Last night I was sat in the pub with some friends from the improvised comedy workshop I attend. We were all lovingly stroking each others egos and I got to thinking: ‘why can’t people see how good they are?’
Example: one of the guys at improv is also a talented guitarist and songwriter but he has never played live. I couldn’t understand why until I thought about my first gig, at an open mic night at University, and the dread that I’d put into it. My advice to him was that you really shouldn’t worry about it, the best part of performing your own stuff is that nobody knows if you’ve messed it up, and nobody is obliged to say anything about it. When people give you compliments they are just that, there was no requirement for them to do so, they weren’t forced, they’re saying it because that’s how they feel, and you’ve got them, unprovoked.
I went on to say I deeply admired one of the girls who is an actress. I can’t imagine the kind of determination it takes to put yourself through auditions and although she comes off as bright and bubbly and wonderful to me she told me that she still has to act from the moment she walks in the door, and that it’s a terribly disheartening spirit.
What I like about these relatively new friends is that they’re trying things, and I hope they think the same of me, because I can see that in myself.