Professionalism requires a certain degree of performance: the concert or game starts at the scheduled time, the book or movie wraps on deadline, and the work is shipped when promised — whether the professional who creates it felt like it or not.
Performance is a powerful force. The best work — the best performances — can transport us out of ourselves, or beyond where we are now. That’s why we buy the tickets, read the books, cast the votes.
The question, then, is where to draw the line between what’s manufactured and what’s genuine in the performance — and what we expect professionals to fall along that spectrum in performance of their work.
Too mechanical, and people might not buy what you’re selling. Too disingenuous, however, and you risk being a huckster.
Keep performing — and ensure that your performance respects both yourself and the people you serve.