Yesterday was my “Improv-iversary.” That means it was the first time I went and did Improvisation with other human beings. My life changed.
I thought I was a performer before. But not really. After a slow series of failures and private humiliations in which I slowly lurched from one group of people to another trying to do subsistence level music; I finally got to the point where my mind said ‘enough. You probably suck.’
An artist. Maybe a sort-of musician. Sometimes I didn’t think I was any of those things. Other people in my life certainly were, and I certainly know a lot of very, very cool musicians who in turn know really cool, sometimes famous musicians. But despite a degree, years of training in several disciplines, and many legitimate experiences–I questioned my basic right to call myself what I in fact basically was. And it became something that wasn’t about that. It was about who was where and looking like what and knowing who. Not about how I FELT or the sounds I liked or wanted. Not about what made me happy.
Any simple criticism could set me off and make me feel like a poser and a charlatan. It took years to get over the feeling of constantly feeling on the verge of having my musician’s license revoked. Now, I don’t want it. I don’t need it anymore. I am happy to say I have never heard of that song you think I should have known since I was three. But I’m happy to listen. 🙂
After years of never fitting in anywhere, I have been hanging around new people and waiting for a shoe to drop. The shoe is on my foot. I have on both shoes. They are clown shoes, and I’m no longer afraid of clowns. And I’m also no longer afraid of musicians because I’m a musician and sometimes I play one on stage. 🙂
Happy Improv-iversary to meeeeeee.