No. It’s not.
Or if it is, then it’s just cancer. It’s just anthropology. It’s just flight traffic controlling. It’s just farming. It’s just some thing. No need to take it serious. No need to realize that it may be ones life or life’s work. Nope, it’s just another trivial thing among every other trivial thing that we do as humans.
This little rant isn’t to imply that only the most serious of impulses are allowed in any worthwhile profession. What my beef is is with the mindset that seeks to trivialize what is in effect the entirety of my work (so far) on this planet, in order for someone to not get nervous. It’s like killing a fly with a magnum. We need not tell new doctors “it’s just a patient. There are millions of them and tons die” in order to cool their nerves. Such a statement may indeed calm them though and for good reason; It has trivialized the actual importance of what is going on.
So I’m writing to ask my friends that when someone is nervous, don’t trivialize what is soon to happen in order to make that person feel better. Be it in a performance or a double bypass. Perhaps tell them that while mistakes do get made, don’t focus on simply not fucking up. Instead focus on reveling in your work and making something special happen for someone else. Because what we do is special and necessary. In the end, it isn’t ever “just a show”. It is the fulfillment of the human impulse to tell stories and relate to our fellow humans. So, instead of “hey it’s not like we’re curing cancer” I want to hear “hey it’s not like we’re fulfilling the human psyche”. And instead of “Hey it’s just a show” I want to hear, “Hey, you’re doing awesome and rare work. Don’t be nervous, revel in the opportunity.”
Whatever you do though, don’t trivialize my life and the lives of so many I know, in order to make someone feel less nervous.