“Opening a can of worms”….where does that come from anyway? So you open it up. They all get out and start wiggling around, going every which way. I guess that could be stressful. But they’re worms! They are moving at, like, 2 inches per hour or something ridiculous! Hell, you could go have a nap and come back and still be able to round up all the worms and put them back in the can. “oh come on sweet ‘ums, get back in the can for mommy…”
So, did I open a can of worms? Why, yes, I did officer. I did it fully knowing that those crazy worms were going to GO WILD and get into everything. I’d say that BG, my partner in my current venture, knew all about that can of worms but she’s been dealing with her own issues and doesn’t need those worms crawling over to her trying to get into her shoes at the moment. No, she definitely has a worm swatter out and isn’t afraid to use it!
I don’t even want to go into the exact nature of that can of worms, so I’m going to talk around it and under it and through it. Mash it all together with garlic and cheese and whole kernal corn….yum….ok, back to food again. Anyways….
I remember when I was doing comedy fairly regularly, and doing “okay”. I was doing the open mics and opening for a local headliner as a part of an “apprenticeship program”. Which meant that I opened for him for free and got to learn from him and do real gigs. And I did learn a lot. The point is, I was doing stuff and people were getting to know me and I’d even had 3 different people ask me for my autograph. (THAT freaked me out). I was in my flow.
I was also dating Alex. Now Alex was one of those people who everyone watched, everyone was aware of, who got everything he wanted, when he wanted it. We’d go sing Karoake. Everyone in the place would be hyper aware of him. There’s nothing like being on stage with the entire audience watching your date, and your date watching you like you were the only one there. Totally bizarre. And royally annoying! The dude didnt even have to try! I might be painfully shy (and don’t shake your head, those who know me, I really am shy), but I still crave the light.
It’s a big issue with performers, that craving. The desire to be known, respected, and to be great. To be seen as something more than the average human being.
And it isn’t just performers, is it? No, it’s a big issue for most of us. We all like to believe that we are destined for something more than we are, and we are. But then the pie theory comes in and says, there’s only so many pieces of pie and not everyone gets a piece. And so we perceive the success of others as something being taken away from us. And we envy them and are jealous of them. Sometimes we even make bad wishes for them or do things to mess them up. We attempt to free up that piece of pie so we can have it.
Think about it for a moment. Sue loses Beth as a friend because she got the promotion. She ends up having to fire Beth because Beth became destructive and compromised Sue. Tom divorces Suki because Suki is making more money than him and he can’t deal. Pat lowers his sights and doesn’t go for his dreams because he believes Kathy will leave him if he surpasses her. Rita tells Roger that if he loved her, he would put her in his movie as a lead. Roger caves, makes a terrible movie, loses everything, and Rita still leaves him.
What do all of these have in common? There is no love. Sue is not congratulated on her promotion. Suki is not respected and admired for her success. Pat doesn’t think Kathy would love him if he was fully himself. Rita just wants to be in a movie, Roger is a means to an end.
I see all these tabloids and listen to people talk. Success is rewarded and punished. The reward is recognition, status, money, etc…. The punishment is envy, jealousy. If you have a problem, no one has any sympathy for you. They’ll laugh, “oh poor so and so….I feel so ssooooorrrrryyyy for her!” You become outside the group, no longer considered a human being.
Now I talk about celebrities, but it’s actually a human problem. We get removed from the group if we succeed. Billy Sue loses 100 lbs, looks great, and ends up with no friends because they can’t handle her success. People often don’t take that promotion, put themselves out, reach for that light, because of what might, and often does happen afterwards.
I’d thought about not being a performer for this very reason. I didn’t want to be alone with my success and surrounded by negative emotions and hurtful people. To be someone who is not seen as a human beings and be watched by people who want to see you tumble to the earth.
But it’s not just about performing now is it? No, it’s just more noticable there. So screw that, I’m going to do what I want to do.
I can’t help wondering, what would the world be like if we actually loved our family and friends? If we could find it in our hearts to let go of our egos and let them have their time in the light? To celebrate with them and let them know that we are behind them, no matter what. To look at people we don’t know, on the screen or on the street, and know that no matter what they look like, they are still human beings. They still have ups and downs and that we can’t know their experience. To treat each other in their successes the way we hope to be treated ourselves.
What would that world look like?