Well, all the reviews are out. 2 great ones and, yup, one stinker. On the ouch-scale of 1 -10, it was approximately - 20! Actually, it was beautifully and laughably bad. Think I might just frame this one. I've been blessed, usually, with very nice notices, so it's good to have this kind of humbling experience, once in a while.
This particular critic hated the play (though it's a very famous play, by a very famous, master playwright), and spent about three quarters of the review lambasting it, and the other quarter reaming the actors. Now I can understand someone not liking a particular production, but it was unnecessarily mean-spirited (his description of one of the leads was downright cruel, I fared a tad better), though there are some critics who seem to thrive on being mean. There are also those reviewers who wait until the other reviews come out and, just to be contrary, write the polar opposite.
Apparently a frustrated playwright, he's also one of those incredibly self-indulgent reviewers who happens to be in love with his own cleverness and words. Thankfully, critic for one of those free weeklies, he's noted for his nastiness, so people don't place too much credence in his opinion and it shouldn't affect box office, which is doing very well! And I really can't complain because the other ones were lovely. In one of them I had an embarrassingly positive mention. 2 or 3 paragraphs for my small role, which is unusual. So one bad review, from a hack critic, isn't going to make or break my reputation here. The irony of it all, is that this same critic submitted one of his plays to the theatre for consideration, and 3 days prior to publication of his review, had asked if they had made a decision about producing it. The answer was no. Not sure if that had a direct influence on what he wrote, but the theatre has decided he will no longer be provided with complimentary tickets. If he wants to review a show, he will have to pay.
Reviews are one of the hazards of the business. To survive, you have to develop a very thick skin. You realize, as with life and for whatever reason, not everyone is going to like you or your work, you just can't please everyone. So you learn to take everything with a grain of salt, both the good and the bad and just trust your instincts. And you don't ever take anything personally.
So, I'm going to frame the review and my latest residual check for .07 cents, to remind me what we're worth as actors, and why I still remain in the business.