My blindspots about myself were illuminated on the spotlight for me by my teacher Cary.
Things I observed about myself:
1) Chronic, wait-till-last-minute procrastination. When I’m scared, AKA my reputation/ego/sense of shame is on the line, I will procrastinate like FUCKING no other. I showed up 2 hours late to class. I would drive to class and stay outside – feeling too nervous and unprepared to go in. I'd pace back and forth outside for 15 minutes, only to text Cary I wasn't going to come that day only to have to be begged by Cary to come. Somehow I managed to pull it off in the end and not bomb on stage.
2) Your performance anxiety is rooted in your self-image of perfection. It’s not shameful to not be perfect. And why strive for perfect? Why not strive for being silly and fun - to be connected in the moment.
3) Give yourself some slack. You have high expectations, so don’t expect yourself to truly meet them. Laugh at it, and make it a positive spin. It’s obvious if you aren’t connected with the audience. You aren’t truly WITH them.
4) It’s SOO silly you even expected your first time to be perfect. IT”S YOUR FIRST TIME MAN!!
Levels of complexity are learned as you progress onto your 2nd, 3rd time...
1st time - Learn memorizing, getting laughs, having your CENTER (character, charm) down
2nd time - Learn body language, delivery, tonality, pausing
3rd time - Working a crowd. Really being there.
4th time - Riff-raffing
Confidence is built one brick at a time from basic skills to mastery level.
As a software developer, we're constantly imbued with the concept of iteration. Something like:
Deliver as quickly as possible and iterate until minimum a level that exceeds acceptable phase for all parties.
That quickly goes over my head when heavy emotions get involved. But in those moments, it's more important than ever to understand what Morpheus tells Neo when first attempting to jump from one skyscraper to the other. He says, "Everyone falls the first time".