“I feel like I’m cheating,” I said to the other women in my mastermind group, “because I’m a performer.”
We were talking about going live on a social media platform: Facebook live, instragram live,
YouTube, LinkedIn or whatever places one may go live. The women were collectively complimenting me but I wasn’t receiving their compliments, I was shaking my head in denial of my gifts.
Maybe it is because I have done live theater for many years now and have been horrible on stage at times and have done some pretty embarrassing and frightening things like making sound effects I certainly wouldn’t want my parents or siblings to hear, wearing a bathing suit on stage – if you know me you would figure why that horrified me. I also clearly remember what it felt like to be typing away on stage left when the chair I was sitting in broke.
These are just a few live theater failures I have experienced in front of paying audiences. That doesn’t even begin to say the missed lines,cues or near misses on wardrobe malfunctions.
What most people now don’t know is there was a thirty year gap in my stage experience. I stopped acting because I was an eleven-year-old with the role of (to that point) lifetime that got rave reviews except for the person I most wanted to impress.
Thirty years later, I took an acting class not because I wanted to because I was never, ever going to go on stage. Theater and performance weren’t my thing.
My interest was in improving my voice because of my radio show.
My voice was paramount but the class got canceled. I was offered a chance to take the acting class, instead.
Remember, I never wanted to do theater. My kids did theater, not me.
I had a lightbulb moment. I realized I could take the acting class to practice my voice until the voice class was offered again.
I figured what the hell. Why not?
I was aggravated about playing Improv games. How annoying, I thought. My acting teacher decided to be secretive about it and whispered a scenario to my scene partner, a teenage girl.
He looked at me and said, “Your job is to say no to whatever her request is. Keep it as realistic as possible.”
I can follow instructions, even if I had no idea what I was supposed to be saying no to at first.
In less than a minute I discovered I was supposed to say YES to taking my daughter off life support? My acting teacher did not realize he had touched a very deep scar in my spirit.
My scene partner was pushing and pushing and pushing and I was escalating and escalating and escalating. I remember my hands were rising and my shoulder was holding on and holding on and holding on.
At the time, I thought angels had surrounded me whispering, “let go, Julie, you can so this, just let go… drop your hands and let go…”
I took their advice and crashed through the present moment into a transcendent moment. When I came back up for air, I knew the art I had abandoned thirty years ago wanted me back.
This dream, this love, was buried so deep inside me I wouldn’t allow myself to hear it.
When I go live, however, that side of me has been known to come roaring back – sometimes because of synchronicity due to the subject matter. Recently on Instagram Live I have been doing improv topics combined with storytelling.
Rather than telling you what happened, I will share the video clip.
I wonder if you have something you do really well that is a sign you have a dream buried inside, asking to be heard and experienced again?
I would love to hear about it in the comments.
Julie JordanScott is a Creative Life Coach, an award-winning storyteller, actor and poet whose photos and mixed media art graces the walls of collectors across the United States. Her writing has appeared on the New York Times Best Sellers List, the Amazon best sellers list and on American Greetings Holiday cards (and other greeting cards). She currently lives in a manse in Sussex, NJ, where she is working on finishing her most recent book project, hugging trees daily and enjoys having random inspirational conversations with strangers.
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