As we edge toward the end of the Year of Delta, I admit that I was Born To Try.
Yes, I set up this website to show off all my reviews and spruik my skills as a singer and actor (and presenter and voice over artist and maybe even violinist at your wedding) for hire. But in a move straight outta 2008, I've shoehorned a blog in as well. The audacity! The gall! The utter disregard for the irrelevance of my voice!
The truth is, I really love writing. I do it almost every day but I don't put it anywhere because I'm rather scared of what people will think. I've been plagued by the fear of being perceived as a show-off since childhood, when I was constantly called a show-off, probably because, well, what else do you call the kid that brings their violin to show and tell? Talented? Pfft, come on. It was outrageous of me to take the last slot on a Wednesday morning to play the little bit of Bach I'd just learned when Terry-Lee had a perfectly good story to tell about her cousin's uncle's sister's trip to Werribee Plaza. How dare I.
Plus, it's safe, isn't it? Just waiting to be discovered and being bitter when you're not. Better to be bitter at myself for squandering my potential than having people roll their eyes at me trying things out. I'm not proud of it, but I'm scared of people and their thoughts about me. I live in fear of being disliked, even though I know I can't possibly be liked by everyone. But I've always hated getting in trouble and people having a negative opinion about me feels like an extension of that somehow. Whenever I want to step out of my comfort zone, I picture a Principal's Office filled with "My Haters" holding up every instagram post they think was either too earnest or too thirsty or just plainly not funny when I tried to be. It feels unpleasant and uncomfortable, so my resolve to step in to new challenges crumbles and I go back to my program of self-loathing. It's also unpleasant and uncomfortable, but it's a lot safer.
I know this is a strange fear to confess when your career has been performing on stage, to a paying audience over and over and over again. (ha, what a show off!! Wait I am NOT. I have performed a lot! Jesus this is tough.)
The difference between saying I'm An Actor and I'm A [insert New Pursuit Here] is that other people have so far been responsible for my own success. I politely turned up to auditions, prepared and hungry-as-heck for the job, yes, but I didn't have to publicly declare myself worthy of the work. Being picked does that for you.
What I keep noticing, though, is the magnificent output of beings who pick themselves. Their magnificent audacity is our blessing. Everyone I admire most makes their own way in their own voice. I know better than to assume they don't have their doubts about it, too. But I'm grateful they chose to create without waiting to be picked. I know the key to their talent is hard work and tenacity and self promotion. It takes guts and I love them for it.
I am compelled to write and I love to share. And I become happier when I stop pretending I'm not a people-needing ideas monster. So I'm going to try to become someone I admire, starting here. Cause showing up isn't showing off.