The misconception of the performer’s ‘personality’

I had someone come to one of my introduction workshops recently who had kept very quiet all the way through. Waiting until everyone had left, he approached me nervously to say that he had enjoyed what he had experienced. He apologised for his ‘shyness’ and said that he would like to enrol to train with me but that, because he felt shy and insecure, perhaps this might not be appropriate.
I reassured him that, far from his shyness and insecurity being a problem, these traits are an asset to our work.
I hear this alot – either people who expect everyone who is a performer to display continous gregarious extroversion and those who feel inadquacy or shame because they feel they fall short of those expectations.

Often the performers whose work I most appreciate identify with the term ‘introvert’, in that their tendancy is to go inward to find their energy, to dig deep, to connect with themselves truthfully, frankly and fully in order then to be able to go outward, to express, to connect to others.
An interesting thing happens when people are able to let go of the expectation that they have to be continually ‘out there’, when they give-in to the truth of their shyness, vulnerability, insecurity, it is like a weight is lifted, like the handbrake is finally taken off and they become free to fully express themselves. You see it in the work and then you see them, no longer so able to tolerate being less true of themselves than they know they can be, take this into their life also.

‘if you’re not sure of yourself, you’re a much better singer…
Insecurity and vulnerability are a real asset,
there are loads of people who can sing but there’s nothing in there.”
– Barbra Dickson, Midweek Radio 4 24/12/2014

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