Everything seems to happen under the pink for me. That has a lot to do with the fact that I have a pink-mohawk on my head. Does that mean the pink is over the Roo…what does that even mean?
I’ve learned through conventions, classes at school, and starting new jobs that the first stage of interaction is always an introduction, and it’s ALWAYS a bizarre experience. Take, for example, the first day of school. I will use by example my first day of school at Harris Institute for the Arts. About 22 eager music industry enthusiasts sit in class and the instructor, as they are prone to do, asks the class to say something about themselves. I believe I said something like:
“Hi, my name is Lucas but you can call me Roo. I’m here ’cause I’m interested in getting into producing, but the main reason is that I’ve been doing music all my life and the missing parts are ‘Business’ and ‘Tech,’ and since this school offers both I figured Harris was a good place to go.”
It’s an interesting experiment. You find out more about other people…and gradually as the routine repeats itself, as EACH new class begins this way, you shake it up a bit more. I mentioned I have a University degree in theatre. I brought up my old band. I was even brave enough to mention that I’m a furry…which I’m brave enough to do here too…and for which I don’t believe bravery is required so long as the next question is either “OK, you need to help me understand this,” or “Really, what is that all about?” If the next question is “Like that CSI episode I saw??” bravery is a plus.
…I guess more on that in another discussion.
The strangest part of the introduction is the overlap. When term two begins new teachers arrive, and now people who know each other pretty well have to reintroduce themselves. Some people have changed their interests, some people mention NEW things we haven’t heard before. It’s more like a revision, Draft Two.
By term three…it’s pretty bizarre going through the process again. We’ve all HEARD everything before. When someone changes it up it’s now more like they’ve been withholding something. (WHAT? You used to be a professional WRESTLER?? And YOU used to be a hairdresser??) Good friends find it fascinating. I found it weird when I ‘thought’ I knew something, but by way of a reintroduction I find out I know nothing at all.
I’ve also identified the stage introduction, or introductions where you’re essentially behind a ‘fourth wall,’ maybe an observation unique to me but something I’ve come to understand from theatre experience. While pursuing a career as an actor at University of Guelph I was cast in roles that were VERY MUCH not like myself: a racist cop, a wife abuser…even the illustriously reviled pedophile role. Each time I felt secure doing so because of that stage, the dividing line both between actor and audience, and actor and character.
The feeling that you can be someone different on stage translates to being ‘yourself’ on stage as well. If I’m introducing myself from a stage situation – playing live music, or in a convention scenario pretty much EVERY time I meet a new person – the sense that I’m repeating information people might have heard before goes away. I’ve been cast in a role, it just so happens that role is myself.
At Camp Feral!, the convention I organize, every introduction is a stage introduction. It’s much more personalized but it’s still me playing myself: the role I was born to play, I suppose. The ‘Opening Ceremonies’ are a show, and the one on one interaction is almost like improv. The feeling that I should be more humble goes away. I’m allowed to talk about myself because it’s understood that I’m the guy who’s (apparently) in charge. This feeling is worlds apart from the feeling that I’m not in charge at all…networking with a bunch of people who hold my career or future in their hands, that’s the opposite of a stage introduction. That always feels like an interview.
I’m generally shy when it comes to talking about myself. Hence why I made this introduction a discussion about introductions. The main reason is that I hate repeating information in front of people who have already heard it. I’d do better networking alone than with a friend because I think having someone beside me who KNOWS all this stuff infuses an arrogance in me that I otherwise don’t feel I have.
…is this a blog about talking about one’s self? Hopefully not. I just figure I’ve had some strange experiences, found out some interesting things, and am about to embark on an adventure: I’ve reinvented myself without reinventing myself! I quit my old job just over a year ago and returned to school at 32. I’m about to graduate and go out into the big world where I WON’T be a coffee jockey and I WON’T be a diner bitch. I ‘like’ to talk about what’s on my mind…I guess I just need a stage to do it.
There’s a strange world under the pink. I guess I just feel it’s time to properly share it.