To some this blog looks like a self-indulgent self-aggrandising ego-trip. The hyphen-count alone is probably very self-indulgent. To others, this is a way of keeping tabs on me and/or getting to know me. I occasionally get myself into bother with what I write on here. There's no doubt that I write it as I see it.
And how do I see it? Well, I'm not actually trying to make myself look good. I'm simply an enthusiast - I'm doing what I'm enthusiastic about and I'm writing about it. One day I'll read this back and be pleased/disgusted/whatever about this period of my life. Following your dreams can be a nightmare, but it's better than sitting on your hands in the safety of one's own microcosm.
As I get more experienced in the world of performance, I find that I'm getting better at dealing with my own inadequacies and mediocrity. I don't believe that I storm on stage very often, but I don't count it a stormer unless I come off stage in a state of shock at how much I've gotten back from the room. If I don't manage to tear the roof off a gig, then I blame nobody but myself. The comedian's mantra - "If I'd been funnier, they'd have laughed harder".
I go around trying to make people like my good humour - I'm trying to make them laugh. I'll cheapen myself on stage if that's what it takes... it's an act. Outside of my act, I'm someone else. In much the same way, the "Ashley" I play in "The Musical!" is a caricature of the sort of person I am in real-life. I've been pretty harsh on myself in the script... this takes a great deal of confidence to pull off, since it's a lot easier to take one's ego seriously than it is to ridicule yourself in front of a paying audience.
I have my critics. So far, I've not met someone, whose opinion I value, whose criticism has hurt me. That's not to say that I value few people's opinions... just more that there are a few whose opinions count for jack. There are some people out there who have been honest with me about my inadequacies and I've learned well from them. Sadly some prefer to sit on the sidelines using their own low self-esteem and jealousy to fuel their frigid little brains in producing what they think of as cutting critique. I care. I care deeply about what I do - whatever its apparent value, but I've got the courage to face the small-minded critics down. The proof of the pudding...
When I've accidentally blown my ego up to immense proportions and gone "I am it" I've been proved wrong. I am not "it". I am just me. I can live with it, and I've got it 24/7.
Sometimes it's quite good fun.
There are not many people who have the drive to do what I'm attempting this year. I don't want a medal, but a bit of respect would be nice. Once September comes around, I should have a good idea of what the hell I want to do with the rest of this year and beyond. I want to be in another musical - one of the "greats" rather than something I've knocked up myself. I want to do more stand-up and I want to have fun and earn the respect of my peers. In general, I listen to the opinions of others. Then I make my own way. I need to learn to be a bit more respectful among the fragile egoes of the performing world - I only dish out what I can take, but not everyone is able to take criticism. The worst sort of criticism to face is that which you know to be true. It comes down to respect, though. I've made a few mistakes... so has everyone. I've even learned from them.
Bring it on!