It is incredibly easy to say one thing, and mean something entirely different. Like, “this spinach tortellini is actually quite delicious without sauce.” or, “why, sleeping in until 2 PM is probably the best way to start any day off right.” or, “I am, in fact, e tremely comfortable being completely myself.” Because that last statement in particular is actually something my heart overhears my mouth say quite often, and then follows in turn by sighing in annoyance, crossing it’s aortic little arms, and muttering something like, “Spare me.”
As an intriguing side note, I’ve discovered that the voice inside my head does not resemble Jimmeney Cricket, but actually uses the exact same male voice, British accent, vocal inflections, and tonal phrasing as the omnipotent Narrator does from the movie version of The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy. Instead of finding concern over the apparent masculinity of my subconscious narrator, I was immediately giddy and experienced the rare emotion of Pride in this discovery — which coincidentally brings me right back to what I was talking about before this side note.
Pride in oneself is a necessity in the performing arts, regardless if it’s genuine or not. You have to look like you believe in yourself up onstage in order for anyone else to believe you, or even so much as sympathize with you for a few moments. Nobody wants to see an unsure performer trying to convince himself of what he’s singing about, unless he’s in the first round of American Idol, in which case half the population of the world will tune in to watch you screech out “She Bangs”, be publicly humiliated by Simon, and somehow end up with a record contract anyway.
I, however, don’t like ingenuine feelings (or “She Bangs”), and have therfore been internally struggling with how to move forward in the arts successfully while still staying true to myself. I really just desire to transform my joy in what I do, and somehow create a genuine-but-not-cocky-confident appearance onstage. I’d love to discard any pressure to “act” like an actor, assume the joy, passion, and love of communication I deeply have for the arts, and just live and perform off that instead. Is that so much to ask?