Here’s the thing. I make my living on stage. I’ll be touring with a show this year, and I’m super comfortable in front of people. As long as I know they want to be looking at me.
When someone buys a ticket for a show, they are literally saying, “Hey, you. Go dance around and sing for me. That sounds like a great time. Entertain me, monkey!” And I’m okay with that. I’m okay with singing in cabarets, giving speeches, hosting events. In all those cases, there is the expectation and desire for you to be in front of people.
My problem is when I’m not sure if people want to hear me talk. Like approaching people and saying, “Hey, I see you are reading. I think you should also read my books.” My version of hell.
Going into a bookstore and asking to see the manager to tell her about my book. Super rough.
I mean, she’s busy! She probably has payroll to work on, someone called in sick, and she’s trying to find a replacement, her babysitter canceled, and she really just wants to eat her lunch. And in walks this author being all like, “I know you’re busy, but I’m going to take up your precious time talking about this book I wrote.”
It just makes me so nervous!
If a person were wearing a shirt that said, “Hey, tell me about a great new book!” I’d be fine. Or if the book store manager had open office hours where you could show up and pitch your book, I’d be golden.
But walking into someone’s day and inserting myself into their time and brain space…this actor’s version of stage fright and hell.
I’m going to do it, because I have to do it.
But if you see someone crying in the corner, it’ll probably be me.