We visited Eshale at the hospital. I’m aware of this because I can almost picture myself in his position. I understand that comparison robs us of joy. Another sensation I can still clearly remember is the insane attempt to force myself into a faultless performance. It is a murderous, futile tactic that will simply obscure a moment on stage that may have been magnificent. A rickety, unstable thing, art. It is sensitive and capable of being delicate in its construction. It has to be created delicately in numerous ways. An artist cannot afford to regard their work with the same reverence as Lennie had for his prized pets in Steinbeck. Lennie held his favorite bunny too firmly, despite his best efforts, and inadvertently crushed it. Like Lennie did with his rabbits, Julian has his claws so firmly set in his acting choices that he squeezes every last drop of reality from his scene. This is a dangerous approach that never makes life more beautiful. There are significant performance costs. And it would be prudent for us to prevent our characters from meeting the same demise as the benevolent but destructive Lennie. The lengthy journey of honing technique and artistry calls for a delicate touch. It takes years to perfect a skill through deliberate practice, which is to say, a methodical, conscious approach rather than mindless repetition. We need to get better at working flexibly while aiming for technical accuracy, resonance, and specificity in our execution. Simple repetition only serves to reinforce mediocrity in the performing arts. It is possible to teach this component, including the technique and practice procedures.