THE WINTER OF MY DISCONTENT

March 1, 2006.

I’m really enjoying the run of my two shows but it’s been marred by the enormous self-doubt I battle with on a daily basis. First there was the stream of negative reviews. Next it’s been difficult to keep the shows afloat due to our small audience turn-out. Shakespeare in Hollywood…what were we thinking? Then last week I had some friends come to the show who left without saying a word. These are people in the arts- they know how to talk about theatre- so their silence really bothered me. Just tell me if you don’t like it. Or better yet- lie. I’ve seen these people in some pretty awful stuff and I’ve managed to find something positive to say. It’s hard for me to accept the support of my friends when I know they don’t like what I’m doing.

This raging doubt is causing me more insomnia and stress headaches than I already suffer. Plus we’re awaiting a final review and I don’t know if I have it in me to handle more criticism. It’s a strange feeling to love what I’m doing but to feel the awkward reactions from other people. Not everything has been negative- some people have been very kind. One guy told me after the show that he’d never seen Ophelia done so well and that her death affected him because he cared about her from the beginning. Another told me that I blew his mind and one said that he never cries but that I made him cry. So that’s nice but I still cling to the pregnant silences over the warm compliments. Why does negative = true?

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