Daniel Maposa Arts Correspondent

Many artistes have failed to reach the peak of their careers because of indiscipline.

Many talented artistes lack the discipline to invest time into perfecting their work. Most creatives, especially musicians, dancers, comedians and theatre people, forget that a good product is made in the rehearsal room, not on the day of recording or performance.

The key to coming out with a tight song is to rehearse it. There is no other ingredient needed to coming up with perfect work than rehearsal.

Rehearsals enable creativity to be expressed, tried and perfected.

Rehearsals are painful, but they are a necessary pain. If you are an actor or actress who does not have the discipline of investing in rehearsals, then forget about producing a world-class performance that mesmerises audiences.

There is tendency in Zimbabwe where the cast puts one or two weeks to rehearse a full-length play. In professional theatres around the world, the minimum is a month to rehearse a 1hr 20-minute production. There are also many times that you go to a musical show and realise that the performers are not co-ordinated, the set is dull and uninspiring. The reason is lack of rehearsals.

Some actors boasting that they do not rehearse that much but just get on stage and do their thing. The best performers in this world rehearse religiously. They don’t just jump on the stage to perform.

There are artistes who are always late for rehearsals and performances. Serious producers and directors always say that it is better to work with a less-talented but disciplined artiste than to work with an indiscipline star.

There are talented artistes who are prima donnas. They are hard to work with. They abscond from rehearsals, or they are always late for performances. And they are never short of excuses.

Everyone will wait for them, they delay everyone. They even become cry-babies.

But guess what, directors, promoters and producers share information, and sooner or later, no one would want to work with bad actors. Such people are quick to climb the highest mountain and cry foul that they are not getting jobs because someone hates them. No, they don’t hate you, they hate your lack of discipline.

Another issue that promoters and audiences always complain about local artistes is not being time conscious. This is one area that needs serious improvement from local artistes. A person who advertises or is booked to perform at 8pm should not arrive three hours later.

And they expect to be treated with respect? Sometimes artistes complain that promoters or fans don’t respect them. People are ready to respect artistes, but their attitude and behaviour leaves a lot to be desired. You get what you give.

There are also some performers, especially musicians, who drink in front of their audiences. Many local musicians actually think it’s cool to drink beer in front of their fans while on stage. You cannot be drinking at your work and expect to be taken seriously.

Showbiz is serious business that deserves respect from those who are performing so that their fans will respect them too.

Fans always love it when they know that their performer is giving them this brilliant performance not because he or she is under the influence of alcohol. Artistes should learn to drink in private, not in front of audiences. It is always advisable not to drink before a performance. Serious directors and producers will never tolerate an artiste who goes on stage drunk.

There are many artistes, who during or after performing try to hit up on their patrons or engage in multiple relationships.

This disease cuts  across both male and female artistes.

After every performance they date a patron. Some, especially male artistes, are seen, while on stage, winking at women in the audience, some who will be in the company of their partners.

There are so many stories of musicians who were almost beaten up for trying their luck on patrons.

This borders on lack of respect for their customers but on the flip side, those patrons, as they get to know of their shenanigans, they stop respecting the concerned artiste or attending their shows altogether.

A performer must be mythical to his or her audience while performing, and humble when off stage. That is where respect comes from.

Respect is earned.