Never a Bad Show
In one of the final performances of Machinal, something happened that threw off the rhythm of a scene I was in ever-so-slightly. It was the kind of off that an actor would notice, but a first-time audience member probably wouldn't. Still, I felt weird about it.
That night, I ran into my roommate. She was with an actor she's been working with (whom I greatly admire), and they had come to the show together. They congratulated me on my work, and said that I'd done well and that it was a great show. I thanked them for their kindness. And then I mentioned to my roommate that it was a bit of an off performance for me.
The actor I admire said that was nonsense, that the show was brilliant, and that I can't possibly say that it was "off". He then gave me a hug, and as he did so, he whispered into my ear:
"It was never an off show. Never, never, never say that it was an off show. Never tell anyone that."
I think it's good advice, so I thought I'd pass it on.
Be proud of your work. Be graceful in accepting compliments. And even when you feel like something wasn't perfect, you don't have to admit it. Appear strong and confident. Stand behind your work.
Remember: Every performance was a good performance.