I’ve been wanting to write this for a while but I haven’t had the time to sit down to do it.  And now I find myself with a few quiet moments and I have something to talk about; something I’ve observed in myself doing Priscilla here in Toronto that we can file under the “human beings are complicated” category.

It’s something I have to forgive myself for and I hope that others who had to put up with it will forgive me for.  It happens to many people but it’s something no one wants to admit to.  I knew that doing ensemble in a show in Toronto would be challenging but I wasn’t quite ready for it and I let it do crappy things to my psyche.  It made me into the a bit of the guy I never want to be.  The guy who is always subtly reminding other people or pointing out how “actually, I’m very important”.   GROSS!   And I feel like I became that guy.  I hope not in a huge, grotesque way but I know I did, at least too much for my own taste.  The human ego is so complicated and it was harder than I thought to not even have a feature role in a show in Canada.  I felt like I was being judged but the only one judging me was myself.

I told myself to just breathe and not feel self-conscious but I let it get to me.  I found things coming out of my mouth that came from a place of neediness and fear.  Fear of not being seen, fear of not being good, fear of not being talented, fear of going backwards, fear of not being liked.  Those fears can be very powerful.  There were people I respect that I wanted to like me who already did.  I worked so hard to make them think I was important when I didn’t need to and, I think, pushed them away, even if slightly.

It became a real exercise in humility.   One that I don’t think I passed with flying colours.  I mean, I hope I wasn’t obnoxious about it but there were a couple of times I heard things come out of my mouth and I remember thinking , “Why did you say that?  That was self-aggrandizing.  Now they think you’re a poser.”  It takes so much energy trying to prove how “important” one is.  It’s exhausting and a waste of time. Just show up, do your damn job, and spread good energy.  That’s what I usually try to do.

I went in, wanting to just do my job and be good at it.  I lost track of that sometimes.  It was great lesson.  One that I will take with me to New York and beyond.  The great thing about NYC is there I can be anonymous and just allow that.  They don’t know who I am . . . yet.  But I can just enjoy that.  I’m freer to surprise them and more importantly, surprise myself.  It’s a bit of a second, though different, chance.  I want to make it count.

I don’t like coming from a place of fear.  I makes you stop breathing and believing in magic.  Fear can suck it.  I won’t be that guy anymore.

Published in: on February 4, 2011 at 4:14 am  Comments (15)  

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15 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. What a beautifully honest post.

    And for the record – I loved watching you in the chorus of Priscilla. I’m jealous as all hell.

    • Thanks Kevin.

  2. Hi Thom,
    I just want to say… humans are complicated and I’m sure you are no exception but I find you to be a kind and humble man. It is good to be self reflective and honest with yourself … even hard on yourself but you are loved and deserve to be so.

    • Christal, you’re a doll. Never hurts to self-evaluate. It’s how we grow, right?

  3. this is a very poignant note Thom.
    I think it’s very fearless of you to recognize this in yourself and write it for all to see. I know I’ve definitely had many moments of letting my ego run over my better judgement. We’re all doing the best we can in the moment. Have you read A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle? It’s all about this kind of thing. It’s really incredible. I think everyone should read it.
    Anyways, be kind to yourself. I love you!

    • I have it but I haven’t read it. Maybe it’s a good time, having just seen that beast rear it’s ugly head.

  4. Man, I love you for posting this. Happens to the best of us, my dear. I was in my 40’s before I ever had to take the first curtain call, and man, did that hurt the ol’ ego. And night after night I would say to myself “This is what most of your friends deal with show after show after show.”
    So, the moral is, you’re going to the big apple, in a big show, and maybe it wasn’t quite the way you imagined it happening, but it IS important, and you ARE important. So, ENJOY YOURBADSELF!

    • hahahaha Amen, Charlotte.

  5. I had almost forgotten how wonderful you are – not having seen you for so long – and just at the right time, the time I need to remind myself of the exact same things, along you come and remind me of why you are important to me and how there is so much more to life than living in fear.

    Have a fabulous time in New York. I look forward to hearing how it goes….

    I love you in a very non-creepy, non-threatening way!


  6. (Really? I think you are delightful! You were the only one I noticed on stage! Except for the guy in the shoe. Oh, and the three angels.) Thom, you have such a wonderful self-deprecating style. Occasionally we all have to let our inner Medusa out to play. Have a fabulous time in New York! Your continued growth and success simply confirms my great instincts for exceptional talent! (Really, as a fan, it’s all about me!)Saving up for New York!
    Yours in Joy!

  7. Sometimes it is necessary to take a small step backward in order to shoot forward. Call it an energy load. It’s the wind up for a pitcher, the decompression of a spring, or the pulling back of a slingshot. It’s a prep. You see where you what to go and that’s the truly beautiful thing. I hope your ready to fly, Brother.

  8. Wonderful Thom!
    Has anyone in the history of the theatre been more beautifully open and honest on this topic, and expressed it sooooo magnificently?!?!? You deserve all of the wonderful accolades that have come and will continue to come your way in whatever persona you take on – especially if you get to ‘wreck’ the opening of yet another show by entering off the street as a homeless guy, interrupting the ‘lead’ in the middle of his song! Have a blast in NYC – I think that town is finally ready for your greatness!

  9. So powerfully honest. We all go through this in our own way. but don’t worry, no one ever gets judged in new york (LOL). I love you madly and I’m so proud of you and all your success. It is a coup to just be working these days…but BROADWAY? in Pretzilla, Queen of the Desserts? I’m weak from hunger! xoxoxo

  10. You’re a brave, brave man Thom. And a lovely man too x

  11. What I Know For Sure: This post just moved me in a profound way! Time for me to adjust course! Thank you for sharing your lesson with us! Be well my friend!

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