Oh, MAN, can I relate. I go down one wardrobe choice every single time I see a photo—or worse, a video—of myself in a show. This one makes me look schlumpy, that one…oh. Wow. I thought that was a cute top, except that it MAKES ME LOOK LIKE I HAVE A HUMP. Even if I manage to lose myself in a moment on stage, it’s all ruined if I see digital evidence afterwards.
I would loooooove to be one of those people with no issues—completely happy in my own skin, comfortable in body-conscious knits without worrying about overflow issues, able to play sexy, confident characters without any thought that the audience might be thinking, “C’mon, who is she kidding?” (Or worse, “Ew.")
I wish I could resist the compulsion to foist my discomfort on team members when we watch videos or look over photos…but there’s a thing in the back of my brain that says, “You must ACKNOWLEDGE THE BACK-FAT so people will know you’re not deluding yourself into thinking you look OK.”
I’ve been busted multiple times by several directors for my two primary defense mechanisms:
- Portraying weird, insecure and/or gender-neutral characters.
- Not. Touching. Anyone. Ever.
It breaks my heart when I see kids (or anyone) I coach struggle with the same issues. I reassure them that they’re the only ones in their own way, and I put them in situation after situation to prove it’s true. And in their cases I absolutely believe it.
Yeah, I know.
It’s hypocritical. It means I’m not as versatile a player as I could be. It shows fellow players I don’t trust them. It’s whiny, needy and self-indulgent. And the fact that it’s a fairly common girl-disease isn’t much comfort.
So it’s no-more-excuses time. From this point on, I’m not allowed to let my own butt get in my way when I’m improvising. Here’s the three-point plan:
- Actually take better care of myself. Get enough sleep, stay hydrated, cut down on post-show beverages, don’t eat crap, work out. That kind of thing.
- Focus out in scenes—stay connected to the moment and what’s going on around me, and give the scene what it needs.
- No more public lamentations over the state of my own ass or how it looks in digital media. None.