Non sequiturs

I read a a couple of reviews of Martin Short’s “Fame Becomes Me” musical on Friday, and the reviewers weren’t very impressed. Too bad for them, because I enjoyed it. And judging by the reaction in the theatre, so did most everyone else. That’s the problem with reviews, of course…that’s one person’s opinion. It seems to me that the reviewers in question have a preconceived notion of what “proper theatre” should be, and the musical didn’t fit into their world view. But hey, that’s just my review of the reviewers, which is entirely my opinion. Take it as you will.

On Thursday night I saw a wonderful performance called the “Songwriters’ Circle” at Centre in the Square. The Centre offers some of the best acoustics of any performance hall in North America, so I was really looking forward to the experience. Moreover, one of my friends grew up with one of the performers, so there was an added level of interest. Since I don’t know how long the link above will exist, I’m going to link to each of their Web sites: Mad Violet, Melissa McClelland, and Maureen Ennis. We sat at tables on the stage, with the four performers between us and the regular seating. They took turns talking and then playing songs, all acoustically, and they were all very, very good. It was definitely a great time, and something I’ll not forget now that I’ve written about it on Scatterthought. It’s not that my memory is bad (it is), I just need reminders to jog it every now and then.

Happy birthday to Rachel and Lisa…you probably have no idea who each other is (other than possibly reading each others’ comments on Scatterthought), but you were both born on June 18 in different years.

I went golfing on Friday evening after work, and was pleased to discover that I’ve got a real golf swing. So I guess those lessons in May weren’t a big waste of money, after all. Now I just have to learn how to aim.

Saturday afternoon was spent cleaning and reorganizing my basement. Earlier in the week I moved some stuff in the kitchen, and ever since then I’ve been on a cleaning binge. We set up our music gear in the basement awhile ago when we started our band, but were working in a fairly cramped space. So I finally moved stuff around to clear out room to actually work in. Tossed some stuff in the dumpster and generally made the space usable and clean. The nice thing is, it kept me our of the crazy humidity…everytime I came upstairs to do something, I just wanted to go back down where it’s nice and cool all summer.

We had a barbecue to celebrate some birthdays on Saturday evening. Twas a good time. I love manning a barbecue for a whole bunch of people.

My first rehearsal for a play I’m in was today, and the next one is tomorrow. This should be interesting, and that’s all I have to say right now.

I realized something during the concert on Thursday evening. Like many other people, I often wish that I had the skills or talent to do things that I can’t do. I wish I could play pro football or basketball. I wish that I could create and star in a one-man show like Martin Short, or even just approximate his talent as an entertainer. On Thursday, I found myself wishing that I could sing as well as the performers we were watching, or that I could find the inspiration to write meaningful music and songs such as they have. The thing is, maybe I do have some of these talents…or maybe I could develop them. The problem is, I’ll probably never try to. Because when you come right down to it, I lack confidence. And this topic requires me to break with the paragraph-per-topic structure of this evening’s scatterthought.

I often tell people that I lack confidence, but it takes some explaining. How, they ask, can a guy like me lack confidence? I lead groups, make decisions, act and sing, and host Battle of the Bards. I write about my thoughts and feelings on this very public Web site. Really, all the evidence suggests that I don’t lack confidence at all. And I suppose that’s the image I want to project.

I like to joke that I speak before I think. And you know, that’s only half joking. Because in order to do some of the things I do that are entertaining or whatever, I have to avoid really thinking about them. Otherwise I’ll overthink what I’m going to do or say and lose confidence. I guess you could say I’m insecure. And I hide that by leaping in head-first.

What am I so worried about? Quite simply, that people won’t like what I’m doing…that they’ll disagree with my decision or think I’m an idiot. So I go ahead and do it before I have a chance to consider what others will think…or I don’t do it at all.

That’s why I can write scatterthoughts, but I lack the confidence to try writing a play, a story, or a song. Those activities give me too much time to question whether people will like my work or not. With Scatterthought, I’ve established very strongly in my mind that I don’t care what you think.

This links back, of course, to what I wrote about awhile ago when I was wondering what people thought of me and this site. But I don’t feel like going back there, so you’ll have to find the topic for yourself using the handy dandy search field.

What if I’m not entertaining? What if people think I’m incompetent?

What if I get in over my head?

That’s what it’s really about, of course.

I suspect this is the main root of my psychological issues. And to be perfectly honest, if this is as deep as they go then I’m not really in bad shape. After all, no one can sue me for unlawfully practicing psychiatry on myself. Well, there’s one voice in my head that keeps complaining…but six others have got him tied up in the basement. The seventh is getting the whip. The eighth is feeding our cats, while the ninth…hey, where’s the ninth?

Uh oh.



  1. In my humble opinion, you should try writing a play or one of the aforementioned items that you won’t try because you lack the confidence to do so. Taking a risk and stepping outside your comfort zone enables you to learn. If you never did it, you would have never rolled over, or walked, or ridden a bicycle. Not everyone will like what you do and that’s hard to take for a people pleaser like you, but you’re bound to have some die hard fans given your success in other areas of your life.

Comments are closed.