"Look at Me, Look at Me, Look at Me"

The following post was composed while commuting home on the bus. It has nothing to do with babies...imagine that.

I am a fairly extroverted person. I like hanging out with people and like spending time talking to people. We were discussing this in therapy last week because, while I need people, my DH really doesn't. At least he doesn't need people like I do.

Our therapist feels we both have trust issues and that it causes my DH to not reach out to people. So what's the deal with me? I had a horrific childhood and yet I still yearn for human companionship. DH had a great childhood and he's the opposite. He doesn't want to be noticed and I do.

A few weeks ago, after a matinee, my actor friend James(see above), who played opposite me in Plaza Suite, and I were discussing theatre (as we narcissistic actors are want to do)and came across a possible childhood treatment/future actor connection.

James told me about how he was teased horribly as a boy as was I (How could I not know this after being friends with the man for 16 years?). So why would these berated children become extroverts? Why would we want to be looked at so much? Exactly for that reason I suppose. We want to be paid attention to, to be noted, to be appreciated. We were left behind and ignored or ridiculed as kids and now we are praised and admired (hopefully). We force people to stare at us for two hours or more, demand the attention we are owed.

-Whoa I totally sound like a Sondheim musical there or a Miller play, "Attention must be paid!"

Anyway, it was a light bulb moment for both of us and something I've never really thought about. All I ever knew is that theatre saved me. It pulled me from a dark pit of despair.

On stage I feel alive and free. On stage I am the true Jennifer and man, she's kick ass. I wish I could be her all the time.

I suppose that's another therapy session.

Dustin Hoffman on why he acts:

Well, one day as I was working with Lawrence Olivier, I asked him that question. Why do we do this?? And he replied many times, Look at me! Look at me! Look at me! Look at me! I got goose bumps. But that's true, it's all about being somewhat the center of attention, this is why I love doing interviews, meeting people. Look at me.


Addykins said...

I completely agree. I was teased incessantly in school. I looked to theater and other outlets to get my attention fix. Then I just completely changed my personality to being more extroverted without realizing it. I believe your reasoning is exactly why I did it.

kate said...

Sounds like so many conversations I've had with other actors. None of us are (or probably ever were) "normal." We are a class of our own. And I like it that way. Also, I love seeing your backstage. It's strange how every backstage is graffitied with past shows and actors marks.