Days of Reflection: Day Ten!!!

Wow!!  I did it!  Ten posts in ten days.  I am usually not this diligent but I am super excited that I am done!

One of the things that this exercise has taught me is that it’s really hard to open up about yourself to people who may or may not know you.  In a past issue of Backstage, Amy Adams, when asked about aspects of being an actor that she didn’t like said “You’re very subject to people’s opinions.  It’s hard to have tough skin and a vulnerable heart.  It’s a delicate balance.”  Being an actor comes with a lot of disappointment.  There are so many times, when one just isn’t what the director has pictured in their heads, and it could be any of several different things.  Rejection is always hard to get through, but actors shake it off and move on to the next audition and the next and the next.  After a while even though you question why in the world you continue to do this to yourself, you know there’s nothing else that you would enjoy as much as performing.

Day Ten: One confession.

This is the hardest one by far.  Here is my confession:

I will never be comfortable in my own skin.  I really want to and I am going to work on it, but I know it’s gonna be the hardest thing I’d ever have to work on.   Jeez my hands are shaking as I put this out there.

My dad loved James Brown’s music.  His music could make my dad dance.  Of course, my dad would dance like him. There’s a youtube video below for those of you who don’t know who James Brown is.  He wore his hair like him and everything.  But my dad was also racist. Sad, huh?  A minority being racist against  another minority. And he was at his worse when he was coked up and drunk.  Except when it came to James Brown. He was the one man that my dad refused to acknowledge as a strong black man despite the lyrics “Say it loud, I’m Black and I’m proud.”  So as a kid, I grew up with the idea that being dark was a horrible thing.  I have the darkest pigment of my parents and my siblings.  On top of that I had to spend summers in the hot-ass town of Bakersfield. Which of course made my skin even darker!  I grew to LOATHE that awful place and myself even more.  I was called every horrible racial thing and that was okay with my parents.  Sometimes it was my parents doing the name calling.  Sometimes I am still called things like darkie or spook.  They’d tell the littlest nieces or nephews “Who’s that black guy?”  But they’d say it fearfully that would make the kids cry.  Eventually, the kids get over it, but it teaches them such a bad behavior, and the kids think that it’s okay to say the same things.

In his old age, my dad is still a rickety bitter man, but he’s off the drugs and booze.  As for the racism, it’s still there, but it’s toned down immensely.  While I am very happy about that, the marks of his abusiveness will always remain a part of me.

When I stop and take the time to think about it, I feel like that could be the root of my big problem with having to look at myself.  And this project has been as I said before a great exercise to help me work out some of the mess that is my personality.  And by doing this, I hope that this makes me a little more fearless.  After all with most of my personal laundry out in the webz, what else do I have to lose!

*Sigh*  Okay, so now that I have gotten that out, what are YOU going to share?  What’s your confession?  I’d like to thank all of you how checked in and kept up with all ten days.  You are greatly appreciated!  I promise.