That Thing You Do

In college, I asked my comedy writing professor for post-graduation advice.

He told me, "you're going to flounder around for a while, but it gets a lot easier when you finally figure out what it is that you do."

I understood that about 10% at the time. I'd say I'm now at about... 95% getting that.

A friend/colleague was kind enough to have a potentially very awkward meeting with me today. I bought her coffee, told her I admired her and respected her and her theater a great deal, and asked if she had any advice as to how I could become a better performer.

Then I took out my very dirty, very sharp pocket knife and began slicing slivers off my fingernails while I stared at her and said GO AHEAD. I'M LISTENING.

She gave me some good feedback. Good because it was hard to hear, but sounded fair and true. I'm trying to see myself -my skills- as a set of strengths and not a list of defects. it's not that I'm necessarily bad at X, it's just that my strengths lie in Y. You know, that stuff.

Also, I suck at X.

No! Stop that.
The problem is, I still want to be good at everything.

And my problem with focusing on what you're good at is that it's dangerously close to limiting yourself.


Ryan said...

At least now you know you're respected for your mad juggling skills.

Lacy said...

amen to THAT, mofo.

That's funny - the professor I mentioned actually found his niche as a bona fide prop comic. ... and helped write the juggling for dummies book.

chris said...

To be honest, I've always thought you sucked at X too.

Lacy said...

there's a chromosome joke in here somewhere.

... dammit.

Corrbette said...

By having had a comedy writing professor and a colleague who will tell you such things, I think you're at 96% getting it. Advantages are nice. But X...no one's good at X, really. People SAY they are, they put it on their resume, sure. But don't believe it.

hilary dilary said...

i can't get over the dirty fingernails/pocketknife scenario. what's wrong with you?! god i hope you never get to have lunch with tina fey.