In an interview for Success magazine, fashion designer, film-maker, actor, opera director and cabaret artist Isaac Mizrahi remarked, “My piano teacher said, ‘You have to choose what you want. You can’t continue to study the piano for eight hours a day and be an actor and design clothes.’ I listened to what he said and he made sense, but I couldn’t relate to that model. I am not a specialist.”
While I make no claims to be in Mizrahi's class when it comes to talent I understand the idea of not being a specialist. I've played the piano since I was about seven and have performed on it, and accompanied singers, ever since. Yet at the same time I've always written - endlessly, as anyone in my house will attest: the place is full of old notebooks of written material. I have my first stage script still, which I typed out on the first typewriter I bought. I have several novels in various forms of draft, and a determination one day to get at least one of them published. (I even have the very first story I wrote, when I was still in primary school - it has something to do with finding whiskey under the bed, although at that time I probably had no idea what whiskey was.)
I've composed music throughout my life - but have also acted. I must admit that there was a long gap between my early acting experiences (I'm not including the time I was a little elf in a brown suit made by my mother) when I was in my teens, and my more recent ones. It's only in the last few years that I've really had the chance to get my teeth into some acting, but I've had a long relationship with the theatre.
At one time I even painted pictures, hardly any of which survive. This was perhaps my least successful talent, but that may be because I've spent less time on it than on any other of the art forms. So a specialist I'm not. I can't imagine the dedication required to spend eight hours a day practicing the piano but that doesn't mean I don't use the talent I have. I just spread the eight hours around...
Apropos of none of the above, an Anglican chaplain whose tweets I keep up with put a link on Twitter to the Twitter episode of 2 Hot Girls in a Shower. You probably have to be in the mood to watch these videos, none of which are more than a minute and a half long, and none of which (at least amongst those I've seen) are as salacious as the series title might suggest. They consist of a blonde girl and an Asian girl standing side by side in a booth which, as they explain in one episode, is only a movie set with a sound effect of a shower in the background and a bit of misting on the camera. We see nothing untoward.
But what we do see are a couple of talented actresses (Kim Evey and Julie Wittner) 'explaining' all manner of things; the blonde girl plays the slightly dizzy blonde and the Asian the seemingly sharper character. Their explanations, of everything from Sudoku to Father's Day to where to go on a first date, are off in the left field somewhere, and I found them quite mad.
[PS: Occasional moments in the videos are borderline.]