Ok. Let's consider this idea. Both Beyonce and I (and you) do have the same number of hours in a day--true. If this idea motivates you and helps you to keep writing your poetry or working at your voice lessons or reading all of Shakespeare's plays, then by all means, keep going and be grateful that this works for you.
If this idea doesn't work for you? If it leaves you feeling decidedly unaccomplished and like you have failed at life? Consider this: Beyonce and I do have the same number of hours in a day, BUT it's necessary to acknowledge that Beyonce (and many other performers I admire) also has access to personal trainers, coaches, nutritionists, a publicist, tour manager, hair stylist, has the financial means to keep the whole Beyonce machine running, and in particular, doesn't need to work a 40 hour a week day job in addition to performing...need I go on?
In our play BIG WORK, the character of Helen, a women's work coach says it well:
"Someone might be a basketball star, but he has physical therapists, and a coach, and personal trainers. He has publicists to create this image of who he is. We just don’t see that. It’s not just that one person."
I'm simply trying to say that we cannot (and should not) hold ourselves to a Beyonce (or Bono or B.J. Novak or Betty White for that matter) standard for the simple reason that we are working with different resources and we are different people. For some people, this realization can probably be depressing, because it can feel like there's a ceiling on how far you can go with your creativity in light of your current circumstances. For me, this idea is actually becoming more and more comforting. Instead of comparing myself to someone that is on a different playing field entirely, I am starting to learn the value of building on my own successes and accept what I need in order to be a whole artist. Yes, I also have 24 hours in my day, but it makes no sense to heckle myself for not spending eight of those hours taking acting classes and writing and engaging in general art-making--if I did, after needing to work eight hours at my day job, commute two hours, cook for one hour, I'd be left with five or less hours of sleep a night. Which for me, is not enough for me to be my best self--as an artist and whole human being.
For me, being an artist certainly means pushing myself past your comfort zone, accepting new and terrifying challenges, and exploring the human condition through the lens of my own joys and heartaches. It's one of the best paths I've chosen to walk thus far in my life, and I need advice that lifts me up, not makes me feel like I'm not falling behind.
I'd love to hear your perspective on this: do sayings like this one motivate you or cause you to be a bit too hard on yourself?