Opinions... critiques... reviews... they can be funny (not funny ha ha) things. As a performer, I can't help but wonder what another person's opinion of my performance is. To a certain point, it does matter. After all, I'm a performer, whose job is to entertain. So yeah, I wanna know.
I lurk on many message boards where I read reviews and critiques... some of myself, some of other performers. Many of what I've read can only be described as below the belt, cruel, harsh, humiliating, degrading, rude, insensitive... and that is alongside the sublime, encouraging, wonderful, sweet, ego-boosting ones.
When I do read a negative review on me, part of me wants to take the person who wrote it by the throat and bash his or her head against the wall until his or her skull started to crack, while reciting in an intense and audible whisper, "I'd love to see you try singing while wearing a corset that's squeezing you to within an inch of your miserable little life," while another part of me says, "you sad, sad, shadow of a human being, you must really have a lot of time on your hands to come up with creative ways to say 'YOU SUCK'."
I have to remember that opinions are all subjective, and aren't a benchmark if something's good or bad. What's garbage to one person is glory to another, and no other person can convince him or her otherwise. Everyone's entitled to their own opinions.
At the end of the day, all I can hope for is that I stay on pitch, serve the show and make the audience (or most of them) happy. If the crowd that gathers at the Broadhurst's Stage Door after every show is any indication, then I'm doing my job right. I can then go home feeling happy and fulfilled, with my mind at work, thinking of how to top each passing performance.