I see ghosts all over the place, a kid once said in a famous horror movie. I go further than him in the horror scale:
I see my underwear all over the place. I do!
We can´t control other people´s minds, actions and ethical standards, that´s for sure. I´ve reached a point of relative understanding towards the copycats who use other people´s words, dance movements, work and underwear and present them as their own creations.
Notice I said relative understanding, not understanding.
One side of the coin tells me: once you make your VISION* public (may that be through teaching, performing or writing), that which YOU created becomes accessible to everyone and not everyone has the elegance, honesty and professional ethics to use your work and give you the credit for it; another side of the coin tells me: WTF? As poetic as that: WTF? These guys don´t have a brain of their own? A personality? Pride – hey, folks, no pride?!
It takes a LOT of insecurity to use other people´s work and take credit for it as if you were the one who came up with it: HUMILIATING seems the perfect word for it. If I had nothing to say from my heart and had to copycat other people´s work as if it was my own, I would throw myself in the river or, in a slightly less dramatic tone, change my profession.
A creative without creativity is sad; a creative without creativity and without ETHICS is plain depressing.
I´ve seen my work used on endless occasions without a single mention of my name – fair enough (?!)
I´ve seen pieces of texts from my blogs used on endless occasions without a single mention of my name – fair enough (?!)
Now I´m seeing WORDS, CONCEPTS, COMPLETE PHRASES and PERSONAL DISCOVERIES directly taken from my book
“The Secrets of Egypt – Dance, Life & Beyond” without a single reference to the book or my name – NOT fair enough. Come on, folks, have some shame! It´s the third case – within a week – I´m catching and it really makes me wonder if people can sleep at night. Plus: be aware this book is defended by law (AUTHOR RIGHTS REGISTERED/RESERVED) so you can get in trouble for illegally using it.
Anyone who´s studied with me or reads my texts (on my blogs or my published book) knows I mention my teachers ans sources all the time; if I refer a movement, concept, idea, text or story that came directly from someone other than me, be sure I´ll mention the person´s name and relevance. Recognizing other people´s contributions to the Art is not only the honest and professional thing to do but a clear sign of quality, maturity and credibility. I´ll never get tired from repeating it: COPYCATS may get away with their coward, stealing ways for a while but they´ll never be truly successful. Plus: karma is a bitch – just sayin´...
I feel honoured to see that the seeds I´ve been planting are being used by other dancers all over the world – that was the purpose of the seeding in the first place. What depresses me is the LACK of CHARACTER behind it. Go ahead: use my underwear, if you wish, but acknowledge the fact: this is Joana Saahirah´s underwear and I think it´s important to share it with you. Simple, nobody dies and you look like a professional, for a change. Try it – it won´t hurt.