Archives for posts with tag: fear

Today I just want to say thanks.  I’m doing a lot of work on feeling more gratitude. It’s difficult, because my default mode these days is just to feel stress and overwhelm.

So thank you. Thank you for reading. I started writing here with a firm promise not to mask any of my insecurities, and you’re still here. I feel truly grateful for that.

I’m doing a real push in my career right now – trying to make connections with the casting teams of the new wave of queer-themed tv shows, and it’s incredibly scary. But I’m getting better at putting myself out there, in part because I know I can always come back here and decompress in a safe space. Once upon a time I had a friend who started blogging, and she got some feedback from her readers that she was whining too much and suchlike. I know the trolls are out there, but I think particularly in light of the digital alienation that walks hand in hand with our over-connectedness, we need to take the time to create these kind of safe arenas.

So thanks again for letting me vent, and be insecure, and write about my fears, and write about dumb things like clothes and weight, and not dumb things like my life and my dream to actually do what I love for a living.  Thanks for caring enough to read the public diary of a shy/pretty butch somewhere out in the wasteland of LA.

 

Part of what I love about the online butch blogging community (of which I am still a very new and small part) is the acceptance of the spectrum of butchness.

One of the (very tiny) downsides of seeing my awesome trans friend T this past month was the realization that we once were sitting very close to each other on the very butchest end of the rainbow, and now, 10 years later, we’re each at totally different points.  T went on to join a whole other spectrum. I envy his facial hair.  I moved ostensibly back towards a more feminine center. He appreciates my dedication to a career that forces me to be 100% visible.

Admittedly, I freaked out a little about how “girly” I was in comparison to him. I mean, sure, I still wear almost all men’s clothing, keep my hair cropped, and do all sorts of butch things like build stuff and swig bottled craft beer on a daily basis. But there’s other stuff that has creeped in due to my profession – like I keep my eyebrows groomed impeccably. Days when I have auditions,  I wear some under-eye concealer. The man bag I carry is often mistaken for for tomboy purse. I only wear plaid shirts with excellently paired solid ties and vests.

In the middle of this freak out, my gf just looked at me and giggled. “Look at all the other people in this (hip, vegan, queer-filled) restaurant,” she said. “You are WAY more butch than any of them. Sure, you and T have moved in different directions, but you’re still on the same end of the spectrum.” She held her fingers up, an inch apart. “This is the distance between you and T. These other women, even the queer ones, they’re WAY the fuck over there.”

She also pointed out what I chose to title my blog. My whole identity is wrapped up in this dichotomy. How pretty can you be before you’re no longer butch? And vice versa? And according to whom? It’s such a weird line to walk on, since I’m balancing my art and my profession and my weight and my shyness and everything, and at any moment I may tip the scales in a different direction.  Some days I think I must be nuts, and I wish I could go off and move to Portland and hide away as a web designer, lounging my days away in a craft beer haus, wearing the shabbiest, manliest shirt I can find.  (My gf thinks this is a sexy idea.) But we need to be seen. So first, I need to be brave enough to keep walking.

 

I’m taking a class for actors about running your acting career like a business, which is something I’ve done for a while, but since I’m agent-free right now I felt like it was a good idea to get some direction.

The first homework exercise was seriously one of the most awkward, useful, and frightening things I’ve done in a long time.  (And I’ve performed in front of 10,000 people. This was worse.)

We were given a sheet of paper completely filled with adjectives and a few nouns, a long alphabetical list: “adventurous”, “awkward”, “badass”, “hunky”, “nurse”, “intense”, and on and on… over 300 words total.  We were asked to go out onto the street or into the world with a friend, bearing a stack of these word sheets, to someplace where people were hanging around and we wouldn’t bother them by talking to them.  What you do is, your friend approaches strangers, while you stand a few feet away (out of ear-shot). Your friend then asks the strangers to look at you and circle the words on the sheet that best describe you. And you stand there and try to act normal while you are scrutinized.

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