Noah Detar is one of my closest friends and has always been someone who I look up to even though we are the same height. Noah has a way of staying true to himself and making others feel cared for, loved, and appreciated. He is a great conversationalist and always has had an affinity to the more spiritual and thoughtful concepts of artistry, making him a perfect candidate for my CME.
Weston: Hi Noah.
Noah: Hi Weston.
Weston: How are you?
Noah: Good. How are you?
Weston: Good. I would love to get your initial response to this question: What is a good artist?
Noah: What is a good artist? I think what makes an artist a good artist is that someone who can appreciate their own work and know that others may not but they do themselves. If someone is bad at math they are bad at math. I’m bad at math and I can’t prove to anyone that I’m good at math. I think that objective because art is subject. There are so many great artists in the world that nobody recognizes and nobody sees, especially in a world of social media. What makes a good is one who can identify themselves and know they love the art they are making.
There was a shoulder shrug in there for everyone at home.
Weston: Haha. Well, is there such a thing as a “good” artist? Like is artist something anyone can be?
Noah: I think they can be. I drive a car but that doesn’t make me a Nascar racer, and don’t ever ask me to be one. There are a lot of levels in being an artist. In our movement class last year we learned the is Unconsciously Unskilled, Consciously Unskilled, Consciously Skilled, and Unconsciously Skilled. You have to go through a process like that. To become a good artist you have to be willing to be a bad artist.
Weston: I know for me there a lot of times where I feel like there are so many expectations for us as students going to school for art, for musical theatre. There is this idea of being “good” can get to us. Is there any time being a “good” artist has impacted you?
Noah: Freshman year, one of my professors made me feel as though I was awful at what I did. Then anytime we went in for a scene or project I would just go “it’s going to be bad so it’s fine”. It took me a hot minute and then junior year I finally understood it more having another class with another professor to see that a lot of people miss out on the life part of our education. So much of what we do is how we live and see life. Our power is found in drawing from our own lives, and if you spend so much time practicing it becomes hard to perform.
Weston: Waking up, going to school from 9 to 5 pm then rehearsal 6-10 pm doesn’t bode well for always being present and gaining those experiences.’
Noah: It’s just very a small part or the world you are experiencing to build your art off of.
Weston: That’s why Alex says I one of the smartest people but I’m so dumb about the simplest things. I simply haven’t had simpler life experiences because the majority of my time is spent dedicated to this.
Noah: I was just thinking about how we are told, you are not going to love every day and I don’t think that’s fair to say. Love and like are very different things. I will always love what my career is, but I don’t always have to like the things I’m doing in it, but I still love it.
Weston: We have to take ownership of what we are doing to find control of what we actually can. We can take peace in what we have for ourselves.
How do you keep yourself grounded in those moments where you might not be liking it?
Noah: Life is a cycle. I try to be a positive person all the time, even in the worst of situations. I know if I don’t like what is happening right now the next thing I’m going to love so much more. I know I can get through it, I can take it one thing at a time. It makes me feel like I love it because I know I can do it.
Weston: Mmm-hmm. What would you say to yourself at the start of freshman year knowing all that you do now?
Noah: The biggest thing I have learned is the difference between making and letting. Making it feels like “it’s gonna happen tomorrow”, “it’s gonna happen next week”, “it’s going to happen”. Letting is letting myself experience this moment, have a terrible day. I can move forward understanding this. It is giving yourself the credit of letting yourself be an artist, be a good artist.
Noah Detar is a Senior here at Nazareth College and this will be his last main stage show. His other credits at Nazareth are Berowne (Love's Labour's Lost) and Cinderella's Prince (Into the Woods). After graduation, Noah hopes to move New York City and stay on the East Coast. Thank you to my family and the Musical Theatre department for the last four years!