Sunday, November 3, 2013
Recently this little gem has been circling the drain that is Facebook. In it, actor Peter Dinklage expounds on how he doesn't feel particularly lucky and numerous sources have proudly posted it to their walls as one of the Great Truths of theatre in the social media age.
This kind of thing really grinds my gears. Mr. Dinklage is a talented man. I have seen a number of his performances (albeit, never in person) and can say that I have enjoyed them. Further, the consensus of the theatre community is that he is a talented guy who is also a nice person.
Yet at the same time he is unwilling to use the word lucky because it would degrade his hard work and spit on other guys. And that, quite simply, is bullshit. It is a narcissistic attitude that gives that one individual sole credit for any success he has. And that, quite simply, is to operate in bad faith. He might've "been true to himself" but there are loads of artists who are doing precisely that and do not have contracts on large HBO series. It foists the responsibility for "freezing their asses off back in Brooklyn" onto those people. In essence, by denying that luck has any role, Mr. Dinklage is spitting on those people while claiming not to.
Luck does not negate hard work. Talent does not replace it. But lots of hard work will sometimes get you a television show on HBO and sometimes you're still in your tiny Brooklyn apartment. There is another force involved as well. Call it fortune if you like, but calling it luck is inherently more honest and requires less spit.