Is it really embarrassing to try?

Wednesday 17 May 2017

Happy Wednesday folks how are you?

I'm currently on lunch and I'm trying to distract myself from checking my phone every 2 minutes, and well, it's not really working, and this post probably won't get finished until midnight but, hey I can try.

Why the phone twitching you ask?

Because last week I applied for an artist development opportunity and today is the day they are shortlisting people for interviews... or at least I think it is - the website said Wednesday 18th May, which doesn't exist so I'm guessing they meant today.

I'm nervous, I'm nervous, because it's highly likely I won't get an interview, and then I'll have to deal with a whole host of feelings. Failure, dejection, general 'what now?' confusion.

But the worst one? Embarrassment.

Embarrassment that I put myself out there as an artist and it didn't go any where.

I know that's not the type of sentiment you hear from me a lot on this blog, but when it comes to being a writer/artist/theatre maker it's something I deal with a lot.

in my head everything I do, all the hats I wear, performer/storyteller/writer/programmer/producer/blogger make sense, but I am well aware that to others that's not always the case. When I work with people in one guise, and tell them about the other things I do, I often get the reaction 'oh so that's what you'd really like to be doing' and it feels like what they are saying is 'you weren't good enough to do that, so you're doing this instead.'

I'm worried that I'll embarrass myself going after any one of my roles, that somewhere someone will think 'she should have stuck to the day job' whatever they think my day job is. I worry that I will have to work with the people I apply to as an artist, in a different role in the future and they'll think 'didn't she try being an artist once?' or that I'll be with other artists and they'll think I gave up.

But is it really that embarrassing to try? Is it that embarrassing to go after something you want? Even if that something may be far fetched/above your pay grade/something completely different for you?

And is it worse to feel embarrassment or regret?

For me, it's definitely the later.

For a while after getting my job as a programmer (the person who decides which shows are put on in a venue) I thought that that was it. That I'd give up trying to be an artist, that I didn't want that anymore, that I was more than happy with being on the other side, and for a while that was true. It sort of still is. I like seeing work that other people are doing, and giving them a platform to do it on. I like being the person on the ground developing audiences - because what is the point of making great work if nobody is there to see it? I like using my creative skills in a different way, applying my artistry to a spreadsheet and a programme, and a marketing plan. I don't think that my day job makes me less of an artist, I actually think it makes me more of an artist. But, as I sit in audiences at fringe festivals and in theatres and I watch other people performing, there will always be a part of me, that wishes I was the one up there.

And so while I love my day job off stage, I don't want to ignore the part of me that wants to be on stage. And I don't think I have to.

Because the reality is lots of theatre makers/writers/artists from all disciplines have another job -and I'm really lucky that mine compliments my art so well. It's also reality that while I think people may think it's embarrassing that I'm trying to go after something, they don't. They are probably applauding me, even if ultimately I don't get an interview.

Because it isn't embarrassing to try and it also isn't easy.

So if you're sat there umming and ahhing about going for something. Maybe it's a job with a much higher pay than what you're on now, or it's a completely different career path, or maybe it's asking somebody out, don't let embarrassment hold you back.

Because 5 minutes of red cheeks is a lot easier to live with than a life time of regrets.

Now if you'll excuse me I need to check my phone for the zillionth time. Wouldn't it be embarrassing if i'd missed their call? x
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