This is my terrified face.  Well, that’s what it looked like in college, anyway.  I’m sure it’s pretty similar and wearing less makeup now.  Does this count for Throwback Thursday?

I’m reading Tina Fey’s Bossypants for book club right now.  I’ve read it before and it truly is fabulous.

Like, fabulous dahhhhhhhling.

That was obnoxious, but that’s how much I like this book.

For a long time, though, I didn’t want to read it.   Well, I did, but I was very hesitant.  Tina Fey is one of those awesome celebrities that I would be terrified of actually meeting in person.  I would be so scared of having a conversation with her.  Sure, she’s a celebrity. That would fluster me in general, simply because I haven’t ever been very close to celebrities… and she’s crazy smart.  I genuinely admire her.  I am spectacularly jealous of her.  Isn’t spectacular jealousy an appealing trait to have?

I’m babbling.

Tina Fey is good at something that I am terrified of.  Terrified.

Improv.  Improvisational acting. 

When I think of getting onstage with a bunch of talented improv actors, I start to feel about the same way I do when I hear a severe weather radio going off.  I want to run to the nearest shelter, as far away from the action as humanly possible.

I almost didn’t write a blog post about this, because I haven’t actually analyzed this fear too much.  I don’t think the post will really have much of a resolution. It just scares the ever-living bejeezus out of me.

What if I keep talking and talking and it just isn’t funny?  Or moving?  Or poignant?  What if I’m not helpful to the other actors?  Why do I want so badly for people to like me?  Why else would I be on stage? Obviously if that’s the only reason I’m on stage then I’m the worst person ever, so scratch that question.  Or do I scratch it? Of course I scratch it.  What message is my soul just dying to convey through Theatre?  Does it make me less of an actress to not be able to list this as a talent?  Am I even an actress anymore?  WHO AM I REALLY, I MEAN REALLY!?

Thinking about this stuff always makes me start thinking about things that I don’t have any answers for.  Or I don’t like the answers?  Or the answers aren’t what I think they should be?

The long and short of it, however, is that it scares the crap out of me.  For whatever reason, my seeming inability to do improv presents itself as a character flaw to me.  I don’t like that.  Someday, I will take an improv class.  Am I going to be Michael Scott whipping out a gun at everybody?  Or am I going to be that girl who talks too much and makes everyone roll their eyes? OR is everybody going to feel painful embarrassment whenever I open my mouth? Am I going to be rolling my eyes at everybody around me?

I’m guessing that I’ll say a few things that make people chuckle or nod and the rest will be fairly forgettable and not as horrible as I think.  Is it the mediocrity that I fear?  Is it eldest child perfectionism?

I don’t have the book with me, so I’m not going to be able to pull off an accurate quote… but Tina says something to the extent of “Bombing at improv will be terrible, but it won’t kill you.”  The way she said it was definitely more eloquent and witty, but the sentiment is there.  If I take an improv class, unless some crazy violent circumstances arise, I’m still going to come out of it alive.  I need to keep telling myself that, and just do it.

I’ll bet you guys had no idea that visiting this site would turn you into a therapist!  Unless you’re my dad and you are already a therapist.  In which case, hiya, Dad.  I’m going to hop off the couch now and stop wondering about things that, in my head, are similar to getting sucked up into the sky by a tornado.

­Do you guys have any ridiculously potent irrational fears?  Are you an improv lover?  Do you just like to read books?  What’s your favorite color?  What if there are colors in space that we’ve never seen before?  Who are we, and what is the meaning of life?  Should I have another cup of coffee?  No?  Are you sure?