I Truly Hope I Don’t Suck

You can’t please everyone. That’s a pretty well accepted fact. Let’s face it, people have different opinions.

As a performer, I thrive on public approval of my work. I’ve been fortunate enough to draw some meaningful praise for my talents. I treasure every compliment.

Does everybody love the Rikki Lee? Not even close!

For my latest film, The Lurker, there have been a handful of reviews. More and more each day.

The first one I saw not only praised the film, it singled me out by name as one of the reasons why. That made me feel awesome.

A few days later another review came out. This one, not so complimentary. In fact, not only did the critic hate the movie, he singled me out as one of the main reasons why he thinks the movie stinks.

There was a time in my life when my ego was so fragile that I couldn’t handle negative reviews like that. The career span of Sandra Bullock offered me some inspiration.

Bullock is a highly loved Hollywood leading lady. She won an Academy Award for Best Actress for the film The Blind Side. That’s high praise. But did you know she has also been a worst actress candidate in the Golden Raspberry Awards for three separate movies? (Demolition Man, Speed 2, All About Steve)

Bullock isn’t the only respected actor or actress to also show up in the Razzies.

John Travolta, who I have nothing but admiration for, was nominated as Worst Actor in not only one, but two films in the same year: Staying Alive and Two of a Kind in 1983.

In fact, he repeated the abnormality of two Worst Actor nominations in a single year in 2000 with the films Battlefield Earth and Lucky Numbers and in 2019 with the films The Fanatic and Trading Paint.

But, do you know what else John Travolta has been nominated for twice? The Academy Award for Best Actor (Saturday Night Fever and Pulp Fiction)

So what if there’s a critic out there who laments that he will have nightmares inspired by the memory of how atrocious my acting is?

At least I’m in good company.

Here’s some other actors who have stood out in the Razzies for their implied lack of talent:  Tom Cruise, Robert De Niro, Johnny Depp, and Nicholas Cage – all of them Oscar nominees or winners.

Not that I’m comparing my performance in The Lurker to anything accomplished by any of these other fine actors.

Nor, in fact, is The Lurker the only acting I’ve received a negative review from.

My first professional acting job came when I was a child. I played Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol on stage. The critical response was enormous and as result CBS/KOIN did a filmed-on-stage adaptation with our core cast.

But not everyone who saw the play loved it – or at least me.

During one of the performances during the live run of the show, a kid sitting behind my mother in the audience commented “Tiny Tim is really lame.”

My mother shared this with me, thinking that the audience member thought my limp was so real that I as a person must really be lame – as in, hobbled.

Being more in tune with the vernacular of the time, I was devastated when my mother told me someone in the audience thought I was lame. I, of course, understood the comment as it was meant – that I sucked.

So apparently if you believe the film critic who despised The Lurker and the live audience member who despised A Christmas Carol, I’ve been awful for decades.

I truly hope I don’t suck. I apologize if I do.

I put a lot into each role I portray. I know there is always room to grow and I continue to try to learn from each experience. Even comments from a nasty reviewer can have a positive effect down the line when the sting goes away, and the content is distilled away from the venom.

And, yes, there was a time when I was devastated by negative reviews. But thanks to a lot of work on growing as a person, I take these things in stride and try to find the humor in it all.

Sandra Bullock will probably win another Razzie at some point.

John Travolta will probably win at least one Oscar at some point.

Who knows what I’ll win in the future? Maybe something great. Maybe something dreadful. But at least I’m in the game – and that’s more than a lot of people could wish for.

Peace. Love. Trust.

If you appreciate the nature of my words here, I ask that you take just a moment to share this article with your social media of choice.

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