Pretending to Be Until You Are

The day has come and gone. The performance we’ve all been waiting over two months for has arrived, and the show went really well. It was to be expected, and most of the faults that were had in the show were on me, and the fact that I’m inexperienced in anything other than actually performing as an improviser.

I think it marks a significant change in my life. Not because I’ve learned a lot (let’s face it, one hour couldn’t have taught me a whole lot) but because I can see myself a bit more differently, and because I know everybody else in the troupe will see me more of a leader from it as well.

It’s interesting to think about. I have a hard time imagining how people see me, because I’m on the inside looking out. That’s why if anyone ever has any problem with me I ask people to tell me, because most often its something I would fix about myself if I knew it was even an issue. So it’s difficult to tell what people really think of you, because the only information you receive is, unfortunately, secondhand. You only know what people tell you, and even if they are telling the truth, its still impossible to know for certain.

So, while we just look like ‘us’ to ourselves, just imagine all of the things that people don’t really know about you, and that though it may seem like we know a lot about the people around us, they have secret hobbies, and personalities. They’ve known dozens of people that have changed their lives, some you will never meet, and some you will never even know exist.

So I’m at that weird point where I don’t really know how people see me. To some of the people in the improv troupe, I’m as experienced as they are, so they probably see me as being on the same plane as them, at least in some respects. But to the people that never really knew me before I was coach of the team, I’m sure I’m much more of an authority figure. I’m still by no means as much of an adult as our old coach, but I’m definitely not a peer to them, and that discrepancy will only grow larger over time, as we pick up newer and younger students.

I’m still getting used to being an authority figure. I was thrown into the role very quickly, and up until very recently I felt like I was acting a role rather than filling a position. I hadn’t felt suited to being coach, so I was simply holding things together until we figured something out. Now we have figured something out, and that something is my retention as leader. It makes the most logical sense, of course, but it’s honestly not what I expected to happen at all.

It’s funny, in a lot of my favorite books, the hero gets thrown into a role in which he is completely ill-prepared for, so he pretends to be somebody he isn’t until he is no longer pretending, and he really is that person. I feel like the same thing has been happening to me, even if it is at a much less dramatic scale. I wonder if that’s how most people really ‘grow up’.

I’m sorry if this post was a little scatter-brained. I wrote this in short increments between the hours of 11pm to 2am after a very long day.

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