Johnny Depp on Emerging Talent

In our discussion about ArtsPlan06 on Monday’s Podcast, Tracy Davis revealed that her biggest concern was that she might have to look at, what she might consider to be, mediocre art.

Tracy, it sounds like you’re suggesting that we keep your daughter off the stage and reserve all the roles for the professionals from the Guthrie. Maybe we should close down the local rug merchant and replace her with RugMart. Certainly we should keep that Northfield cellist out of the CVRO and reserve the chair for Yo Yo Ma. In fact, let’s keep the NHS football team away from Memorial Field and save that turf for the Vikings…well, the Raiders probably could kick the Vikings’ butts …let’s say the Colts.

My point is that actresses, entrepreneurs, musicians and athletes all need an opportunity to develop their skills. I’m sure that throughout history, these talented folks were often challenged enough when experimenting with something new; they might never have emerged if they had been prevented from participating until the aging maestro finally kicked the bucket and opened up a space for an emerging talent.

If we don’t foster an environment which gives emerging talent an opportunity to experiment, develop, and, hopefully, shine, we’re greatly reducing the possibility of producing another Brett Favre, Pablo Casals, Steve Wozniak or (my daughter is reading over my shoulder) Johnny Depp.

If we do foster an environment that gives emerging talent an opportunity to perform, exhibit and compete, we’ll attract a good portion of this talented class and when they get their spot on the late-night talk show, hopefully they’ll say, “I couldn’t have done it without Northfield, Minnesota; it’s a great place to develop as an artist, start-up a business and raise a family”.