The Pursuit of Excellence

21 May

Friend: Veronica, you really should write drama.

Me: Why? So people can fool themselves I’ve got nothing to say?

Friend: No, you stupid grump. Because you listen to people. It’s rare.


The incident my friend was referring to – the one in which I’d allegedly listened – involved a mutual acquaintance commenting on a production we’d seen. “I couldn’t find anything to fault about that,” she said.


Friend: I don’t even remember her saying that.

Me: She did! It made me sick!

Friend: You didn’t like the show?

Me: I did! But not because it didn’t do anything wrong! (then in mock childish voice, you know, that sort of infantile whine that’s an unanswerable indictment of anything it’s directed at) “ I couldn’t find anything to fault about that.”

Friend: (pause) You know, Veronica, about that drink…. I’ve got an early start tomorrow. I better head.


The problem with the pursuit of excellence is not that you’ll never catch it. The problem is you miss so much else.

Doing something with out fault is a secondary virtue. The crucial issue is what you’re trying to do, not how well you do it.

Surely, it’s better to fail at something worthwhile than succeed at something worthless.

Do you really want to be remembered for producing the play that most effectively keeps the world small and cold?


Veronica Kaye



One Response to “The Pursuit of Excellence”

  1. anvildrops May 21, 2013 at 4:57 am #

    as Tristan Tzara might have said… all art is shit – and the major Performing Arts all want to produce the perfect turd

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