opportunity to review several different shows including two shows that involved artists that I’ve worked with before. I was a little conflicted with whether or not I should take them since I was a bit worried if my previous relations with these people would get in the way of work. However, I decided that it would be a good opportunity to write from an honest and subjective point of view.

The key thing I found to be exceptionally helpful in both cases was to look at it just like any other show. No matter who’s involved, it’s important to write honestly about what you feel and experience. Even if there were aspects that I liked and didn’t like, I wanted to focus on what I experienced while being an audience member for the shows as oppose to how this would affect my working relationship with these people. So I made sure to be honest while not ripping anything apart (after all, there’s a difference between being honest and just being cruel), and hoped for the best.

One show did actually express appreciation that I didn’t show any favoritism or even acknowledge knowing them previously (another thing I felt conflicted as to whether or not to do). They realized that writing about their show was just about saying what I felt and was nothing personal in either positive or negative thoughts. While from the other show, one person was so upset that I didn’t give him any special treatment, that he took me off Facebook and stopped even acknowledging when I was in his presence. That reaction was rather shocking to me, especially since I didn’t write anything overwhelmingly bad about his work, but after some time to think about it I decided that it was probably for the best (after all, with that kind of reaction it seems its better not having someone like that in my life).

When writing about shows that you know people a part of, I would say only do it if you can be impartial and if it’s for a show that might jeopardize a relationship that’s important to you, consider strongly before taking it. If you end up taking it and  have thoughts on things that you don’t feel worked in the show, say how you feel while still being considerate to their feelings. Most importantly: treat it like any other show. If it’s not a good show or even if you think your friend didn’t do their best, don’t shy away from the honesty but also be respectful to their feelings.

sarah sig

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