Does it make me narcissistic for being low key obsessed with reading my blog responses? Even the negative ones? Or maybe that makes me masochistic… Wait – no, not that. There’s no sexual motivation. Anyway, I guess it goes without saying that I do a really good job of reading my blog responses. What I suck at is responding to them. Other things I suck at:
- responding to texts
- responding to emails
- responding to voicemails
- responding to snail mail
- answering my phone at all, ever
Oh crap, I’m noticing a pattern here…
Gonna just chalk it up to having social anxiety. Which my friends don’t believe I actually have, and I know they don’t believe it because when I finally fess up to it, they always say things like “You? No way. You’ve been performing on stage all your life. How do you have social anxiety?”
Thing is, performing on stage is WAY different than, say, giving a champagne toast at your best friend’s wedding. Performing in theatre is like the social anxiety-riddled person’s heaven, because it’s not *me* who’s up there. I’m buried under layers of makeup, costume, maybe using a dialect, inhabiting someone else that’s not at all me. There’s even a ritualistic component called ‘getting into character’ that helps you mentally leave your body and inhabit the character’s. The process is different among actors, but for me, it happens during my makeup application.
Show calls are typically one hour before curtain. So if a performance starts at 8:00 pm, that would mean all actors are required to be in their dressing rooms by 7:00 pm. I always allow myself at least an additional hour before call time, if not longer. And I enjoy taking the full two hours (or longer) to apply my makeup and get into costume, because that’s when I can tune out everything else, run my lines in my head, and watch my face physcially morph into someone else in the mirror before me. Actually, a lot of actors have social anxiety.
At any rate, it’s not every day that you get an award nomination among those blog comments in your email, but this weekend, I did! So, I’m very grateful and very humbled to accept this 2018 Liebster Award nomination, and I want to give a huge shout-out to blogger Benjamin Woolridge of El Paso P.O.V. – A critical look at El Paso and the World with a Black Eye for nominating me for that award!
I began following his blog after intentionally seeking out writers of color. In my never-ending quest to conquer my own biases, learn more about systemic racism in America, and learn how to use my white, cis/het privilege for the greater good, I was taken by a haiku Woolridge wrote titled A History of Black Angels in America. Check it out. His juxtaposition of graceful language, evoking a jarring image, at once haunted and captured me.
I freelance write for several media outlets. I often write about polarizing topics (including politics). I realize the value of writing such things, because for me personally, it was in reading polarizing topics that I learned and grew the most as a human. I feel strongly that we need to protect this American right, and preserve and cherish it as an American value. We always overcome and evolve when we’re willing to examine our own flaws and faults within the realm of truth, especially when we’re able to get to that point where we can just sit with the discomfort it may cause, without having to knee-jerk react in an angry way.
So, Benjamin, thank you – for lending your voice, capturing your thoughts and sharing them with the world, and for putting my little blog here in the ranks with great bloggers around the world. Especially at a time when we have the President of the United States calling media outlets and journalists the “enemy of the people.” I can think of nothing more American than putting pen to paper to examine and challenge our systems. While we’re in this steady, gradual free-fall to autocracy, it seems the only folks with an icicle’s chance in forest fire of saving us would be exactly the people 45 labels the enemy.
What is the Liebster award?
The Liebster award is an award that exists only on the internet, and is a recognition given to bloggers by other bloggers. The earliest case of the award goes as far back as 2011. Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. Here is a link to the Global Aussie website for more info.
If you’ve been given a nomination for the 2018 Liebster award, part of the rules for accepting that nomination is to nominate 5 (or more) other blogs who deserve to be seen and heard. Sure, it might look like the form of a chain mail, but it’s actually a great way to spread the love around to other blogs across the internet, in appreciation of what we all do here. Another part of the rules is that I have to answer the questions I’ve been given by the person who nominated me, and then I must create questions (unique and creative is what the judge is looking for) for my nominees to answer. The winner will be chosen on Dec. 31, 2018.
The Questions I Was Given:
- How important is blogging to you? Extremely. Because otherwise? All these thoughts swirling around in my head, with no outlet, might lead to spontaneous combustion. There’s something about purging them here that I find both necessary and therapeutic.
- What do you want the world to know about you as a blogger? That I am so much more than a blogger. Not that blogging isn’t fun & vital, but it’s just one of many hats I wear. I’m a wife, a mother of three (2 cisgender teens, and 1 trans tween), a writer, an educator, a founder of a program of my local LGBT Center (for trans & gender nonconforming kids ages 12 and under), a secret Facebook group administrator for the online version of my LGBT Center group, an actor/singer with over 35 years experience, an advisory member on The National Network for LGBTQ Family Groups for The Family Equality Council, and an advocate for marginalized communities.
- How have you grown as a blogger? Numerically speaking, I’ve grown by just blogging for handful of family members across the country, to having something I wrote go viral around the world in 2016. Gaining sudden, overnight, worldwide exposure like that came with a realization: if I was going to be handed a platform that I did nothing special to earn, I would have to use that platform responsibly, and for the betterment of society, somehow. Every day I try to do that.
- What other perspectives (if any) have you gained by reading other blogs? Reading other blogs was how I learned what ‘white privilege’ means, which then challeneged me to think of how I can reconcile having a label I don’t want with action other than anger – like, by just acknowledging it and trying to turn it into something useful. The blog-o-sphere is where I got my true education on systemic racism – not the whitewashed one we learned in public school. It’s how I get to hear and even sometimes amplify the voices of trans and gender nonconforming people, and other marginalized communities who aren’t easily given the same opportunities that I’ve taken for granted.
- Do you discuss or debate with those who may not agree with you on certain issues? Oh, I’m always willing to engage, time permitting, and if the other person brings their A-game…
My Nominees Are:
My Questions For The Nominees:
- What quote or cliché do people always say that is complete bullsh*t?
- Would you rather have a dog with a cat’s personality, or a cat with a dog’s personality?
- Etta James, or Nina Simone? Why?
- If you had to name your autobiography with a song title, what would it be, and why?
- *What do you think would happen if we broke Murphy’s Law?
*This question courtesy my 12 y/o, Charlie. (It’s what they asked me when I said, upon seeing a parking ticket on my car downtown after a show, “Ugh! Murphy’s Law.”)
The Official Rules (if you accept this nomination):
- Put the award logo/image on your blog (there are new logo designs to choose from this year!)
- Link to this blog post in your Liebster Award blog post.
- Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
- Answer the questions given to you.
- Nominate 5 other people/blogs (or more than 5, if you’d like).
- Create 5 questions for your nominees to answer.
- Notify your nominees by commenting on their blogs.
- Comment on this blog post with a link DIRECTLY to your Liebster award.
Have fun! Aaaand… GO!