Notable figures in any industry have a responsibility to be approachable and accessible. In the arts, this means anyone who travels to educate, who is known as a performer and/or is a director or leader of any kind.
What we say and do stays with those we interact with for years. The moments that teachers at festivals, conventions or professional studios (Steps, Broadway Dance Center, Edge) take to talk to students before or after class matter as much as the education they get during the class. The time that performers take to say ‘hi’ to fans and sign autographs at the stage door makes them impactful beyond the character they play on stage.
What we say on social media matters, and more so, how we say it. Most of us won’t get to hang out with the very famous, but don’t you feel like you could just sit and have a cup of coffee with Tom Hanks? Lin Manuel Miranda’s ‘Gmorning, Gnight’ tweets lifted people’s spirits so much he put them in a book. They make their followers feel important, even though there are millions of them.
When people look to us for training, guidance or insight, it is our responsibility, to them as individuals and to our art form as a whole, to be approachable and accessible. Twenty years later, they will remember what we said.