After-incident debrief

As I continue my journey through the seedier parts of my mind, I’m writing this at work between calls, so if it’s disjointed… well, how could you tell the difference?  My blog posts always read as if they were put together by Dr. Frankenstein’s less-talented assistant, right?

OK, seriously.  I want to thank those among my readers who abided by my request that you not comment on my last post… and, even more, I want to thank the few who ignored it and commented anyway. I really do appreciate what was said, and the people who spoke.

However, all the kind words don’t change the situation.

I still tense up badly just thinking about what happened this past weekend.  Not only did the panic reaction happen, but in retrospect, I can only imagine how I looked to everyone in the room, and now I feel a bit embarrassed about it, too.  It’s amazing, really, how one negative emotion can manage to generate even more negative emotions…

…which are something, not entirely coincidentally, that I found myself confronting this week.  I won’t get into details, but suffice it to say that it’s not fun (but can be very useful) to try to come to terms with my own past negativity.   It’s rare that one gets the opportunity to hear, objectively, what they’ve done to another person — although in my case, at least, that person took the negativity I dumped on them and made it positive.  Doesn’t mean I’m proud of what I did, just relieved that something good came out of it.

But that, along with a couple of other events over the last few weeks, serves as a reminder that I’m not the only person in the RVA improv community who doesn’t trust me (if you don’t get that reference, you really should read my previous blog entry now).  Thing is, at least for anyone who was around CSzRVA in 2004-05, I don’t blame them.  They saw the worst side of me, and I’m sure that (in some cases) there is nothing I can do to re-establish that broken trust.  And I’m kind of OK with that — I mean, I think I’m not the same person I was then, but how can they be sure?  For that matter, how can I be sure?

And I’m still pondering the other issue I kind-of raised the other day — I’m not sure if there’s long-term viability for a non-playing audio tech in any improv troupe.  During both runs at the theatre, there’s been subtle (and occasional less-than-subtle) pressure for me to get up on the stage.  Keep in mind, I have no training in improv, theatre, or performing.  I’m just a slightly-miscast radio guy, really…

A friend once told me that I’ve been to enough improv shows that it could serve as a kind of training (after I declined a chance to jump on stage, of course)… and while I appreciate that this person believes I could learn that way, it struck me as similar to saying that if I sat in on enough operations, I could effectively do surgery.  I came to improv as a fan, not a performer.  The fact that I’ve picked up enough that I can run the sound and light boards (and play a small speaking part) and not completely screw it up is, in itself, a rather large leap.  Attempting to take the leap from never playing a role of any kind other than myself to trying to do improv with the talent at CSzRVA would be… um… unsettling at best, and that’s before I found out how deep an apparent form of stage fright I have.

And after thinking about it, all of this may well be a case of respect gone off-kilter.  What scares me is that I know (yes, on this, I know) I can’t hang with the CSzRVA folks on stage.  They’re really good at making stuff up, and I’m really not.  And this may be one case where I’d rather let people wonder whether or not I’m good at it than jump on stage and objectively prove it… (karaoke is another, but that’s for some other blog)

The issue is that there usually appears to be a simple split in any performing troupe – either you’re a player or you’re not.  A non-playing audio tech slides into a grey area that’s hard to manage… and I have always believed that my failure to navigate that was a key problem back in 2005.  I’m trying my damndest not to repeat the past, but that’s my worry at this point.  I really want to make this work.

And yes, this “grey area” may be all in my head, too.  I’m finding my head is a spacious place with all kinds of crazy ideas.

Thanks for reading.  I’ll try to find something light and frothy to write about soon, I promise.   I think I have some notes on The Voice somewhere… 🙂

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Author: Rob Hoffmann

Occasional blogger, full-time computer techie, radio producer (basketball, mostly), generally nice person (if you ask me).

1 thought on “After-incident debrief”

  1. I appreciate how honest your writing is and I know nothing I say here will take away your paralyzing stage fright. The main thing is I hope CSzRVA remains something that is a fun escape for you. You’re in my thoughts.

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