Performers are not immune to embarrassment. Far from it, in fact. Many performers deal with anxiety in one form or another, and incident-based anxiety is part of being in the spotlight, as well as just being part of normal life. But as performers, we do need build the skill that allows us to address it head-on and get past it quickly — perhaps more quickly than others, as we literally do not have time to stop, blush, stammer, stumble and twitch when something goes wrong.
I did think, momentarily, about accompanying this with some scintillating stories of our Listers’ most embarrassing moments, but the whole point of this exercise is in minimizing their importance. So instead, let’s ponder this:
Think of one of your own MEMs. If you’re reading this, you must have survived it, but everyone can remember at least a couple during their lives. (If not, you may be repressing them so hard that you might consider seeking therapy, lest they bite you in the ass when you least expect it. That is much harder to get past.)
Got one? Put it in perspective.
Find a way to laugh about it. Better yet, recognize it for the PAST event that it is, and remind yourself that it’s over. How are you better for having experienced that? What did you learn? Has it given you a chance to bond with anyone, then or in the retelling? If nothing else, how did you prove to yourself that you could get past it?
For some very specific steps in getting beyond the horror, I quite like this article, which outlines that very humanity of embarrassment while empowering us to move on.
Now download this poster and print it out. Put it somewhere supremely visible, where you’ll see it every day. Developing armor of Teflon is a habit, and building that habit just means reminding yourself that this is the new you: maybe not impervious to the feeling of being embarrassed, but definitely someone who doesn’t let it slow them down.
The download will be available here for the next 30 days, and then it will be available in the Pro Store for awhile. Now, get out there and take a risk — you can handle whatever comes next!
Featured photo (top) by Ivan Aleksic on Unsplash