How do you respond when the Fraud Police come calling?
“The Fraud Police are the imaginary, terrifying force of ‘real’ grown-ups who you believe – at some subconscious level – are going to come knocking on your door in the middle of the night, saying:
We’ve been watching you, and we have evidence that you have NO IDEA WHAT YOU’RE DOING.”
(Amanda Palmer, The Art of Asking)
The Fraud Police are imaginary, but they’re also very real. I doubt I know anyone who hasn’t wrangled with them. The problem, as Palmer points out, is that “When you’re afraid of someone’s judgment, you can’t connect with them. You’re too preoccupied with the task of impressing them.”
Ratings, accolades, awards, compliments: they won’t do anything to stop the Fraud Police, because in your ear they whisper, “We know the truth.”
But as music educators work their way through Festival Season, it’s important that we find a way to quiet them, so we can get to the hard work of pulling the best out of our students.
The only way to combat the Fraud Police is keep putting yourself in situations where you risk being “arrested”. Keep being vulnerable in public, keep making art. Keep facing down the threats in your ear, and don’t forget to notice that the Fraud Police never actually show up. With persistence, when the Fraud Police come whispering, you can learn to say, “You’ve never showed up before, so I’m not listening.”