Bearing witness

Have you ever seen those interviews where the actor or actress, in answer to the question “What do you think about your performances?” and they reply, “Oh I never watch myself.  I can’t stand to see myself on screen”.  I can’t understand this.  Why would they expect someone to watch them if they couldn’t watch themselves?  It just doesn’t make sense.  Of course being the vain creature that I am, I love watching myself on screen.  I do pick apart every single flaw in the minutest detail but I get a big grin on my face when I see my mug up there.

Performing in workshops has never been an issue for me either.  For some reason, in my noggin, everyone who is there is on the same level as I am.  We are all there to work and learn.  No one is there to judge and no one person is better than the next.  We are at varying points in our career with the ensuing levels of success but this is irrelevant to me.  The fact that I paid the same as everyone else means my needs, goals and expectations are as important as everyone else’s.  This always makes me shake my head a bit as I’ve been in the room with some pretty successful talent that would make it easy to downplay myself.

What I can relate to is the pressure I feel when I am performing in front of someone I know and who’s opinion I care about.  Since I haven’t been on stage in a while, I’d forgotten about this feeling but it came to light the other day and surprised me quite a bit.  I was working with a friend on a joint voiceover project and all of the sudden I was in my head thinking all kinds of screwy thoughts.  I didn’t want him to listen to me.  Now how silly is that?  I think it was because I was voicing and I’m not the most confident about my abilities in this field.  But I need to get over it.  As the author Jessamyn West said, “It is very easy to forgive others their mistakes.  It takes more grit and gumption to forgive them for having witnessed your own.”

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