Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Thursday, 7 January 2021

A Bad Year for Show Offs

A few years ago I went to the Rodin
exhibition at the Royal Academy. It
Truly was life changing
In my last post I mused on the opportunities I have had recently for introspection, I suspect that a lot of us have been looking inwards and trying to analyse a lot of feelings in response to this strange year. Now I'm no stranger to a bit of introspection, I don't think anyone would go through transition without a lot of self analysis! Well I thought I had sorted all that out and could just get on with my life, but of course 2020 had other ideas, cutting me off from so many of the activities I love, the occupations that define me, and the affirmation of friends and family. So what have I learnt;~

  • I am a performer! That may sound like a statement of the blooming obvious, but reflection has shown me just how much I have missed my musical performances ~ I enjoy rehearsals, but they are a means to an end it is the performances that I miss. Rehearsing or practicing is very much about the players, the techniques of the instrumentalists, melding them into a single statement rather than a selection of different ideas ~ it is the performance that then becomes a conversation between the performer and the audience. Of course this is more obvious in other performance arts than orchestral music, but it is very much there, and I have missed it. But dare I say this too is pretty obvious, it is what I do!

A bit of a show off

I have also found that I have missed the speeches and presentations I make, these are mostly for groups I represent, Croydon Pride, TransPALS, and others. I rather thought that I was doing this because I was the one best placed to do it, I even tried to tell myself that it was a burden, but on reflection I love it! In short I do rather like to be the centre of attention (as long as it's in a good way!) and that hasn't happened much in 2020

Two years ago I managed to do my Stand Up routine, while I have no plans to repeat the experience I'm glad I did it, the experience was interesting ~ if a little terrifying, and has made me realise that if I wasn't playing music then I would still have to get on a stage somehow, who knows I might even have tried drag!

  • I need people! Maybe this is linked to being a performer, but I miss the companionship, and the comradery. Most of the year I have been OK as I have been able to work which means going out and seeing people, being active and doing something I love. But without people I find myself wondering what my purpose is, the old "what am I here for" question. In a way it is a sort of validation that comes from others. I remember when I first started my transition it was imperative to me not just that I understood myself to be a woman, but that others also saw me as one. I am sure that this is as a  type of validation that I can only truly get from others  ~ maybe that makes me shallow, maybe it makes me insecure, or maybe others are like this too but don't show it as much. I used to suffer with (sometimes) crippling imposter syndrome ~ particularly when on stage ~ I have not had that for some time, but however much I tell myself I am fabulous I still need others to tell me as well.
  • I like dressing up, ~ well dur! In more normal times I will be out rehearsing up to six times a week, with a few performances thrown in as well. I will meet friends for a drink or dinner out. Again most of that has gone out of the window this year, but as I have said before I have been able to carry on working. I would normally get home have a shower get changed and go out. This year it has been more like get home shower and put on my pyjamas! 

All dressed up, but at least I had somewhere to go

My work clothes aren't exactly fun, or glamourous! Every now and then it's fun to dress up a bit! I always think about what I am wearing, whether it's a costume to help me to play a part, Gardener, Office Manager, Musician, Politician, looking the part helps me to behave in the appropriate manner; but it is also fun. I have missed the posh frocks I wear for concerts and receptions, but I have probably only worn any sort of dress four or five times this whole year.

I think I may reintroduce "Dress Up Friday" since we are all dressed down all the time now we don't need a special day to be allowed to dress down, but some of us do need an excuse to dress up!

1 comment:

Marie Anne Greene said...