On Performing

Acting has never been something I felt very comfortable with or good at, for a number of reasons, mainly because I’m such an introvert, and have little concept of myself, socially. But my desire to perform comedy seems to be overriding that hesitation, as well as my discovery that one doesn’t need to be a classically trained and talent actor to necessarily be a good performer. But of course, it will be easier me to perform if I have more confidence in my ability to act.

And I have been putting myself out there more, which has led me to another discovery: I don’t get stage fright! At all! Amazing. It must be a sign. How can I not try to get out there more with that knowledge? In addition, my performing experience has helped me tremendously in discovering my aforementioned concept of social self- two things which support each other in a grand upward spiral.

I am reminded of Janis Joplin, who, in high school, was a painter. She was very shy and introverted. It was only when she began to sing that she started being more open and social. Her theory was that as a painter, she kept to herself because it was a much more personal art; she saw being a singer as an art form that was much more “turned outward”, which led her to come out of her shell more.

In her own words: “I was a painter, and a sort of a recluse in high school. I’ve changed.” [Interviewer: “What happened?”] “I got liberated! I don’t know, I just started to sing and singing makes you want to come out because painting, I feel, keeps you inside, you know? And once you start singing you just sort of want too talk to people more and go out more and, you know, your lifestyle’s becomes more a come-out, flow-out thing instead of a hold-it-and-be-quiet type.”

Similarly, as a life-long writer, I’ve always kept to myself. (Which came first, the chicken or the egg? I couldn’t tell ya.) I am more and more coming out of my own shell, and I know that is due largely (if not entirely) to my recent interest and experience in performing.


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