Last Saturday, I went over to West Hollywood to get interviewed for a documentary on the making of the Six Seasons and a Movie art show.
Those of you who know me in real life know that being in the spotlight makes me nervous. Really nervous.
Performing in public isn’t a skill that comes easily to me. While I have a lot of fun with words on a page or in a 140-character tweet, like traitors they could completely abandon me when I’m talking to someone face-to-face. It gets even worse when I have to talk to many more people all at once. The interview sort of falls in that same area. “What you’re going to say is going to be preserved in video and is going to be seen by a lot of people.” Oh man, that was enough to keep me up until 3AM Friday night going over the questions and answers like my life depended on it.
But why do I really care? If it makes me that anxious and uncomfortable, why do it in the first place? Isn’t it okay to be an introvert and be content with not living in the spotlight? Why should anyone go to all this trouble?
I saw it as an opportunity to present myself and my work to a wider audience: people who are fans of Community and good stories but may not necessarily read webcomics or even any kind of comics, for instance. Like blogging, tweeting and broadcasting for Polterguys all over the internet, it was something I knew I had to do if I wanted to reach more potential readers. Could this have been a stretch? Maybe, but I knew I had to try.
Sometimes, I do feel very foolish. There’s an audacity in drawing attention to yourself that can easily mess with your head and play with insecurities. Goodness knows even talking to people online can feel like tiptoe-ing around landmines and making sure you don’t screw up.
But then, I think about how much I want to be someone that creates art for a living and understand this is part of the business. You don’t get to be in the public spotlight unless you’re willing to make an effort to show up and be counted. People can’t become fans of your work if they can’t make a connection with you and your art.
Challenge yourself. I didn’t know how many more important opportunities like this I’d get in the future so I immediately said “yes.” This interview wasn’t part of my marketing plan for Polterguys but the timing was pretty good. I’m lucky my interviewers were also awesome enough to ask me about my personal projects so I got a chance to mention it.
Personally, taking this interview on makes me feel like I’m doing everything I can to make my little project successful and that kind of makes all the nervousness worth it.
Below are pics of my framed piece, “A Fistful of Paintballs.” N managed to find the perfect frame to give it that “Wild West” look from a Goodwill and we replaced the back w/ acid-free foam coar from Michaels. Pretty excited to see this with the other pieces at Monk Gallery. Hope some of you can make it there!