Are you a show or a no-show?

Today is a perfect, slow, comfy, snow day in Virginia. Snow is often a good reason for people to not make it to work, but as freelance artists, no matter the weather, one must show up. Two reasons for it: one, it's the way to be as a professional performer. Two, most likely if you don't show up you won't get paid.

To stress the importance of showing up, here is an excerpt from the (excellent) book "The Making of a Chef," when journalist Michael Ruhlman gets confronted between the decision of taking the risk to drive in a snow storm, or showing up in the kitchen of the Culinary Institute of America where he is following the courses as a student, as a project for his book. The following discussion ensued between the writer and his teacher.

"Hi, Chef, this is Michael Ruhlman. (...) It's still snowing up here. I don't think I'll be able to make it in."
"That's up to you, " he said softly.
"I'm sorry," I said.
I paused. I needed him to know I wasn't blowing this off lightly. (...)
He said: "Michael, I don't want you to take offense at this." (...) "Part of what we're training students to be here is chefs- and when chefs have to be somewhere, they get there," Pardus had said calmly and evenly, not as judgment but as facts.
"Chefs are the people who are working on Thanksgiving and Christmas, when everyone else is partying," he said. "Or at home with their family."
He didn't stop there: "You're cut from a different cloth," he told me. (...)
He knew I was doing a different job, he said. This wasn't meant to be criticism. He just wanted me to understand. He had his job to do, and I had mine, he said. (...)

"This is a physical world. The food is either finished at six o'clock, or it's not. You're either in the kitchen or you're not. Much of what one learned here was why food behaved as it did. But sometimes there was no room for why. Sometimes why didn't matter. It wasn't simply that excuses were not accepted here-excuses had no meaning at all. The physical facts in any given moment-that was all."


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