Upstaging

The “15 minutes” of Fame Allotted to All


Coming home from an evening around a campfire with friends, my son ranted about one of his friends that upstaged the sing-along. Nothing earth-shattering. Just a group of kids doing a round-robin of every song they knew. Some, as I have heard them sing before, have wonderful voices. My son, being very democratic and fair by nature, was naturally upset, wanting to give everyone center-stage, their “15 minutes of fame” or at least, the length of a song.


“Thorny-Pink-Bloom” – Printable Digital Illustration (From Personal Photograph) @Barbara Adler Art 2022


Upstaging.

“…to draw attention away from”

“…to treat snobbishly”

(Transitive verb, The Merriam-Webster Dictionary)


We have all been there, sitting at a meeting, given the floor, along comes a very assertive participant and voilà, there goes your meeting, totally diverted from your say.

We have seen it in theatre, when a minor actor over acts their part, staying upstage, casting a rather big shadow on the main actor.


“Golden Rule” – Printable Digital Illustration (From Personal Photograph) @Barbara Adler Art 2022


When it is not happening directly to us, we tend to dismiss the upstaging. Often, we find that the minor actor receives positive writeups that advance their career. Same in the boardroom. I doubt though that they have friends with those that were upstaged.


In the artworld, often the innovators of a new style or technique become footnotes in the history of art as the more assertive members that were influenced by these innovators become rich and famous. Anyone that has studied any style or school of art throughout history can attest to the fact that a good portion of the introduction is to these forgotten forerunners that set the path for all other artists.


No one likes to be upstaged. It is tempting to do. Give credit to the originality of the artist, not to his social rating.

Quantity is not quality.


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