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  • Writer's pictureKelly Marks

Tunnel Vision

Someone brought this to my attention, and I’m distressed now because of it. Have you ever had a favorite actor, and they are truly amazing at what they do? Their characters are completely believable regardless of the diversity of those roles. They have won awards for their acting.

Then you happen to catch them on the late night show being interviewed by Johnny Carson, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon, or slew of other hosts that are actually current. It appears to be uncomfortable for the hosts – those people whom you have seen appear to be best friends with entertainers making their first appearance on the show. It’s a smooth and effortless conversation. But not this time. The actor or actress, who is so brilliant on stage is out of their depth without a script. It’s painful to watch.

A variation of this happened to me the other day. I enjoy Charlie Puth’s music. He is a crazy talented singer/songwriter. He’s not so good at interviews.

Part of the reason is simply that he’s so talented. He has perfect pitch, meaning, he can tell what note any sound is, and, of course, every talk show host likes to test this. They will tap a pen against a cup, and Puth will identify what note it is and have the show's band play the note to prove that it is indeed a B-flat or an A or whatever note Puth called.

Here’s where the trouble starts for the host. It seems like hearing a note played triggers some kind of Pavlovian response in Puth, and he is off to the races, explaining the intricacies of complicated music-making to his terrified and confused host.

The fascinating and painful thing to watch is that Puth fails to recognize what is happening. He is merely warming up to a subject while both the host and the audience are getting more quiet and wearing lost expressions on their faces.

Even though I’m sure it’s not great for ratings, it’s amazing to see a passion that is almost palpable. An intensity that is so over the top that it comes across as quirkiness.

I was born into a family that has a lot of skills and talents, but they are a wide and very lot. I married into a family where each person for the most part has a very specific interest and almost tunnel vision regarding it. Even my daughter has that with music, and she will admit that she is very lucky to have found her passion so early in life

I have always felt a little deficient because I do not have one overriding passion. I have a lot of interests and some skills, but not that all-consuming passion.

I thought of myself as the saying goes, “Jack of all trades, but master of none.” Kind of sad and maybe a little bit of a pity party on my part, but then I heard the rest. “A Jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.”

That certainly puts a different spin on it. Apparently the phrase was originally used to describe a certain playwright who was hanging around the theaters doing a little bit of everything. If the adage is good enough for William Shakespeare, I’ll gladly adapt a new take on my skill set!!.

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