For someone who has been “certified silly” for quite some time from working with a number of clown troupes, considering the spaces where I take myself too seriously made me chuckle…but also helped me dig into some places where taking myself (or my work) too seriously has throttled the impact I can make.
I’ve spent years running off with circus folks to perform at music festivals, so if anyone should be able to embrace their silliness and not take themselves so seriously…
When in character it’s easy to be large, goofy, and play on the cues people give you.
Each time we show up online we have to perform. You (in theory) don’t get on social media or websites passively. You take the time to present yourself, post an image, blog, or photo, and you perform an “act” of whomever you are portraying yourself to be.
I’ve noticed that I am frequently more comfortable playing a character onstage in front of a large audience of people than I am sharing my ideas or observations about the world online or in a more professional setting when the character…is me.
Throw some greasepaint on me and I know I’m going to be judged, I’m a clown, what do I care?
But link it to my name, my chosen digital identity, and the person I think I am being online…and I get scared. I get scared to be judged or to be shouted down by trolls. I think this is because I take that digital persona too seriously, and of course, take the opinions of others far too seriously.
I know that if I could untangle myself from this serious perception of my work and self, I can do bigger, better work. It sure helps silence the resistance when you stop caring if you let yourself, or others, down by being yourself and just put yourself out there to see what happens.
I say that like it’s easy…it’s not.
I notice the more I show up, the easier it is to carry this out into the “real” digital world. There’s not much harm in using my blog as a space to practice not taking myself so seriously, the perfect place to explore what it means to show the real, messy self under the curtain. If this turns some people off, that’s ok. It helps filter out the people that are really good fits for my work.
We’re all performing when we show up online, in some way, just by the nature of having to deliberately create and put something out there. May as well keep it certified silly and real.