Affable Introversion: On why I’m bad at public speaking but good at being an octopus

Cute hipster cat with glasses, scarf and flowers.I’m a rational human being. I’m aware the cards are stacked against me. And really, the cards aren’t just stacked. The cards have formed a tower and a mote, and a village of angry townsfolk are carrying torches and chasing me out.

But, in any case, the only career I’ve ever hoped to pursue is acting.  It’ll never happen.  I am already in my 20s, earned a graduate degree, and I have not yet once had the courage to stand before an audience for anything other than a school project (which, by the way, I always dreaded).

Get this: I’m a terrible public speaker. Dreadful.  My voice shakes; my throat gets dry and I cough a lot; I don’t look at the audience; and, I rarely know what I am talking about.

I once had to read an essay to a Post-Colonial Lit course in my undergraduate years because my writing was super feminist (professor’s words, not mine) and my peers’ writing was super not. My professor, Maya, wanted me to school everyone on being a decent human. Instead, one minute into reading my essay, Maya, concerned, asked me how long I’d had bronchitis and if I wanted her to read it instead. I schooled the class on awkwardly coughing while otherwise healthy.

The thing is, though: acting is not public speaking. Public speaking is standing still and trying to remember something about geology. Acting is flailing your arms and making octopus noises. It’s wearing a bright red hat and running around aimlessly, looking for a lost shoe in this scene. Acting is being paid to put on those shows in your childhood basement that your parents hated while clapping. How do I know this, you ask? I just told you I’ve never been on a stage!

Guys, the world is my stage. For as long as I’ve been incredibly weird, the world has been my stage. And I must tell you: my first word was “apple pie”. That’s two words, but if you ask my parents about my first coherent word, it’s “apple pie”. I wasn’t your average “mama papa” baby. Anyway. It’s all about the drama. And guys, I love drama.

Here’s my tentative plan to make my life worth living (JK, but really): I manually take 4 years away from my age. I had this brilliant idea while I was drinking blood (what if the sentence ended right here?) orange margaritas the other night, which is why the number is randomly 4 and not 5 or something normal.

Like I said, I have a graduate degree. In the ivory towers, you learn that almost everything is a social construct. I’m going to make an assessment here: age is a social construct. Yes, I was technically born a certain number of years ago. But, for the entertainment industry, 4 years in your 20s is significant. I can be airbrushed to look 20 years younger, anyways. My first role: baby who loves apple pie.

This plan is half-baked and I know it won’t change my odds in an incredible way. However, this is step 1, and I will keep you posted on this weirdness as it unravels.

Do you want me to be a famous actress? If you for sure do, follow me, and say nice things to me!


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