I can’t believe it’s been September since I’ve written here. There are SO MANY things to catch up on but right now I just need an outlet so I’m going to pretend that you know everything and then (maybe, who knows) use that as a way to motivate myself to ACTUALLY bring this blog up to date.
Firstly, I took a writing class. I was nervous and super excited to do it and it was underwhelming throughout and then super disappointing and frustrating at the end. My teach didn’t like me. My teacher made me feel like I wasn’t a good writer and where I’m totally accustomed to hearing “no, you’re not good enough” it was the first time I had put myself out there in a creative way that didn’t involve music and so I was admittedly crushed. Crushed is the wrong word. Disappointed isn’t the right word either. It’s somewhere in the middle of those two. Hearing someone tell me that I am a “distant writer” and a “confusing writer” made me feel like it wasn’t worth it to continue to write for anyone so I just…stopped. I’ve never had the intention of writing a novel or anything but I also have never written for anyone outside of a small group of people that already sorta know me so it was hard to think that, even for that tiny bubble, I wasn’t doing a good job. And what made it worse was that I didn’t get any instruction on how to FIX it. I didn’t learn much. I just heard a lot of “stop.”
So that’s why I stopped. I know that’s totally cliche and ultra lame…but it’s true. And this blog has always been honest.
Then, this morning, I got some gross message on Facebook and I couldn’t stop myself from pulling out my laptop and logging in to this blog. I haven’t looked at any stats or anyone’s messages or my older posts or anything. I just got to the page where I could write as quickly as possible.
I’ve blogged about being trolled for my body before. I’m a performer and I am in front of hundreds of people every night. I am in dresses that I don’t choose, I am under lighting I have no control over, I sing and interact in ways that don’t come naturally to me– but I get paid to do those things. That’s all there is to it. Up until two years ago, I performed in clothing that was comfortable, moved the way I wanted to, sang the songs of my choosing. There were certain limitations but I was in control of my “product.” I like that product. But that product had its limits.
So I gave another type of performing a try. I gave my product to someone else and I said, “Here you go. Good luck!” and that someone else did their best. But I am not that malleable and, in an effort to retain some kind of control, I have resisted the mold that those someones wanted me to fill. It’s worked some ways. But it hasn’t in others. One of the biggest problems that I have faced over the last two years is the constant fight over my body. No one is telling me that I am fat. It would be easier if they were, I think. But I am funny shaped. I am five foot tall. I am short waisted. I have bad posture. I have never, as a performer, had to think about my body because everything has been natural. Never choreographed. Never costumed. Always organic. Always spontaneous. Always about sound. Never about image. So it’s been hard to wear costumes that aren’t designed for someone with my body type and make them look good. Most importantly, it’s been hard to FEEL good in them. And when you don’t feel good, you don’t look good… so on and so on.
As you can imagine, it’s been really hard dealing with audience members and their opinions about my body. Common sense, to me, says that if you have an opinion about someone, you keep it to yourself unless he or she asks for it. You don’t make assumptions about someone. And you certainly don’t comment on his or her body unless you’re specifically asked to. (Or if you’re out to be a goober and hurt someone’s feelings, I guess.) Despite the big theatre and its fancy stage- I am still totally accessible to audience members.
AND I AM SHOCKED BY HOW MANY IDIOTS there are. In that audience. Every night. Maybe I was sheltered before. Or maybe I was only performing for certain types of people. No, I’m not forcing myself in front of anyone. People in the audience at my job are still making the choice to pay money for tickets, go to this theatre, sit down and watch this show. I am not forcing anyone to look at me. So why is it, then? Why does ANYONE think it’s okay to come up and talk about my body with me?
I’m going off on a tangent (and I have no intention of editing this post later) so let me slow down.
This morning I got this message:
(I’m protecting this person because I don’t know why, I just am.)
I was trolled by a couple of people last year this exact same way. So, of course, my first reaction is to search through this woman’s Facebook account to try and figure out if it’s a throwaway account or associated with the same crazy lady who did this (under THREE different accounts) last year.
Turns out? It’s not. She’s just a “fan” of the show. She came to see the Christmas show– she’s been a few times. She even asked to take a photo with me at the Christmas show and posted it on her Facebook page. (I don’t remember her but the photo is posted on her page.) She’s not out to hurt my feelings, it seems. So why??? Why send this message at all? A thinly veiled compliment and then a CRAZY assumption about my being pregnant? You can do a very quick search on my good friend google and find that the OVERWHELMING majority of people in the world find this question to be inappropriate. IT IS INAPPROPRIATE. DON’T DO IT. IT’S MEAN. AND IT MAKES YOU LOOK DUMB.
SO JUST. DON’T. DO. IT.
If she were just being rude or cruel I would have just blocked her. But instead? She’s just being stupid and insensitive and that’s harder for me to comprehend. So I responded.
“No, I’m not pregnant.”
She wrote back nearly immediately and said, “I misjudged that sparkle in your eye, I guess. You’re a great performer…”
I responded. “Nope, that sparkle was just a lot of eye makeup. Here’s something for you in case this happens again in the future:
She never responded. I don’t think she will.
Maybe it’s because I’m driving from Raleigh to Wilmington to Myrtle Beach and back every day. Maybe it’s because Wilbur nearly died and had to have, continues to have, emergency surgeries and check ups and crazy amounts of care. Maybe I miss my cat. And my normal life. And my husband. I barely get time for anyone/anything that I love. Maybe it’s because I’m so stressed that I can’t eat at all and haven’t been able to in over a week. Maybe I’m sensitive to things because I have a lot going on and don’t have the filter that I, as a performer, am used to having normally.
Maybe it’s all of those things that make this stupid, stupid message hurt my feelings. Or maybe it’s that I am JUUUSSSTTT TIIIIIIIRED of meeting people who are ignorant and hurtful. It’s no one else’s fault that you’re stupid. My good friend google is right there. So is the rest of the internet. If you have a question about whether or not I’m pregnant, be patient and wait a few months. When I’m holding a baby then you can ask me about it.
Until then? Pass the f*cking ice cream and move along.