Wednesday, November 27, 2013

You Are An Obsession

If you're a child of the 80's like me, you now have that song stuck in your head.
You're welcome.

I have to warn you, gentle reader, that this is, in fact, a post about some of my obsessions.  Mainly actors.  Because I have an idea as to why I become such a mega-fan of certain folks at certain times, but I need to work it out in my head.  The best way to do that is to write it down, in a place where I am at least semi-accountable.  In other words, my private journal ain't gonna work for this.
So feel free to navigate away from this page while I try to figure out one of my (many, MANY) neuroses.

In my defense, the people I semi-obsess over are always supremely talented.  That's usually what draws me to their work in the first place.  The fact that they are also, inevitably, good-looking is really just frosting.  Plus, I mean, c'mon, I'm only human!  A red-blooded female human, at that!  And it's not like I'm stalking them or trying to make anything happen.  I'm happily married with a great life.  (Plus, stalking seems like it would require a lot of planning and energy.  The former isn't my strong suit, and G-d knows I have precious little of the latter!)

My latest is someone whom I've actually been a fan of for nearly 2 decades.  But his profile has been raised significantly recently, and I'm catching up on some work he's done lately that I hadn't seen.  So, yeah: He's brilliant.  Even more so than I already knew.
But there's also something about him that reminds me of Hubby.  Not physically, but his performance style.  He's very unique, has made his own path in the industry, and his work is often very physical.  Just like Hubby.  It's quite different from my own way of working, and I've always been intrigued by, and quite jealous of, folks who have that. (See earlier posts re klutziness.)
He's also someone who has done so much in his life, not just acting.  I'm someone, as you know, who's afraid of everything, and trying something news is one of the great terrors of my life.  But NOT trying new things has also been one of the greatest regrets of my life.  At a pretty young age I convinced myself that I pretty much sucked at everything EXCEPT acting, and to not bother.  Part of this was experience:  I was forced into things like tennis lessons: Hated every second of it, and I was comically horrible at it.  Same with baseball, skiing (or any sport), dance, singing, and a bunch of other stuff.  But when I started drama, I enjoyed it AND I was good at it, so I clung to it like flotsam in a shipwreck.  (As far as the dancing & singing, well, I can carry a tune and do a little tap number.  And Zumba. So I'm not as sucky at those things as I convinced myself I was when I was a kid.)
I also learned from the adults in my life that if you couldn't do something well the first time, just STOP, because otherwise you're just making a fool of yourself.

Basically, I took in a lot of things as a kid that I'm still trying hard to un-learn.  And I think I cleave to people who, as far as I can tell, either never learned those things or have rejected them or found a way out of or around them.

It's also worth noting that these same folks are, by all accounts, kind and generous people.  That's important to me.  I try to be kind and generous. I hope I succeed more often than not.
And they haven't had it easy.  Nothing was handed to them.  They've worked long and hard to be where they are.  Something else I admire and respect.  Because I've worked hard, too.  I was never the star pupil, the prettiest girl, the most talented, the smartest, and I can honestly say that NOTHING comes easily to me, lol!  So I guess I see something of myself in these people, as well.

I've often been invisible.  Sometimes through choice, having been a painfully shy kid.  Sometimes for other reasons.  Acting was, for me, a way to be seen.  A way to have a voice.  It was a lot easier to speak words someone else had written than to find my own. And the approval I often got for speaking those words was addictive.  I felt like such a failure at everything else, being a good actor became utterly imperative. I believed I was truly unlikable/unlovable.  Which was odd, because I had a group of good, tight friends. People I'm STILL friends with! Go figure!
I desperately needed approval, and I usually got it on stage.  And, because I'm human, I STILL need approval.
And I'm still learning to get it from myself, not rely on external sources.
But the idea of getting approval from someone we admire is a pretty attractive one, isn't it?  And when it DOES happen, it's tres cool.

But I can't rely on that.  Nor do I want to.

So I will continue to ask myself: What is it about this person (whomever he may be at any given moment) that calls to me? What do I feel is lacking in myself?  And if I ever meet him, can I PLEASE act like a sane, rational grown-up and not frighten him?!?!

In the meantime, I can use their example to do things that scare me, or try things that intrigue me.  Or simply use it as the impetus I need to get my a** back onstage after 10 years!

I think this concludes my introspection for the evening.  Thank you for reading, and good night.  Remember to tip your waitstaff.


Geosomin said...

Yup. It's in there now... :)

"I also learned from the adults in my life that if you couldn't do something well the first time, just STOP, because otherwise you're just making a fool of yourself." too. Wonder why that seems to be the simple way of backing out of things. The reward of accomplishment is so spectacular...but it takes work. Realizing it was OK that I wasn't immediately good things I tried and could enjoy them anyways was such an epihpany for me :)

azusmom said...

I'm STILL learning that.