What does it take to be a critic? (1 cent)

I wonder sometimes what it takes to be a critic.  I assume that a critic must know how to write well, and how to structure a review to capture the interest of the reader.  The critic should be knowledgeable about the field (theater, music, etc.), and perhaps about the performers, the piece, the writer, and so forth.  Based on these requirements, I am obviously not equipped to criticize.

There are a lot of critics these days, not only those working for print media and the larger websites, but those who create their own websites devoted to criticism of one thing or another.  In D.C., for example, there is http://www.potomacstages.com; http://www.dctheatrescene.com; and http://www.allarts4u.com. They review almost everything.

Today is the last day of the Capital Fringe Festival, with performances of over 100 different shows.  I have seen about 12 of them.  DCtheatrescene is reviewing all 100+; Allarts4u is reviewing a large number of them.  I am not sure about Potomac Stages.  I have looked at the reviews of the shows that I have seen and by and large find them to be totally off point and wrongheaded.

Is it them, or is it me?

What does it take to be a critic?


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