Tribes were simple where I came from. In high school I joined the speech team and became borderline obsessed with every person on it. I liked making weird little theatrical art my whole life, and so did my new pack. Tribe. My college had a ten-person improv team comprised of essentially every student on campus interested in entertainment. Tribe. I found the one way to do improv in St. Louis (and would drive an hour to do shady barprov). There were like five people I thought were funny, and then they were Tribe. And in Arizona I worked obsessively on making good comedy (for kind of no reason?). The three women I clung to became Tribe. I assumed when I went to Chicago Tribe would be there too.
Instead everyone already had Tribe. I did things out of order? I earned success, then took more classes, then always had to get up at 6 AM to catch the train before rush hour so I could sit down (and grade papers)? I already knew too many people I trusted? In Conservatory only one other person ever seemed to do the work, and we weren't compatible. I toured with bitter melons. When I graduated a comedy school, none of my peers asked me to be on their indie teams, but three peers asked me to direct them and they all assumed I would say "no," "above it." (I said "yes" to everything.)
What this means is when I have to do something really scary, and I need support, I talk to my odd cluster of Tribe. This past weekend, when I submitted for _____, I got all my feedback via email and text. Siev was, let's face it, a waste. Cowsk brought her legitimate eye. Jack helped me be line perfect and steer, Puhg gave me pats, Cobra was generally excited, Shell reassured from a viewpoint, Another a couple "okay"s, Kale a little of everything, Roff analyzed why it was working, and Henne questioned why it might not be and shot highlights. He emailed me, "You. Are. Ready." after a final pass. A ten person Tribe I can never find around one diner table, but one I am supremely grateful for.
It's hard to believe I might get anything. Ever. Because odds. Oof, odds. But in a sliver of attempt to not be pessimistic, I do know not everyone has ten trusted readers, and of the people who do, how many are as "you can do it" as mine? I know work doesn't define a person's worth, but it I can't not believe it helps. So I will try my best to hang on to this scrap that ten people believe in me based on what I did even if it doesn't amount to a single thing ever ever again.