A staged reading of my newest play goes up in three weeks. This weekend I sent a draft as done as it could be out to potential actors, and pressing send was terrifying.
When artists talk about terror, it often sounds over-dramatic. And, it is. To an extent. But fear is fear, and, no, whether people hate or love my writing doesn't put me in life and death peril...the results of sharing art with someone who dislikes it is, in my opinion, often worse. I know because people I love have shared art with me I don't like before, and now, I don't care because I digest asteroids-worth of colleague/sketch partner/fellow comedian work, so it's same jokes different day, some good, some not. But, when I was more immature? There was a little grain of judgement I got to keep in my pocket about kids in class who wrote crappy short stories, the students in the Acting I showcase. Oh, dear God, please do not let me fall to that fate! Do not let people I respect see me as I brattily saw that dummy freshmen doing a subpar scene from Barefoot in the Park! It's childish, but I can't help it. TERROR.
It was luck that I brought Anne Bogart to work to read on downtime today. I fittingly decided to read her essay on terror, and I so needed to read this quote by Martha Graham (bolding is mine):
"There is a vitality, a life-force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unque. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is; nor how valuable it is; nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you."
Read: I can do eet!